Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Charlie and Zeus Are Waiting for Our Beloved Keenan Over the Rainbow Bridge...

Dear In-Sync Exotics Family and Friends:

Yesterday evening, we (vet, staff, interns, and volunteers) said our good-byes to our beloved cougar, Keenan. The decision to release him from his ailing body was not easy, but we all agreed it was time.

Keenan battled some very serious health issues for the last seven months. On January 17th, we reported on Keenan’s  trip in September 2010  to Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine so their veterinarians could perform a sonogram to learn why Keenan stopped eating. The following account is taken from that posting:
In September 2010, we noticed that Keenan was behaving oddly.  He appeared lethargic, refusing to eat all his food, and play with the other cats—so we called his vet.  Dr. Kerin examined Keenan without anesthesia and visually found nothing physically wrong with him, so he recommended a trip to Texas A&M, so he could be anesthetized and thoroughly examined.
A couple of days later, we took a road trip to College Station so Keenan could be examined by the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine veterinarians. Keenan was sedate so the vets could perform a sonogram.
During the sonogram, the vets observed Keenan’s heart stop beating, so they immediately initiated emergency resuscitation procedures. After about 60 very long seconds later, Keenan’s heart finally started again. Technically, Keenan died on the exam table for a very short time.
During the time Keenan’s heart stopped, his body started to shut down non-essential organs, and so when Keenan’s heart resumed beating, we discovered our cougar was blind.
Thankfully this condition was only temporary for while Keenan was recuperating at A&M, the vets were happy to report his vision returned about 36 hours later. Keenan, stayed at A&M for three days, while the vets tried to get him to eat and take his medicine because they wanted to perform one more sonogram, this time without anesthesia. Needless to say, we were very anxious about repeating this procedure after what happened the last time.
Keenan came through the second sonogram procedure without incident and the test did reveal our cougar has a heart problem known as Dilated Cardiomyopathy. 
We returned home with our cougar with a plan to give him round the clock attention to make sure he resumed eating and took all his prescribed meds. Unfortunately, Keenan still had trouble eating, so we called his vet, once again, for a consultation. 
Dr. Kerin recommended we take Keenan off most of his meds as they were causing Keenan to lose his appetite as they undoubted upset his stomach. He did continue to take two medications necessary to aid our boy, enalapril and furosemide. Enalapril is commonly given in conjuction with a diurectic, like furosemide. Because of the medications’ side effects, we monitored Keenan’s kidney parameters (BUN and Creatinine) levels periodically to make sure there were no changes to his kidney functions. 
Nine days after his trip to A&M, Keenan still refused to eat his regular food, so we administered subcutaneous fluids and he was given a valium shot by his vet. As soon as the valium shot “kicked in,” Keenan resumed eating his meals once more. 
For the next several weeks, Keenan’s vet visited with our cougar to check on his heart rate to make sure he heart was beating normally. During one such visit, Dr. Kerin thought he heard an irregular heartbeat. 
A call to a heart specialist was made and Keenan went to his vet’s office for another sonogram and an EKG—all without anesthesia. As expected, Keenan remained calm, cool, and collected through the entire procedure—he was such a trooper! The heart specialist confirmed our vet’s diagnosis—Keenan has Cardiac Dysrhythmia (also known as arrhythmia). Our cougar was prescribed another medication called diltiazem, which is used to relax blood vessels so the heart doesn’t have to pump as hard. It also increases the supply of blood and oxygen to his heart. 
So last Tuesday, we drew blood and our vet ran the usual blood tests. The results were not encouraging. Our geriatric cougar has renal failure. Whether it’s chronic or acute, we do not know at this time, but we are monitoring him very closely. 
In the meantime, we are administering subcutaneous fluids and keeping him on his medications. Keenan’s next blood draw will be on Tuesday of next week, so we will keep you posted of his condition. We hope you will keep Keenan in your prayers.
For the last six months, we provided Keenan with subcutaneous fluids and medication. Some days he seemed to be doing great, and other days he seemed lethargic and not interested in food.

His last creatinine and BUN test this month revealed his kidney values were extremely high. Our vet advised us that Keenan renal failure was advanced and it didn’t look good for our boy.

Keenan told us that he was ready to cross over the rainbow bridge when he finally stopped eating. His body was shutting down, so he could no longer digest food. He looked so tired.

