Monday, May 29, 2023

Carmine: Over the Rainbow Bridge

Deb from Glogirly took this lovely photo of Carmine in 2017.

 For those who are friends with us on Facebook, you know Carmine had a rough few years. 

Carmine was diagnosed with kidney disease back in 2018 (I think). Shortly after that, he was diagnosed with steroid-induced diabetes. He bounced in and out of remission - we kept trying to see if he'd tolerate the Prednisolone after a break from it as he had advanced arthritis and moderate to severe allergies the Prednisolone really helped with. Unfortunately, each time we tried it, it sent him back into diabetes. 

We eventually tried him on Budesonide as it doesn't tend to cause steroid-induced diabetes as often as Prednisolone does. Unfortunately, that put Carmine back into diabetes, and he never went into remission again after that.

I noticed 2-3 months ago that Carmine was loafing off his tummy. He did this exact thing when he developed chronic pancreatitis. I had initially dismissed a pancreatitis flare because he was already on anti-nausea medication, pain medication, and an appetite stimulant for other conditions. 

We ended up taking him to see an Internal Medicine vet, and she thought that Carmine did, indeed, had pancreatitis again. Our regular vet and I worked to try tof ind something to make him more comfortable, but he couldn't take steroids. Nor could he take other medications due to his kidney disease. We were racking our brains trying to figure out some way to make him more comfortable and reduce his inflammation.

Carmine had also developed a gallop heartbeat. We think this may be related to the development of high blood pressure (which is common with kidney disease). Our vet wanted to try Carmine on amlodipine for his blood pressure. She indicated it is more effective than the telmisartan he had been on previously. 

Me and Carmine
This is the last photo of me and Carmine on his last day.

Carmine was fine for the first few days on the medication, but then he began to act the same way he did when benazepril (another blood pressure med) had dropped his blood pressure too low a few years prior. Thinking he was having a bad reaction to amlodipine, the vet and I agreed to stop the medication. We were going to restart his telmisartan because we knew he could actually tolerate it - Carmine was very sensitive to most medications.

I stopped the amlodipine last week, but he didn't bounce back. 

Carmine stopped eating on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I began to syringe feed him. On Thursday morning, I woke up and knew it was time to let him go. Carmine's body was so tired; he fought such a hard battle for so long.

I called an in-home end-of-life agency who could get us a vet at midnight. I didn't want Carmine to suffer into the next day, so I took that appointment. 

I spent the whole day with Carmine, telling him how much I love him. Tylan seemed oblivious to the whole thing until halfway through the day when he settled in the bed by Carmine and hung out with him nearly the rest of the time.

The vet who came was incredibly kind and compassionate. There was no rushing on her part. She explained everything before she did it and made sure I was ready before each step. My neighbor, Fred, stopped by to say good-bye to Carmine. My friend, Steve, was there for the entire process. 

The vet listened to all our stories about Carmine, Lita, and Jewel. She shared some of her own experiences with us, too. She was so easy to talk to. She said I didn't call it too early or too late for Carmine, and I truly hope she was being honest about that. She seemed genuine. 

Carmine passed away at about 12:42am on Friday morning.

When it was all done, she wrapped Carmine in the shirt I wanted him to be cremated with. I chose the shirt I did because it's an orange-y color and it says "Mew are my sunshine." I always wore that shirt when I was having a crummy day because it reminded me of Carmine; he always made me smile. I ordered a second shirt just like it, so I can think of Carmine whenever I wear it now. I also wanted him to be cremated with a shirt of mine so he never has to be alone; he'll always have a part of his mama with him. 

She also wrapped Carmine in a blanket she brought with her. She put him in my arms, and I carried him downstairs to her car. He looked so very peaceful. He reminded me of his kitten self, so happy and carefree. 

I placed him in the car, on a nice soft blanket, and the vet surrounded him with little friends because I told her he doesn't like being alone. 

This is Carmine after he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He looks so peaceful.

I didn't want to leave him. I know he'll always be in my heart, but it's definitely not the same as being able to pet my tiny lion or having him sleep with me every day.

