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Thank You, Everyone

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thank you, everyone, for your support as I grieve the loss of my sweet cat, Sweetie. I am doing much better today, and am slowing coming to inner peace.

The main thing that I've resolved was my turmoil whether there was any chance of saving her, and we missed it. I mostly second guessed on whether we could have done more. Last night I looked up xray photos of lung cancer on the internet, and they were consistent with what we saw at the vet. This helped to lift the heaviness from my heart. We could have done biopsies and surgery, but it would not have saved her and given her good quality of life. She was already so frail and in respiratory distress, she would not have survived the treatment. She would have been miserable.

Yesterday, I picked up her ashes, and she is on our mantle. I picked flowers from our backyard this morning and put them on her box. I placed her favorite toy, a squirrel with a bushy tail like hers, next to her.

We estimate she was about 12 years old, but she only spent 4 years of it with us. I would have wanted more, of course, but it's never enough. The timing of all this with my philosophy class is uncanny, and I've spent much time in introspect about it. Whether we believe in life after death or not, I think we can all agree that a good life is spent with those who love us. I hope that the 4 years Sweetie spent with tuna, toys, catnip, sunny windows, and petting was better than all her previous years combined. I'm glad that she chose to spend the final days of her life with us.

Sweetie with her squirrel toy:

Sun worshipper:

Thanks again. I'll be back to my regularly scheduled programming soon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALFBUNDY 6/23/2013 6:07PM

    So sad when you lose a pet. I lost my ANTHONY 13 yrs ago & thought I'd NEVER stop crying. I STILL get choked up sometimes when I talk about him. Your SWEETIE had a precious face. She is probably having a good time with my Anthony, playing with toys & "watching TV" (looking out a window) LOL emoticon

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CBLENS 6/23/2013 6:56AM

    So sorry to hear about your cat, Sweetie, our pets are really family members and you grieve their loss in the same way.

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BILL60 6/22/2013 6:31PM

    Hang in there!!

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LOUIE-LILY 6/22/2013 1:40PM

    Hi Cathy, Yes - it sounds like you ARE doing a bit better today, I'm so glad! Thank you for coming over to visit my page and for your comments on my photos, as well as condolences for my sweet Smokey-Boy. He is ever with me, as your Sweetie will be ever with you. After reading your comment about Lily's tail looking like Sweetie's, I took a better look at your doll and indeed it is the same tail ;) Lily is part Maine Coon and it looks like your fur baby at least had some of the Coon in her.?? (I loved your comment about the platter just being another box - LOL, so true)

Just a comment on ashes . . . When my first little love died, many years ago - I held on to her ashes for a long time. When I was ready, my best friend took the best roses she could find in her mother's garden. We went up to the highest point we could find in a beautiful, lush green cemetery that we lived near. It was quiet and peaceful. We took Tara's ashes and the roses there and my friend walked in front of me scattering the rose petals while I scattered my beloved fur baby's ashes in back of her. We said a prayer afterwards and although I still missed her terribly for a long time, I was at peace.

When you are ready you will move on also. I have no doubt those last 4 years of Sweetie's life were Heaven on earth for her. I am a conservative Christian woman, but I have no doubt that all our precious fur babies are in Heaven waiting for us . . . they are no longer in any pain, feel no hunger, and feel nothing but peace and joy lounging in the sun and chasing butterflies, (or carrying socks in his mouth as my Smokey-Boy did, but then that's another story).

If you were supposed to know something sooner if she was ill, she would have let you know. I struggled with "hanging on too long." Be at peace - you filled Sweetie's end of life with love and joy and she knew it.

Hugs and Blessings,
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CAROL494 6/22/2013 1:13PM

  Take care! emoticon

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Searching For Forgiveness

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France

My husband jokingly calls me the cat whisperer. It is true; it seems I have an affinity and unique bond with cats. I say it is because I was born in the Year of the Tiger. I understand them because I, too, am a cat.

