Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13, 2011

My little kitty (the one on the right), who was not little and was actually 13 years old, died yesterday. She had a few good days after coming home from the hospital last Saturday and then she took a turn for the worse again. She was spending almost the entire day in her bed and was barely eating anything. She was losing weight very fast.

I think taking her to the vet to be put down was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. She was my first baby. She was my buddy, my faithful companion. She loved me unconditionally and she loved me so much and showed it every day.

When I woke up in the morning, she was sitting on my bed, waiting patiently. When she saw I was awake, she would frequently start meowing at me and come over for a pet or a cuddle. When I went into the bathroom to get ready for the day, she came along and sat up on the counter watching me. She would drink some water out of the faucet while I was putting on my makeup. She followed me from room to room as I did my morning chores, hoping I would pick her up or simply talk to her. She was very talkative and, when I spoke to her, she would normally meow back at me, usually loudly (she was very opinionated). When I picked her up, I normally carried her up high, with her front paws on my shoulder and her back paws in my hand, cradled next to my chest. She would purr so loudly and, when I pet her, she would make the funniest sounds, telling me again how much she loved me.

She normally slept from mid-morning to late afternoon and then our routine would start all over again. She would sit nearby while I made dinner. She would sit next to me in my chair if I sat down for a bit. She would talk to me a lot, mostly because she really wanted me to pick her up and carry her around more than I had time for right then.

When I came out of the boys' room after putting them down for bed, she would be right outside of their door, waiting for me. She would immediately start meowing loudly, wanting me to pick her up and carry her downstairs, which I always did. When we got downstairs, I would put her down so I could turn out lights, close blinds, finish putting things away and gathering my things in preparation for some down time in my room. She would again follow me from room to room, knowing the routine and looking forward to retiring to the bedroom.

Once in the bedroom, the morning routine was repeated, only backwards. She looked forward to her drink of water (the cats do have a little water fountain they can drink from but she preferred the faucet, if she could talk someone into turning it on for her). She would sit on the counter, watching my every move. When I was finished, I would usually carry her back to the bedroom and put her in a chair or on the bed and she would settle in for the night.

If I left the room for a quick refill of my water, she would stay put and wait for me to come back. But if I left the room for a longer period of time, she would come find me and meow at me loudly, as if scolding me. If I did not return to the room soon after, she would start running back and forth through the house as if her tail was on fire and then she would play wildly with something for a few minutes and then start following me and meowing at me loudly again. She did not like it when I varied our routine. On days/nights when the husband works, she was quite happy because I kept to the routine most of the time.

She was actually a very demanding diva cat and would meow quite loudly when she was not happy about something, such as noisy boys who came too close to her or boys who were trying to irritate her in some way, or if I was not picking her up when she wanted me to or if I was not going to bed at the normal time. But she was my diva cat and she loved me completely. Her life revolved around me and I loved her so much. I feel as if there is a big hole in my heart and in my life. My stomach and my heart hurts. If I stay busy, it is easier. And I frequently have to remind myself that she was not feeling well and was not acting like herself for the past two weeks or so. She was clearly not a happy girl and I could see it in her face and body language.

I have never experienced this feeling before. I have always had cats, since I was just a little girl. Many pictures that were taken of me when I was just 3 or 4 show me holding a cat. I have had many cats that have died, as they were all cats that went outside and they just don't live that long. I got Dancer and Zoe when they were both little kittens. I was single and so they were my first babies. They were with me through thick and thin for so long. They have adjusted to so much over the years - me getting married, which was no issue because they both love the husband, moving from Houston to Oklahoma, adopting two little baby/toddler boys (this was the biggest adjustment by far) and then moving two more times. They have been through a lot with me and have always loved me and trusted me unconditionally.

And now my little shadow is gone. When I walk into my bedroom, bathroom or closet, somehow my breath is kind of taken away and I don't completely understand how it happens but I know it is because she is not there. There is such an empty hole in my daily routine and in my heart. It physically hurts and I don't like it. I miss her so much and I have questioned and doubted, wondering if I gave up on her too soon or if I didn't try hard enough to determine what was wrong so maybe she could have lived longer.

But, when I am thinking logically, I know that God provided the exact time and circumstances. When she first got sick last week, I thought I would have to put her down then and I was really really not ready. It took me a while and some prayer but, before she came back home from the vet, I was finally in a position that I was thinking more of her welfare than of my feelings and emotions.

When she came back home from the vet, she was almost like her old self. She was happy and playing and enjoying life again and she was totally loving me, wanting to be with me all the time. The only thing was that she was not eating very much. I thought she had just had some sort of infection and the antibiotic took a couple of days to really kick in and that she would be completely back to normal in no time. But I never could relax. I watched her like a hawk, looking for anything that just was not right, mostly because I knew she was not quite back to her old self, even though she was pretty happy for a few days. It did not last long.

But God had given me time to adjust to the idea of her dying and He had given me a few extra days to enjoy her. My mom and sister had already planned a visit for yesterday. They come to visit us about once every two weeks and that just happened to be the day they had planned. I had no doubt that God had orchestrated it such, so I would have someone to watch the boys (my mom) and someone who understood how much Zoe meant to me to go with me (my sister).

It was definitely the hardest thing I have done, to let them give her the shot to put her down. It is hard being without her. I know it will get better but, for now, it is just hard and I am sad.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lea,

I'm just a lurker who enjoys hearing about your little family and I just want you to know that my heart is breaking for you. I feel your pain. I know what it's like to have to put a little friend(s) out of his misery. It is absolutely heart-wrentchng. I know there is really nothing anyone can say that helps when your heart is in agony but I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and understanding.


Lea said...

Thanks so much Ami.

Jana H said...

Lea, I know much Zoe meant to you, and I'm so sorry it's so hard right now. I'm still praying for you, girl. Love you bunches. Hope to see you soon.