Paws begins an end of life journey – not to the blog – but to his short kitty life


BJ Bangs is an established journalist, photographer, and an aspiring author. She loves everything about cats, including writing about them.

12 Responses

  1. This is so incredibly sad for you. We lost a kitty at age 12 with similar symptoms, which we assumed was congestive heart failure and probably was, but it was like she was fine one day and then… Little Yellow is so lucky to have you to care for him, and we know whatever time he has with you will be with the most comfort and love you can provide. Every minute is so precious with our kitty friends, and though your time may be shorter than you had expected, we know you will fill it with cherished memories. We are purraying for you and Little Yellow. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

  2. Mcat says:

    Our Divot had HCM and did extremely well on atenolol which we had compounded into cat treats for him. He lived about 7 years after diagnosis and then passed away from what we assumed was cancer. He was my heart cat and is still very much missed. Another orange boy.

  3. Lisa Sears says:

    Thanks for sharing the sweet sad story with us. I’m SO sorry the two of you are having to go thru this. None of my cats had HCM [that I know of], and this comment is really about the drugs. I’ve know several people including myself who have taken atenolol for many years, and added aspirin if there were no bleeding problems. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a wonder drug. Fingers crossed that you’ll share a lot more time with Yellow. Take care.

  4. Diana Gregory says:

    (note after re-reading, I see you are on baby aspirin). Again – I hope it does for you what it apparently did for Muffin!

  5. Diana Gregory says:

    BJ – I had a cat who was born with a congenital enlarged heart. The vet heard murmurs from the first visit, and when he got old enough to neuter, she took x-rays. This was 1983 – and with trepidation we neutered him with full monitoring. He made it through. I changed his (and my) diet – no more salt for a long time (I still don’t use it, not that it’s helped – too much sodium in the world). At any rate – he went through years of UTI’s before we x-rayed the other end and found he had severe hip displaysia and scoliosis, and most other organs were small except his heart. He was put on baby aspirin and it helped the pain – and I think prolonged his life. When they were 10, his sister developed acute renal failure, and we brought her through for about 2.5 years before cancer got her.

    Muffin, however, went on to live to be 19. In his later years we tried various heart drugs to bring down his pulse and BP – but all of them caused him to stop eating, so all he ever had to treat the HCM was the baby aspirin.

    Ask your vet if it might help. You start very small – no more than 1/4 baby aspirin (*NOT* any of the ‘non-aspirins’) per week.

    I hope you have your baby for many years – maybe even as many as I had my boy.


  6. Sparkle says:

    What a sad diagnosis for Little Yellow and for you. I wish there was more that could be done about HCM – I have lost other kitty friends in the blogosphere to this. I hope with treatment, your Paws can continue to have a good life for as long as possible.

  7. So very sorry to hear this, BJ. Whatever time he has left, you’re both blessed to share that time together.

  8. Sally Bahner says:

    We lost out beautiful Russian Blue boy to HCM in the mid 1990s when little was known about the disease. He was diagnosed after we lost him — apparently healthy one day, gone the next. Russian Blues are prone to HCM, but they’re not included in many of the studies in the US. There have been some genetic studies in the Netherlands. It’s good that you have a diagnosis and some treatment options — that’s more than a lot cats have had over the years. Dr. Diane Addy and the late James Richards did a lot of research.

    • BJ says:

      Sally: Sorry to hear about your loss. It’s good we know more about HCM and many other feline diseases today. But even so, it’s heartbreaking when we lose one of our kitty family members.

  9. I’m a fellow professional member of the Cat Writer’s Association and I’m so sorry to read this. I’m also a Master energy therapist. Have you thought about energy therapy to help provide comfort and relaxation to Little Yellow (and yourself)? I provided energy therapy to two of my cats who passed last year after long illnesses and their vets were amazed at how long they lived, with good quality of life, because of those efforts. If you go to you can read more about it.
    Take care!!!

    • BJ says:

      Allie: Thanks for sharing. I will definitely check this out. If we can gain a couple of years, a year, or months, it would be worth it.

  10. askfisher says:

    I am just so sorry you and Little Yellow have to go through this. It has to be scary and frustrating. I wish I had a magic ingredient that would cure him. I hope a miracle comes your way.

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