Tag Archives: Pet loss

I’ll Stand By You, #1253

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My cat died last night, and it was really quite devastating.  She was old – just about 16-years-old to be exact, and she lived with us for 15 years.  We have been feeling that this day was hidden somewhere in the shadows just waiting to sneak up us, but never did I think that the end would happen so suddenly with no warning.  One minute she was eating her breakfast with vigor and the next she was fighting for breath.  I suppose we’ll never really know what happened, but truthfully, what does it matter anyway?  We’re not getting her back, and we can all find comfort in knowing that she spent her last moments feeling the love pouring out of us.

I haven’t felt inspired to write lately, and even though I am extraordinary busy with work and school, writing during my free moments just hasn’t felt natural.  I hadn’t planned on writing about our cat dying either even though I have paid tribute to each of our pets as they crossed over the Rainbow Bridge over the years.

So what changed my mind you might all be wondering?  Simple.  It was the power of kindness.

When Nutmeg died last night, I posted a picture of her on Facebook and sent a RIP message out to the world.  I am absolutely moved and kind of dumbfounded, too, by the result.  Friends from all parts of my life left their beautiful remarks, but what really amazed me was the amount of strangers that wrote to me, too.  One woman emoted, “I don’t even know you and I’m crying. I dread this day. Condolences.”

She summed up the sentiment.  Our pets touch us in ways that people just can’t.  They speak to our gentlest sides and somehow know what we are feeling and offer comfort in their loving gaze.  Their stare speaks volumes – perhaps a deeper language than even the spoken word.

So with all that kindness comes inspiration.  I feel so connected to my fellow pet lovers, because they get it, and that is a beautiful thing.

My song of the day is by the Pretenders.  “I’ll Stand By You” is the ultimate show of support, and I am feeling it all around.  Thank you friends. xo

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Turtle Dove, #1045

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When I adopted my kitty, Turtle Dove, 14 years ago, she was a year old and no one wanted her.  I was told it was because people are superstitious of black cats, and they are the  hardest cats to find forever homes for.  Turtle Dove wasn’t black though.  She was filled with all sorts of caramel colors woven into that black fur.  I loved the way she looked so much that I named her after her beautiful coat.  She was considered to be a tortoiseshell cat, so I called her “Turtle Dove,” and often, I would just call her “Turtle.”

I knew Turtle Dove before I knew my husband, and my kids have never known a life without her.  Turtle Dove has a history with us, and that is why it is particularly hard to say goodbye.

We almost lost her twice before.  She went into a state of depression when her brother, Pumpkin, died in 2011.  She stopped eating altogether, but with fluids, vet visits and a change in diet, she started to bounce back.  The diet kept her weak tummy at bay, and in the end when we brought her in yesterday, the vet felt several very large masses on her liver.  It was a pretty clear cut case.  She was a 15-year-old cat who was lethargic and lost so much weight that she only weighed 5 pounds at the appointment yesterday.  It was time so say goodbye.

We are reeling at the loss of a beloved pet.  It is so hard to lose one of your furry family members.  We have been down this road before, but it never really does get any easier.  She was such a sweetheart of a cat, and I feel extraordinarily blessed that I got to spend the past 14 years with her.  She added so much to my life and to my family’s.

It is awesome that I found a “Turtle Dove” song by the Jerry Garcia acoustic band of the late 80’s.  Here he is singing the song with Bob Weir and Joan Baez at the Human Rights Benefit in San Francisco on December 17, 1987.  What a perfect song to express how much I will miss this sweet kitty.  She was so very special.  May her memory be for a blessing, and hopefully she’ll be hanging out with Pumpkin and her other sister Doughnut at the Rainbow Bridge.  There is a lot of comfort with the idea of all of them together.  RIP, my little Turtle.

Thank You, #773

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Ugggghhhhh…..what a day yesterday.  Yesterday was just yucky inside and out.  Yesterday was the day that we said goodbye to our beautiful cat, Doughnut.  Pets really are like family members (at least in our household), and there is a definite void without her now.

I don’t want to focus on all of the awful feelings though.  Instead, I want to tell you all about that gorgeous creature who graced our lives for 13 years.

Doughnut was a scaredy cat.  Most of our friends never even got to meet her.  She would hide under the bed the minute a stranger would enter our home and would not come out until they left.  She treated me with the same irreverence.  I don’t think I pet her once for the first 10 years of knowing her.  Simply, Doughnut was my husband’s cat.  He got her before we married, and he was the only person she ever really connected to.  Once we were asleep at night, she’d come into the bed and curl up with him on his side furthest away from me.  It was like she was a jealous lover even though I was the one who fed her everyday.

It took about 5 years for her stop hissing at me every time I walked by, and our other animals couldn’t really get too close to her either.  She’d hiss at anyone or anything that came within a certain radius of her body no matter how friendly or unthreatening they were.

It wasn’t until several months ago when Doughnut suddenly began to change.  Out of the blue, she became social.  I wouldn’t say she became playfully social, but she stopped hanging out solely in her cat tree and started hanging out more around us.  We thought the behavior was weird, and in retrospect, it probably was the beginning of her illness.  It sure was nice to finally get to know her though.  She tolerated petting and the other animals, too.  My daughter especially began to bond with her, and I’m just so happy we got a few really good months with this cat that had been so distant but such a big part of our lives at the same time.

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It is so unbearably sad to say goodbye, and yesterday, my daughter wanted to know what song I’d use for a blog about our Doughnut.  As we discussed it in the car last night, the song playing in the background was “Thank You,” by Led Zeppelin.  “Maybe you should use this one,” my daughter said pensively, or possibly “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as I know she was thinking about a homage to the pet loss “Rainbow Bridge” poem.  The car was silent as these words echoed in the background, “If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.”  Yes, those were the words that were hitting home, because despite all of Doughnut’s indifference to us for so many years, somewhere along the way, we all learned to love her unconditionally.  She was our cat, and we loved her with all of our hearts.

So, blog readers, my song of the day is “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin.  It is a love song from a man to a woman, but much of those love feelings can apply here, too.  Click HERE to hear the song on Youtube, as we send our Doughnut on her way over the “Rainbow Bridge” with a big “Thank You.”  We love you, sweet kitty.  xxxooo