After this morning's apparent upswing, Buddha took a very sudden and catastrophic decline this afternoon around 3:30. We rushed him to Just Cats Clinic in Reston, where they determined that he was in an incredibly severe anemic condition. In short, for reasons unknown, his body was destroying its own red blood cells; his red cell count was so low that it did not even register as a percentage.
The only possibility of treatment was hospitalization and transfusions, with no real ability to know if it would even help in the short term, and a poor prognosis for recovery.
After a great deal of sober thought and discussion, we decided that it was time to let Buddha go. laurie_robey and I stayed with him, petting him gently and telling him what a good kitty he was, until the vet announced, "He's gone."
It has been my privilege and pleasure to be Buddha's human for almost exactly nine years– nine years that he would not have had if we had taken the advice given to us originally to put him to sleep merely for being FIV+.
I love you, Buddha, and I will miss you. Thank you for the time you gave us.