Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Farewell to my Stevie Cat (and an important PSA)

After five and a half years of being my best friend, our kitty, Señor Stevie Nicks, succumbed to heart disease*.

If I had known it was coming I would have taken the time to have a few more days with him to do all the lovey things people do:

Chasing butterflies

Spinning in a field of flowers


Drinking milkshakes together

Going for boat rides in Central Park

Snuggling at home

But he was sick... and scared, and we lost him so suddenly. He was barely showing any signs of illness, still eating and playful, sleeping with his butt in our faces, drinking milkshakes, and rowing boats, but then he was gone just moments after getting him to the vet, leaving me and Mike shocked and devastated. I don't know how I have managed my whole life to avoid the up-close death of a pet with as many as I've had. It's a really horrible concept and I don't know who came up with it but I would like to unsubscribe, RIGHT NOW.  In the end, I am glad he chose us and we did everything we could to give him the best life possible. I love him so much and I will never forget my sweet Stevie cat.

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*Stevie died of cardiac arrest from an enlarged heart. He had a grain allergy, to the point that he couldn't even eat poultry that was fed grain or he would itch terribly and barf/poop/gain lots of weight. We found him a grain-free food that had all the nutrition he needed to keep him healthy, in theory. Unfortunately, I am finding now, much too late, that grain-free pet food currently on the market seems to contain some ingredient that might interfere with taurine uptake, which cats (and dogs) need to avoid heart damage. The FDA is investigating this, but there are things you can do in the meantime.

Please, if you are feeding your pet a grain-free diet have their taurine levels tested IMMEDIATELY (or as soon as you can afford to).
If they don't have allergies, stop feeding them a commercial grain-free diet. If they do, please, get their taurine tested and consult with a vet on how best to proceed. Once they have symptoms, which, in Stevie's case was only abdominal breathing, it is often too late, but the damage can be reversed if it is caught early enough with taurine supplementation. No one should go through what we're going through now, losing our pet so young, so please, share this information so every cat lives long enough to replace us as the dominant species on the planet.


  1. My heart breaks for you. I am so very sorry for your loss and even more so that I am guessing you are taking the blame for feeding the food that you did.

    The grain free foods that have been causing problems are dry foods made by big manufacturers.. if you haven't seen the list of foods that are suspected to be causing a problem it might bring you some comfort (or if you were feeding one of the brands it might make that worse - and if so I apologize)

    But just so you know this is still correlation.. it is not causation. they have not proven that the DCM is caused by the food. http://www.petbusiness.com/Why-The-FDAs-Latest-Statement-On-Grain-Free-Foods-Is-Dangerous/

    DCM happens even if you are feeding a grain included food. Some cats simply have heart disease.. I fostered a kitten who died at a year of age because of it and the food was never implicated.

    Testing taurine levels isn't wrong. Looking into this or even changing foods you are feeding isn't wrong. it certainly could give people peace of mind and it might provide more data for the people looking into these things to try to figure out what is going on.. but with only 9 reported cases of cats (vs the hundreds on dogs) I suspect that the fear is out of place as these foods are fed to thousands of cats.

    Anyway.. I am not trying to belittle this point.. it is very good information to have I just believe in more information, having full conversations about this, and *hopefully* bring you some comfort that it might not have been your choices that caused this to happen.

    In the end, what matters is that you are missing your kitty. My heart goes out to you.

    1. Yup, it was specifically the highest scoring dry pet food that we fed him, but this is excellent information and I really appreciate your detailed comment so others can read this as well!

  2. I am sending love and purrs to you.

  3. we are so very sorry....mom has been there and it never gets easier to lose a friend. you are never ready.... purrs

  4. We are so sorry for your loss. Thank you for adding to the conversation we constantly face regarding nutrition for our furry ones.

  5. We are so very sorry for the loss of your sweet kitty.

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story so we know, too.

  7. I'm so sad to hear this. Cats are truly members of the family, which non-pet owners don't get. I find losing a cat is much more painful than losing a human.

    It's worse because you were doing your **best** for Señor Stevie Nicks. The best food, good vet care, his very own cartoon... We all have to trust that the pet food companies provide as much nutrition as we provide love, but sometimes that just isn't the case.

    Thanks for the heads up. You may have saved other cats with this post.

  8. Oh dear! You were such excellent pet parents I am sure--I try to remind myself that I can't know what I dont know (and thank you for sharing the sad teaching moment)

  9. My Loki has SERIOUS diarrhea and allery issues. To what? IDK.
    I had a $400 test done on him to find out he has Hyperthyroidism. I give him his meds, nothing has changed. He's still Sharting,FArting,rapidly losing weight....smh. I was crying and frantically searching the internet for answers a few hours ago,after I witnessed him use the lawn as a catbox and SO much liquid shot out. Perhaps its fate that I figured out how to log in to my google accout today, and realize I still have the same book marks. I'm already scheduling a vet appt tomorrow. I have no idea where to go. Certainly not these local p[laces thjat cost insane amounts of money.
    My uncle...a Veterinarian, pasted away last year around this time.I miss him,and how amazing he was. As a Human, and as a Vet. We 3orship human surgeons in society, but Veterinarians' have to learn how to operate on WAY more than one species!
    I'm so sorry you lost your baby. As guardians of the wild, we have to toughen up to death in a way that human parents' wouldn't understand. Or want to. Its part of the bond, and contract we sign with mother nature for us parents of animals. They always come back to you though. interpret that however you like, its just true. love and miss you, sweetness.


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