Sunday, November 23, 2008

Punky's Battle is Over

" PUNKY" (1991-2008)

Yesterday (Nov. 22, 2008) in Orlando, FL, Punky had her last ride. Her battle with oral cancer is over, and she is now at peace. She had started to bleed from the tumor again, so it was time for her to go to kitty heaven. Her Pops had given her radiation therapy two different times, once in March/April and again in September. Each time, the tumor shrunk entirely away for a few months, but then it eventually returned each time. She even purred as my son placed her carrier in his car for her last ride, with her probably thinking that she was going back to her home in South Carolina. She loved to ride! She was a well-seasoned little traveler. He said she never took her eyes off him during the entire ride. She traveled with him everywhere he went, as did Scooter.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will remember that Scooter, age 15, lost her battle with heart disease on October 6th of this year. It has been very heartbreaking for my son to lose both of his beloved little girls less than 7 weeks apart. It was a very sad day for our family again, but we know that Punky and Scooter are frolicking together once again.

" PUNKY" in July 1991

Punky was a shelter kitten when he adopted her on July 5, 1991. She was a pitiful little thing with an infected eye with puss running out of it and down her little face. We took her straight to the vet for a checkup and medicine for her eye. She was given a bath to rid her of fleas, as she was loaded with them. Her coat was so thin that we could actually see them crawling all over her bony little body. The vet said her eyeball was even swollen. Our shelter has come a long way since the 90's and has a great staff now. Dogs seem to get priority at our local shelter, though, so we adopt the little cats no one would ever choose. We have found that they are all beautiful on the inside.

Below is a pic of where she slept...right next to Tim's pillow. He said that she actually got on his pillow with him the night before, something she had never done. He took that as a sign that she was telling him something, maybe that she was ready to go. We have found that usually an animal will let you know, in some manner, when they are ready.

As I told my son, she loved him, and she knew that he loved her. They had 17 great years together. We have videos of her that we can watch to keep her alive forever in our hearts.

As my vet wrote in a sympathy card one time when I had to have my beloved Duffy put to sleep in 1996, also, due to cancer: "You have given Duffy one last gift...his release from suffering." So I passed those words on to my son:

"You have given Punky one last gift...her release from suffering."

My last words to you, Punky: "I know you are in a better place now, but you will be sadly missed, my little Punky, and you will always have a special place in my heart....Grandma loves you!"


Diane@Diane's Place said...

Dear Nancy and Tim, my heart aches for you both. There's only one thing I've found that hurts worse than having to give up our furkids, and that's watching them suffer.

Much love,


Renie Burghardt said...

Dear Nancy and Tim,

I have been crying reading this post. I am so very sad for you both. Punky was a little beauty, and such a loving little fur kid. I am glad she is no longer suffering. Take care, and God bless you both.

Hugs and prayers,


Gramma Ann said...

Dear Nancy and Tim,

It is always sad when we lose one of our furry friends. But, they are always remembered in our minds and hearts. And as you said you have videos of Punky. So she will always be a part of your lives as you watch and enjoy Punky's antics that brought you so much joy. For 17 years Punky was loved and attended to. So feel comforted in knowing you did everything to make Punky's life beautiful.

Gramma Ann

Train Wreck said...

Oh, Is poor heart,it must be so broken. I am sorry for his loss. 17 years? what a long and happy life she lived. She was blessed to have had him in her life, to find her and give her such a loving home. Please give him my regards. Tell him as great and loving a life she had with him, she is now in a just as beautiful, home with Scooter.

Old Lady Lincoln said...

Dear Nancy and Tim, you have my deepest sympathy. I know what it's like losing a pet. But you know she's in a better place and not suffering any longer.
Love, Patty

Steven said...

life is so often cruel, brutal-out of our lives that most precious relationships, our friends know-which means a loss - but 17 years is a big number behind that assuredly remains the only gap
I wish to you all the best

Jess said...

Sorry for your loss...praying for your ease in this time... but kno that Punky is no longer suffering and she's in a better place.

Diane said...

What a brave battle she had... But, she is a winner since she's in a beautiful place now with no more suffering.

Tell Tim I'm thinking about him. He's got such a big heart...


raccoonlover1963 said...

Hi Nancy. Sorry to hear about you little kitty. They are so much more than just pets, they are members of the family. As far as they are concerned, they are the head of the family. My cat, Salem, knows that he rules this roost, and he would be missed terribly if we lost him. My deepest sympathy to you and your son.
Take care.

Lib said...

Hi Nancy&Tim,
So sorry to hear of your Great Loss!

hippo chick said...


I know that this has been hard for all of you. I know Tim loved those kitties but he did the right thing in letting them go.

I hope, in spite, of this you all will have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Your pumpking bars were a real hit on Sunday.

~hippo hugs~

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,

I'm the anonymous blogger (no account) that posted a comment a while back because I also brought my cat into UVS but decided against chemo treatments. I read your response and thank you for it.

