March 19, 2008

These tears I cry.....

Today we took my 17year old cat, Mr. Jones, to the vet. Since Monday, he had been rapidly deteriorating. Despite my best efforts yesterday (feeding him by syringe, giving him subcutaneous fluids), he was not doing much better this morning. I suspected kidney disease. I was right.

My vet for nearly 10 years (I used to work for him) assured us that the kindest and best thing to do at this time would be to let Mr. Jones go. He was in severe renal failure complicated further by either hyperthyroidism or underlying cancer. He was very very sick.

I had held Mr. Jones all day yesterday, crying, and praying that he would just go on his own, in his sleep. I slept fitfully last night with him beside me, waking several times to again offer up the same request and to reassure him that it was ok for him to go, that he could let go any time. But he didn't.

So this morning we went in, we ran the blood work, we got the diagnosis, we listened to our vet, and we cried. Then we cried some more.

I held Mr. Jones to my chest, whispering to him, thanking him, telling him how much I loved him, how grateful I was to have him in my life. And I cried deep wracking sobs.

We took Mr. Jones outside and allowed him to walk around in the sunlight a bit. He was so weak he kept tottering and falling over. He kept looking around like he was looking for a place to hide. Finally, he collapsed in a pile of dead leaves.

We picked him up, we held him, we blessed him, we told him all the ways and reason we loved him so much, and we said our good-byes. And we cried.

Finally, after more than 3 hours at the clinic, we had the Dr. come back in and give him the sedative. And later, the medication to stop his heart. It was over. He was gone. And we cried.

I cannot remember a time in my adult life when I have cried so long, so hard, or so deeply. My eyes are almost swollen shut. My heart is broken. A part of my life is missing. A part of me is missing.

Tonight, I leave (a day late) on a train, to visit my grandmother who is living in a medical care facility due to her recent stroke. She will probably live in a nursing home or care facility for the rest of her life. She has lost a lot. I have more compassion for her than I ever have, right now.

You know how sometimes you have those days where things seem just so right and perfect and everything is going your way, and you think, "Hey, I should buy a lottery ticket today!" - You know that feeling?

Well, I think what I am feeling right now is exactly the opposite of that.


JJ said...

I am sobbing as I read this....I am so, so sorry. Loosing a pet is so difficult.
I am thinking of you...

Mr. Spicy said...

You're a brave woman for posting today. This season is raw and there's nothing fun about it. It's courageous in a way to open yourself to the online world the way you do. Thanks to the spicy community out there that walks virtually with my wife...

Kim said...

I'm so, so sorry for your loss.

We lost our Demon cat to kidney disease in October. It broke my heart, and I know those deep, wracking sobs you talk about. He would have been 14 last Friday, and not a day goes by that I don't miss him horribly.

It gets a little easier, though, as I know it will for you, though it's hard to imagine now. As time goes on, the ratio of tears to smiles when thinking about him begins to slide more into the smile side of things. Just know that you made the right decision, and that he loved you for taking away his pain.

s.e. said...

So sorry. I too have cried some of my hardest crys over my cats. They just so become part of your life. I hope your pain will turn to happy memories soon. And enjoy your visit with your grandmother.

Lori said...

Oh...such a hard day. Sending you a hug.

Chiron said...

We lost a pet every year for 7 years. My kitty was the hardest as we had her from the moment of her birth. My heart is with you. Especially as you travel on the train to be with your grandmother. My aunt, cousin, mother and I all spent the night with my great aunt last night as it was her first night in assisted living. It was a blessing to share it with her and I hope your experience feels similar. To Mr. Spicy, thanks for sharing your beautiful wife with us.