Ive cried so many tears. Carmine was my heart cat. 

Tylan does seem sad now. He isn't eating as much as usual, and he spends a lot of his day in Carmine's bed. 

I am beyond blessed to have had Carmine for nearly 18 years - his 18th Gotcha Day would have been June 5. In fact, I'm going to do a tribute post to who Carmine was for his Gotcha Day, so I hope you all will come back and read all about the most wonderful cat in the world. The grief is overwhelming, so I've had to break my posts down and just take them one at a time. 

A couple of special shout outs......

To Terry from Brian's Home who has been my rock through all of this. I do not know what I would have done without him these past months. He has been here every step of the way, being so kind and supportive. He stayed with me via text until Steve arrived the night Carmine died. I cannot ever thank Terry enough for his incredible friendship.

To Steve, who came to be with me, Carmine, and Tylan at the end, even though it was midnight. For his help getting me and Carmine to all of our vet appointments, of which there were many, especially towards the end.

I know Terry and Steve loved Carmine very much, and he knew it, too. He was blessed to have you both in his corner. 

Kat from Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat made this beautiful graphic for us.

Carmine graphic
Thank you, Kat, for this beautiful graphic!

Carmine will always be in my heart. He will always be loved, and he'll never be forgotten. 

We love you, Carmine!

Thank you to Ann of Zoolatry for this beautiful graphic of my Carmine.

February 18, 2005 - May 26, 2023
Forever Loved


  1. Losing your heart cat is one of the most painful things any of us ever go through. And making that final decision one of the hardest. Carmine was so lucky to have you. You showered him with love and gave him the best care any cat could ever have. Sending soft, comforting purrs.

    The Chans

  2. Oh Sierra what a moving post. Thank you for letting us know your beloved boy has gone. I know you must be feeling so lost, your heart cat no longer with you, but I know Carmine loved you so much and he took up a big space in your heart. Carmine will never ever be forgotten.

  3. I'm so sorry, Sierra. I wish I could do more. Whenever you're ready, I'd love to hear the Carmine stories I haven't already heard!

  4. Sierra, so many words don't seem to work right now, we know your heart is broken ~ yet know you gave to Carmine the best of everything ~ the love you shared together is not broken. May he rest well, gentle hugs to you ~ Ann

  5. Hugs to you Sierra. We will always love your Carmine, so sweet and loving. You had the courage to give him the one last gift he needed the most, peace. Carmine, don't worry about your Mom, we'll make sure she is okay. Hugs and love from all of us.

  6. My heart breaks for you. I know how much you loved Carmine...and if that love could have saved him, he would have lived forever. Sending comforting hugs to you. ~Sue

  7. My heart is broken for you. I know there aren't any words that will ease the pain of loss, just please know that my thought and prayers are with you.

    Kim and her angels

  8. So very sorry, Sierra. This is a moving tribute to your Carmine. Hugs from all of us.

  9. My heart breaks for you. It's so hard to make that desision. I know how much you loved him and took wonderful care of him. I wish I could give you a hug. I wish miss him too.

  10. we are so sorry fur your loss. mum lost her heart cat in 2015, honey sunshine. it was the hardest thing she had ever done. carmine would want you to give love to another kitty so he can guide you both from above and make sure you are not lonely for kitty love. purrs from me and my mum

  11. My deepest condolences on your loss. Carmine was sure loved and well cared for.

  12. Sending you all the love and support right now. Saying goodbye to a beloved friend is never easy, and that's only more difficult when it's your heart cat. You gave him such an incredible life and did so much for him. Know that he's still watching over you and guiding you every day.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to Carmine, and we know he was very loved. Sending you and your whole family my thoughts and condolences.

  14. There are no words but I'm sending you comforting purrz. This is never an easy journey so I'm glad you had a friend with you. You gave him the best gift of a life and an even greater, unselfish gift to let him run free.

