As some of you may have suspected by my absence this week, I do not have good news to report about Axel.
While his appetite improved slightly after the vet increased his prednisone last week, it was still a struggle to get him to eat enough. I went through can after can of cat food, trying to find something he would eat more than just a few tiny bites. I gave him baby food, which helped a little, but neither he nor Günter has ever shown any interest in people food, so he wouldn’t eat anything else.
Toward the end of last week, I had decided that he could definitely not withstand another chemo treatment and I would not put him through it.
Over the weekend he developed an insatiable thirst. He was drinking water not only from his bowl and the bathtub every chance he could get, but also the kitchen and bathroom sink. I even held a cup of water for him to drink. He was eliminating it almost as fast as he was drinking it, so by Sunday I knew that this was only leading to kidney failure.
It was clear that he was not feeling well. He wasn’t sitting on my lap at all and started hiding in the closet. By this point I knew that there was a strong possibility that his Monday morning vet appointment could be his last and I was trying to prepare for that. As if one could ever prepare oneself for that.
While his tumor had shrunk that first week to almost nothing, it had steadily reappeared and by Monday it was as big as it was before. He had lost another 13 ounces in just a week. He was under 5 lbs. by this point almost half his normal weight. He was still severely anemic, and because of that the vet thought he likely had the cancer in his bone marrow too.
I had no choice but to let Axel go. He died peacefully in my arms.
He fought the good fight, just as bravely as he fought his brother, Günter (on the right), as evidenced here. They were probably only about 8 months old in this photo and pretty evenly matched. But even when Günter grew to 1-1/2 times Axel’s size, Axel was usually the king around the house, and he seemed to believe it when I called him My Proud Lion.
As Axel grew sicker, Günter pretty much kept his distance. He was not happy about all the attention Axel received — and he has been loving having me to himself the past couple of days — however he has started wandering around the house crying, so I think it’s starting to sink in.
I know we did the right thing, and we did everything we could for our little Axel, but it was too much for him to overcome.
Rest in peace, my little man. You are sorely missed.