I wanted to tell you I'm really, really sorry to hear about Punky and Scooter passing away. I'm dreading the day I have to do the same to my cat and I know it's not far away. Her tumor is in her lower jaw. It feels about the size and shape of the bottle cap on a 2 liter bottle of soda with her jaw right smack in the middle of it. Feeding and sleeping is getting difficult for her but strangely enough she seems in high spirits and I haven't, yet seen any blood. I'm still trying to find an "indication" that I have to let her go. To this day I haven't seen it but I worry I'm being unrealistic about her pain. Her eyes aren't telling me she's ready yet, though. Got any tips?

It's a tough thanksgiving, especially for your son I'm sure. I hope you can take comfort in knowing there are 30+ kitties that are thankful to have you for a mom. I don't know how you do it, but more power to you.

Nancy said...

What did UVS suggest you do? Did they ever suggest jaw removal to you? NOW, we wish we had gone that route for Punky as she would, more than likely, still be alive. At first, it sounded so awful, but that would have gotten rid of the cancerous area. So she wouldn't have been a pretty cat to look at, but who cares? At least she would have been alive.

Since you've asked me for any tips, I will tell you what I would do. If it were one of mine, I would have my cat put to sleep right now. Punky was on constant pain medication similar to morphine just so she wouldn't have any discomfort. ($53/week for just 21 single dosage syringes, and he was giving her TRIPLE doses). He tripled it the last couple of weeks, as he saw the tumor growing larger. She never seemed to be in any pain, though, as she never stopped eating and drinking. She still purred and "helped" him work everytime he sat down at his computer, and at the end of the day, she would curl up next to his pillow in her spot on her little towel. When the tumor bled, it was quite profuse...not good at all for her to lose that much blood.

I had a wonderful little tiger cat named Tuffy one time. In 2002, he was close to 16 years old when he started losing weight. He refused to eat cat food, so I was cooking chicken breasts and chicken tenders for him every day. I took him to my vet who, in turn, sent me to UVS (Upstate Vet. Specialists). They did an ultrasound and found a growth in his abdomen. Surgery followed, and Dr. Jevins called me from the operating room and said it had already spread to his lymph (This was before they started their oncology department there. They were over on Laurens Road in the old Hardees building.) I had told him prior to the surgery that if it was something he couldn't cure by surgery, then I may opt to put him down while under the anesthesia. And that is exactly what I did. I loved him way too much to allow him to suffer, period. My mother was in the hospital at the time for 13 consecutive weeks, and I was hardly ever home but to feed cats, scoop litterboxes, and shower, so I felt it wouldn't be fair for Tuffy to be here alone and be sick. At that time, I only had 3 cats. He was cremated by error, and Dr. Jevins was so apologetic. But now I am glad he was, as I can hold his little chest of ashes close to my heart anytime. I have 8 little chests on my mantle now!

The way I look at it, I do feel a cat has to be in pain when they have an oral tumor. How could they not be? I put myself in the cat's place...wouldn't I feel pain and discomfort if that tumor were in MY mouth? Ask your vet what he thinks and what you should do.

You can go to my profile page and email me anytime. Maybe we can meet in Greenville sometime. I would love to meet your little kitty! I will be there this coming Monday with Buster for his checkup at 12:15. We will leave him there while he has his chest x-ray and bloodwork done but will return for him in an hour or whenever they tell us he will be done. I would love to see your kitty and meet you!


Cecil said...

Nancy and Tim... please accept my heartfelt sympathy about Punky. I have lost 2 of my babies to cancer.. one was oral cancer.. the other was a mammary tumor with my male cat, Percy. And Percy has only been gone a few months. I still miss him terribly. And like Punky, Percy got up on the bed and climbed up by my head and licked me on the forehead and I saw a tinge of blood on his stomach. There is no doubt in my mind that he was telling me he was sick and that he was also telling me goodbye. I miss him so much but, like Tim, I knew it was time to let him go. It is never easy. I hope you all have a wondeful holiday... don't work too hard! Take a break, girl!! lol Hugs to you.... Cecil

PEA said...

Dearest Nancy,

My heart truly goes out to Tim and to you...losing a beloved pet is never easy. It brought tears to my eyes reading Punky's story but oh how glad it made my heart to hear of the wonderful life she was given because of your son. They were so lucky to have each other and it's no doubt that she will be missed.

Bless your heart for taking these cats in...if it wasn't for Eddie (my estranged husband who I share the house with!)I'd have a household full of these cats in need. Unfortunately he doesn't like cats at all and refuses to let me take any in. You should see his face when he sees me feeding the stray mama and 2 kittens! lol Especially when I let them in the house for a little bit. hehe I just can't ignore them though.

We had trapped 3 of the 5 kittens she'd had and brought those 3 to the SPCA...I was devastated when I found out later that they euthanize wild kitties. I then contacted Pet Save who promise not to euthanize any animal but the woman in charge has been giving me the runaround for the last month and I'm just fed up with her. So, for now, I just keep feeding them. They seem to be handling the cold and snow very well so I'm hoping they'll be ok.

Anyway, I'm so glad I was finally able to take the time to catch up on your news:-) Love ya! xoxo

Mrs Mom said...

Oh Miss Nancy, I am so sorry about Punky's passing. But somehow, I bet she is keeping an eye on both you and your son!!

You are always in my thoughts and prayers here, Dear Lady!!

Hugs right back at you.