On Monday afternoon, I notified our board members, staff, interns, and volunteers that Keenan would be departing this earth Tuesday evening. It wasn’t long before caring well-wishers stopped by to say their good-byes to our cougar. Two board members, our intern coordinator and two volunteers decided to spend the night at In-Sync Exotics with Keenan. They wanted him to know how much they loved him and that he was never alone.

Keenan and Cerella
Keenan is survived by his mother, Mercedes and his sister, Cerella. He will also be missed by his cougar gal pal Crimson as they often would snuggle together. We have no doubt that “Keenan the Explorer” crossed the rainbow bridge to be with his father Zeus and his brother Charlie. So while we miss Keenan very, very much, we know that he is finally at peace. I will always love you, Keenan.


Keenan’s memorial service will be at 11:00am today (Wednesday) at Pet Memories in Rockwall.  If you require directions, please click HERE.  Thank you to everyone who offered their condolences—this has been a difficult decision as it is so hard to say goodbye…

A Prayer for Keenan’s Departure

Dear Lord, please open your gates
and call on Zeus and Charlie to come escort
our handsome Keenan across the Rainbow Bridge.

Assign him to a place of honor,
for he has been a wonderful animal who
brought love and joy into our hearts.

Bless the hands that sent him to you,
for they did so in love and compassion,
freeing him from pain and suffering.

Grant us the strength not to dwell on our loss.
Help us remember the details of his life
with the love he has shown us.
And grant us the courage to honor him
by sharing those memories with others.

Let him remember us as well
and let him know that we will always love him.

Thank you, Lord,
for the gift of his companionship
and for the time we've had together.

And thank you, Lord,
for granting us the strength
to give him back to you now.


May 27, 1995 - July 17, 2012

Keenan will always live in our hearts

And he will always be watching over us
from his lofty perch in Heaven.



  1. I lost two (domestic) cats to renal failure this spring, and if I never see the words again it'll be too soon.

    I'm so, so sorry. What a beautiful and intelligent face he had.

    *hugs to everyone*

  2. Such a handsome boy!

    AND, you just KNOW there is this group of In-Sync alums at the Rainbow Bridge who gently welcomed him over.

    God Bless to all who lovingly cared for him!

  3. I never even met Keenan but cried my eyes out as I read your post. It is so sad when we lose one of our furry family members and it is so very difficult when we have to make the decision to let them go, but as you wrote, it was the best thing for Keenan. He is now free of his ailing earthly body but I'm sure he will be greatly missed by loving his friends & family (both human & kitty) at In-Sync. Bless you for what you do for our beloved cats! God be with Keenan. . .

  4. I had the honor of spending precious time with Keenan Sunday. He was such a sweet gentle boy. He had a wonderful loving home and I will miss him. Sharon B.

  5. I will miss seeing Keenan when I come out the next time. He was such a sweet boy. I know all will miss him very much, but am confident his spirit will remain in your hearts forever.

    Beverly B

  6. So very sorry for the loss of this beautiful one. I've lost two small kitties to renal failure, and you definitely know when it's time to let them go. God bless you all for giving Keenan such a wonderful life while he was with you.

  7. I am sorry I did not get to be with you more. It was wonderful to be around you for the time. You were a lovable animal. You were loved very much by all those that knew you. God's speed Keenan.

  8. The Austin FamilyJuly 20, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Our big, beautiful boy is already sorely missed. It was a privilage to be there to welcome Keenan when he came to us... his sweet self sitting in his transport cage, calm & curious, like he did this sort of thing everyday. :) Like he already knew he had come home. I don't think it was long after when Keenan got his first plastic coffee can toy that had previously belonged to Nugget. Needless to say, that can had Nuggets lovely skunk smell & Keenan LOVED it. He layed on his side, with the can in a bear hug & his nose jammed inside. If that wasn't funny enough, he proceeded to log roll all over his cage without dislodging the can or his nose. :) Our beautiful boy was such a ham. Five years with Keenan wasn't nearly long enough. Tho, I have a sneaking suspicion that even 100 years wouldn't have been long enough. I know the decision to let Keenan go was so very difficult & heart breaking. But, just like being here to welcome Keenan to In Sync was a privilage, so was being there to say goodbye... to see him safely into the hands (or paws, as it were) of his dad & brother at the Rainbow Bridge. Even tho losing Keenan is so painful, I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to love & make friends with such a beautiful soul. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

    <3 <3 <3 WE LOVE YOU KEENAN!! <3 <3 <3

    Until we meet again~
    Joie, Stephen & Lil Stephen