Saying Goodbye to Astrid: From Wild Child to Foster House Favorite

Astrid. Image by Ann G.

Astrid started out in the colony we support through our Project Apollo.  She and her brother, Gus, came to us as young cats, perhaps 8 months old.  Initially wild and afraid of people, they became calm and relaxed at the foster house, enjoying the company of the other cats and our volunteers.  

At 15 years she grew thin and we discovered that her thyroid levels were way off.  The recommended treatment for hyperthyroidism is a Radioactive Iodine 131 treatment.  We used this for two other kitties at the foster house and it worked well for them.  Unfortunately, while waiting for her scheduled appointment, Astrid seemed to become thinner faster than anticipated. One morning we found her both listless and uninterested in her special wet food breakfast.  We took her to the emergency VCA clinic on Montgomery.

The vet put her on fluids and started a series of diagnostic tests to determine the cause.  Hyperthyroid cats become thinner until their treatment, but they don’t usually crash.  Something else was going on.  Her testing involved extensive bloodwork, x-rays, and an ultrasound with a biopsy. The bloodwork showed high white cell counts, the x-ray suggested fluid in her chest, and a mass in her abdomen. An ultrasound with biopsy showed she had large cell lymphoma.  This meant she was no longer a candidate for the Iodine treatment.

With two serious diagnoses, both of which cause a wasting away, we had little choice. Although both illnesses were individually treatable, given her frail condition, it was unlikely she would have survived both.  She passed in the arms of a volunteer who had been caring for her and had become her friend.

After arriving at the foster house from the colony, Astrid spent the majority of her life with us in warmth and friendship.  She had plenty to eat and human friends who groomed her, played laser with her, and provided friendship. She was loved and will be missed by all.   

To learn more about the conditions and treatments in Astrid’s story, please see:

Hyperthyroidism in cats can be treated in different ways, determined by their specific diagnosis. The Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine as a detailed article on hyperthyroidism in cats and its treatment.

Lymphoma in cats can be large cell or small cell.  To find out about the diagnosis and treatment for these, please see this article from North Carolina State.

Other resources include VCA Montgomery, which handled Astrid’s care, and Ann Beyke, who offers bereavement counseling after the loss of a pet to help focus on the joy we share with our furry friends.

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