Then he was in respiratory distress... wheezing, almost hairball style, but he wasn't coming out of it... we rushed him to the vet, and by now I was crying because I could feel him slipping away. Our vet knew. He called the staff, "Cancel everything! We have an emergency. Thunder is in cardiac arrest." He called him Thunder. Benjamin was having a heart attack. Then the x-ray showed something else entirely. His heart was being compressed by his intestines, it looked like. Had he been run over? Why was every internal organ shifted up out of the abdomen and into his chest cavity? By now, we were all gathered, and facing those awful decisions, and we chose to let the vet operate... it felt hopeful. Our poor vet found something no one could have known: Benjamin was born with a congenital defect, and his liver was up next to his heart... nothing could be done to save him from a condition that had gotten out of control. We let him go.
I'm sorry. That was a lot of detail. I think I am hoping it will help me really let go if I write it down, face it. We did everything we could. That's supposed to be a comfort, right? Knowing you tried. It does help, but I still have those pictures, those last images and impressions, and his suffering breaks my heart.