Poisoned By Iams
I adopted a beautiful, loving, intelligent cat back in October of 2008 when I was in college. His name was Louie, and he was an orange and white tabby with an attitude and a huge vocabulary. One thing a lot of people that haven't been blessed with a pet fail to understand is that losing them is as painful as losing a child.
At some point between the end of November 2010 I estimate, and the beginning of January 2011, something he ate caused him to stop eating. Louie was the type of cat who ate his kibble and nothing else. Wasn't curious about what mysterious objects tasted like, didn't have access to plants that he probably wouldn't nibble on anyway, and he was strictly indoors. I couldn't even tempt him with turkey at Thanksgiving, he just wouldn't have it. And he ate small portions over the course of a day. My other cat, whom I adopted mid-December 2010 and who is still alive and healthy, eats like a pig. She would eat whatever he didn't eat and it would be gone in a second. She would eat ANYTHING. Well, I fed him IAMS Proactive Health for the last two years of his life. At some point around Christmas of that year I sent my boyfriend to get a new bag of food at the store, but they had pulled the IAMS from the shelves. At the time I didn't know it had been recalled, so I thought nothing of it and told him to go Meow Mix instead, because the new cat was used to eating it. Louie, however, wouldn't touch it. He wouldn't eat anything at that point. And that's when I noticed he had lost a bit of weight. All that fur on him and I didn't notice how bad it was before then. I took him to the vet and they ran blood tests. He had kidney and liver disease, dehydration, and by chance they found a heart murmur. It was a nightmare, I was so scared I was going to lose him. He wouldn't eat so I had to feed him with syringes full of special wet food, mixed with medication that had to be ground up. He wouldn't drink water so I had to give him subcutaneous fluids, which didn't make him very happy but he let me do it. The vet's last ditch effort was to insert a feeding tube because he developed a food aversion and would puke up the food/medication mixture. 24 hours after the surgery I rushed him back to the vet because he was in a lot of distress, breathing heavily, crying all night. He hadn't gotten any better since that initial blood test, none of the medications had helped, nothing we did helped. When he went into complete organ failure it was time to put him down. I never knew the kind of pain of watching someone die until I had to look into his eyes and hold him as he took his last breath. I really never thought it would happen like this.
It's been over a year now and I'm still grieving, which probably won't change. I miss him so much it eats me up inside. Sometimes I roll over in bed expecting him to be curled up next to me on my pillow, and it shatters me when I realize he's not there. I can't spend too long looking at pictures of him cause it still hurts, and I hate crying so much sometimes. He was only six years old when he died, and I only had him in my life for three years. Am I selfish for thinking that's not enough? I feel like I was robbed of what should have been a decade long relationship that was unfairly cut short because I was too stupid to see how deceitful companies like IAMS are about the quality of their food. It kills me even more to read the endless stories from people who have experienced the same thing with their pets, and how I wish I had seen it sooner.