  15. Farewell, Angel Carmine.
    You were loved while on Earth, and are loved as you fly free in Heaven.

  16. Carmine was such a sweet and special boy- he will not be forgotten by anyone who knew him. I am so sorry for your loss. XO

  17. I am sending love and comforting purrs. I know as do the rest of us here that you went through the hardest thing when your heart cat flies away to the Bridge.

  18. Your post made me cry, Sierra. It reminded me of my Floppy who had suffered many of Carmine’s issues - diabetes caused by steroids for his asthma and pancreatitis. Floppy also had liver problems. He was the first cat I had after I married and was only 8 weeks when I adopted him. During his 15 years with us, he was hospitalized three times. Like you, I finally had to make the decision all cat lovers hate but is in the best interest of the cat. I couldn’t see him suffer any longer. I know you felt the same about Carmine, but I also know how much it cost you. It’s like losing a child. Hugs )))❤️❤️

  19. When we lose our cats a piece of us goes with them and it is so difficult to process their loss. I know how ineffective words are but I am very sorry. I know the pain you speak of so well myself. My heart cat left me 10 years ago this year and I miss her profoundly. Be gentle with yourself and those cherished memories will always be with you to comfort you.

  20. we were so sorry to read abut Carmine leaving, but we know he had fought hard, and knew he was so loved all his life. You will have many memories to look back on. Think of all the friends who greeted him when he came through.

  21. I am so sorry, Sierra. Words are never enough, but I send love to you. It is hard to lose a pet, but when it is your heart cat it is so much harder.

  22. Carmine, we are truly sorry. we know if you could speak human, you would tell your mom, thanks,
    for being the BEST mom ever…and I love you too ~~~~ sending hugs from all of us here in trout towne; daisy, mackerull, and dude, boomer, tuna and sauce

  23. It's so sad a parting, especially when you and Carmine fought so hard for him to stay and feel good. But he died surrounded by love, and will always be with you. Godspeed, Carmine.

  24. I apologise; my comment just made, was credited to Anonymous. Carmine needs to know how much he was respected and loved.

  25. We are so sorry, Sierra. What an amazing cat Carmine was, and what a special love and life you shared together. Thank you for loving him so much, and for sharing him with all of us. XO

  26. I am so very sorry for your loss, Sierra. Carmine was so very special.
    May all the beautiful memories you made with him sustain you now, and always.
    My sincere sympathy to you.
    ((((( ♥ )))))

  27. Sending you so many hugs and purrs. May Carmine live in our hearts forever. Run fast and free, dear angel.

  28. I'm so sorry, Sierra. We've had many rainbow bridge cats over the years, so I know how difficult this was, and how special Carmine is to you. Forever in your heart...

  29. safe travels kit-cat, peace to those that love you,


  30. I'm so sorry to hear about Carmine's passing. It is never easy to say good-bye to a dear friend. I hope that new orange shirt arrive soon. Try to focus the happy times as you love on your Tylan and grieve your beautiful Carmine.

  31. Hi, Sierra.
    I am so sorry that Carmine had to leave for the Rainbow Bridge recently.
    Even though he was almost 18, its never long enough, is it.
    You and he fought a good fight to keep him feeling good despite all his health issues.
    May all the sweet memories you have sustain you now.

    I made a memento in his honor, but I can't get my email program to send it to you as it keeps returning as a failed delivery.. Do you have another address? I will post it on my blog (soon), so you can snag it from there if you want to do it that way.


    Benji's fifth Birthday is coming up on June 6th. (for the Blogosphere calendar...)

    1. I did manage to send you a message on your FB page...the memento is in there.

  32. Deer Miss Sierra an Tylan wee jsut red about CArmine an HAD to come pay reespectss to youss'. Yore love an deddy cation keeped Carmine goin fore a furry long time You have allwayss been a furabuluss Cat Mom..... Wee are sorry Carmine had to leeve. Wee send Sympaffiess an <3 LOV# <3. An Carmine lookss like hee iss just havin a 'happy nappy' aftur hee went to Purr Land/Rainbow Bridge.
    Sinceerlee, BellaDharma an BellaSita Mum