RIP Helix

Black cat with fangs, curled on his back and looking at the camera.

We decided to let Helix go today. Our sweet boy has been struggling since last June. His appetite would falter and then he would stop eating altogether. Each time, we thought we had found out what was wrong and he would get better for a little while, then it would happen again. The longest he went between visits was 48 days, but it was more often every other week.

The diagnoses in the end were that he was dealing with two conditions, Irritable Bowel Disorder and Feline Orofacial Pain Syndrome. Neither are terminal, but both are chronic inflammatory conditions. If one had a flare-up, so did the other and both meant that it hurt to eat.

He remained sweet, and loving, and patient until the end.

When he came to us in October, 2020, it was the fastest we’ve ever integrated a cat into a household. We were planning to do the whole “two weeks separated” and then slow introduction, but on day 3, when we were going to swap the rooms that they were in, he got past us. He ran straight to Elsie, tail up, sniffed her nose and that was it. No drama.

He didn’t meow so much as “gorp.” When he was hungry, he would get on the bed or come up to you with a series of “gorp gorp gorp” that sounded more like a chicken clucking. But when he played with his favorite toy (a catnip wine bottle) he would get very loud and very ferocious — in his own mind. Externally, he sounded like a turkey drowning.

He tolerated medication multiple times a day, frequent trips to the vet, and pain without lashing out. He let Elsie swat him — that’s why we have the “swatting” button on her board because “no swatting” was a constant refrain. In his last days, she would still swat him but so gently. Like she couldn’t help it but knew he was sick.

Our vet was wonderful and came out to the house to put Helix to sleep so that we didn’t have to subject him to another visit to the vet. So he got to go to sleep on the couch, with us both petting him.

He was such a good guy. We are going to miss him a lot.

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8 thoughts on “RIP Helix”

  1. Oh no. I could tell from the first picture you posted of him that he was full of character. I’m so sorry.

  2. I am so, so sorry…It never seems like these furry friends get the amount of time they deserve, but man, the memories they sear onto our souls are a lifetime of wonder. Helix sounds like he was amazing.

  3. I am so, so sorry — especially since this is your birthday, isn’t it? Not that there’s ever a good time for such things, but some are worse than others. Makes saying “happy birthday” especially inapt, though I will say it anyway.

    I’m glad he was loved.

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