When we first took Sweetie into our family, it was an adjustment for her. My husband and I disputed over it, but I wanted her to be indoor only from then on. She was used to the freedom of the outdoors, so she didn't like this change. I let her out on our apartment balcony as a compromise, but I wouldn't let her free roam outdoors anymore.

The first time I gave her a bath was quite the experience - for both of us. I've had my other cat, Shadow, since she was a kitten, and while she protests bath time, I can handle her so we both survive. Sweetie was dirty, scruffy looking and most likely never had a bath in her life. I put her in the water, and she howled like it was acid. I did my best to scrub and rinse her, but I had to hurry through it because she was getting angry. The job was done, but not unscathed. She gave me a very nasty scratch in protest. It was shocking to me mostly because of the violence in which she did it. Shadow might sometimes swipe, but it was usually just a warning shot. I got a good lesson that Sweetie, although sweet, had slightly feral attitude when angry. Which really was so infrequent, I can count how many times on one hand. She was honestly so naturally cheerful, we described her meowing more like a singing.

After I dried her off, she howled in misery. She promptly marched to the front door and demanded to be let out. She sat there as though saying, "This place is no fun anymore! Let me out of here!" I laughed and thought it was cute. She was like an undisciplined child. Her previous caretakers couldn't be bothered with her. No one loved her enough to torture her with bath time. I never did it regularly, but that first time was absolutely necessary. She was filthy.

I opened a can of tuna, which seemed to resolve the issue. She decided it was worth sticking around for after all. After her meal, she washed her face and groomed her freshly bathed self. All was forgiven.

When taking her to the vet for her first checkup, she wailed like a catbulance all the way over. The vet poked her with needles, ran tests, and said she was healthy except for intestinal parasites, most likely from her outdoor scavenging. She protested the medicine I gave her, and again sat by the door demanding to be set free. I bribed her back with catnip.

When we took her in, I promised I would love and take care of her. She wouldn't be passed around from person to person like a second hand T-shirt. She had a home and a family to look after her. During the times when she peed on the couch, I'd get angry. It made it tempting to get rid of her...but I could never do it. She'd purr and nuzzle into my hand, and I'd resolve to find a way to make it work. Once I put on my cat whisperer hat and figured out she felt cornered in the bathroom, I put a second litterbox in the living room. Not my favorite place for it out in the open, but it made her feel safe. Problem solved.

When we put Sweetie to sleep, the phrase that I repeated over and over was, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." I asked for her forgiveness as I felt that I had failed her.

I took her to the vet thinking I would get some medicine to make her better, then I never brought her home. It haunts me.

This morning I sat at her blanket by the window, sobbed, and said, "I'm so sorry. Please forgive me."

I imagined her laying there. She would have looked up at me with cheerful eyes and purred like a motor.

And then I realized, there was no need for forgiveness because she loved me. If she was laying there, she'd nuzzle and lick my hand.

I wasn't really asking for her forgiveness. I am asking to forgive myself.

For being the cat whisperer, I failed to read the signs of her declining health. In the past month, she stopped showing up at breakfast and dinner for her meals. I'd put her food in the bowl, and she didn't come running. I'd find her curled up in a ball in the bedroom. I'd pick her up and she'd purr as I dropped her in front of the food. She licked off the gravy and left most of it. That wasn't too unusual for her. She rarely cleaned out the bowl.

I can see now that there was something wrong, but she never complained like she was hurt when I picked her up. I thought maybe she liked the attention. I joked with my husband and said she was becoming a diva.

And I was utterly, totally wrong.

My husband consoles me and says it wasn't my fault. I didn't know something was wrong, and purposely did nothing.

I took her to the vet thinking she had a little tummy upset, and was blindsided that she was terminally ill.

If I had known something was wrong earlier, it would not have changed the outcome, but I would have had warning. I would have pampered her with attention and tried to make her final days more comfortable. But perhaps it would have been more stressful, too. I'd probably come home every day scared that she passed away without me.

The suddenness is traumatizing. I kept apologizing to her because I wanted to take her home, and I couldn't. And one of the saddest things for me is I couldn't even ease her comfortably as she passed on. I've had family and friends die of cancer, and it is always terrible to see. The injections to stop Sweetie's heart simply accelerated it so her suffering wasn't prolonged. This time, I couldn't make up to her with tuna or catnip.

