Thank you for all your beautiful replies about our Lucky.
The hardiest thing to accept is that we didn't realize Lucky was that sick. If you could have seen him over the past few weeks, he acted the same, never in pain, wasn't lethargic, always very loving. He was playful, even Thursday morning.
He was sick only once before in his life. He was drooling one morning 2 years ago, lying under a bed and he won't come out and he was obviously hurting. Our vet was on vacation and that the junior vet was way overbooked so we ran him, upon their recommendation, to an animal hospital emergency center. They weren't able to determine upon examination what the issue was, and decided that the best course was to give him an anti-biotic and see our vet within the next couple of days. We have been using our vet for over 20 years. He has been truly wonderful and gives us all the time and attention we could ever ask for. Unfortunately, he also has the busiest practice in the area because he is so well regarded. We couldn't schedule a follow-up with Lucky until the following Monday. But over the weekend after a few doses of anti-biotic, Lucky returned to normal. We still went to the vets on Monday, and during the examination, our vet speculated that Lucky had a tooth invection, and that the anti-biotic cleaned at the invection. He said that if the invection came back with the next few weeks to bring him in for surgery and that they would remove the tooth. That never happened. However, this was the only other time in our lives that Lucky showed any discomfort until last Thursday.
I say all of this because of the tremendous guilt that Debbie and I feel because we weren't there when Lucky passed. We wanted to take hime home Thursday night, but the vet felt that the treatment he was providing was the best course of action. He felt he was stable Thursday night and that we could come out and see him Friday morning and make a decision at that time. Since Lucky showed no prior symptons of his illness and he was so playful, we didn't feel that his life was in any danger. The vet opens at 8 AM but one of the attendents gets in at 7. When we talked to her after Lucky had passed, she stated that Lucky was sitting up and meowing at 7 and she told him that he looked like he was ready to go home that morning. Then he collasped at 8 and died 30 minutes later. During that 30 minutes, our vet did more tests which revealed the tumors in his lungs. He thought they were secondary tumors and that based on his symptons and reactions to his treatment believed that the primary tumor was either in his liver or pancreous.
Never in our personal experiences with pets have we seen a pet hide the seriousness of his illness this well. We have had pets die after long illnesses, they always died in our arms. But these pets showed signs of being sick. If only we had known about Lucky. Not that he would still be alive today, but that we would have been there.
Thank all of you for reading about our Lucky. We were the ones truly lucky to have him fall into our lives.