But as I sat at her blanket, I knew she held no grudges.

Everywhere I walk in the house, I see her. I don't literally see her, of course, but I see the memory of her. I came home from class today, and I saw her sleeping on my side of bed where she usually was in the afternoon. Her ears perked up as she saw me come through the door. As I walked by her, I said, "I love you."

I know it's not my fault, but I am still in denial about whether I could have saved her. It's going to take some time for this crushing sadness in my heart to heal and for me to feel some catharsis.

Thank you, everyone, who has sent me kind words and goodies. I will respond to your messages soon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKIRNIR 6/23/2013 1:43PM

    Our vet told us that cats rarely if ever show that they are in pain. Dogs do, cats just don't. Please, don't blame yourself. We had a cat with a majorly obstructed bowel and we had no idea, because he didn't tell us. That is the way of cats. And yes, you are right, your cat would not have blamed you in the least. I do love cats and I miss ours, who was put down about 8 months ago. Someday I think we will adopt another cat, but I don't think we are ready yet.

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BEECHNUT13 6/23/2013 1:26PM

    I know the feeling of guilt, and feeling sorry... but Sweetie had a fantastic life with you, and you didn't drag out her sickness. I think she would thank you for letting her go.


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THINRONNA 6/22/2013 2:09PM

    I am just seeing this and I am so sorry for your loss. I truly know how you feel and how devastating this is because I experienced almost the exact same thing with my beloved dog Jake. When living in the Caribbean he had stopped eating as much and did not seem himself. I thought he was just transitioning to the area or didn't enjoy the type of dog food there. I did not go to the vet right away but once I did they told me he too had a terminal illness and right on that day we had to make the decision to put him to sleep due to the very reasons you write about. Everything you write about is so very familiar to me.

You are not to blame. You loved your sweetie. You can still love yoru Sweetie and all of the memories...you always will. I still love my Jake. He holds a space in may heart forever as your Sweetie will.

Sweetie was as lucky to have had you in her life as you were lucky to have her. emoticon

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ZAHRA35 6/22/2013 7:48AM

    Forgiving yourself is the first step in processing guilt. emoticon

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LOUIE-LILY 6/22/2013 7:11AM

    You were a wonderful mom to your furbaby. Your Sweetie knew there was only love and nothing to forgive.
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GLC2009 6/21/2013 5:35PM

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EMPRESSAMQ 6/21/2013 5:34PM

    Sorry for your loss and sending many hugs. We who love our animal friends can all relate, I think, to your sorrow and conflicted feelings as sooner or later we seem to all reach that place where we can't bring them home again. Know that your path was one you chose out of love and doing what was best for your kitty and no forgiveness is necessary because you did the kindest, most loving thing possible.

Your post made me want to cry. Hugs again. emoticon

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MRS.CARLY 6/21/2013 5:23PM

    Aw I'm so sorry! This story reminds me of my friend. She had a cat named petunia...for 16 years! My friend is a nurse so when her cat's health started declining she was able to inject her with potassium and medicine to keep her going. I think my friend felt guilty because she knew her cat's health was declining (her kidney was failing), and she kept hanging on...my friend just adored this cat and couldn't bear to have her pass on. We had a girl's weekend and I think petunia KNEW that her mom was with friends. The first night we arrived at my friends house, we were nto there an hour, she gave Petunia her shot and it was just too much for her. She yowled and then just her strength gave away. My friend literally pet her and stroked her fur until petunia passed away in her lap. It was SO heartbreaking...so so so SO sad! Animals fill our hearts with such love, they are there for us in ways that we don't even realize. I know that I adore my two dogs and would do anything to keep them around as long as I can. So sorry for littel sweetie and I am glad that you have forgiven yourself!

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/21/2013 3:13PM

    I know it's hard to lose a beloved pet, but your hubby is right. It wasn't your fault. Sweetie had a good life because you and your hubby took her in and cared for her. Pets, like people, can get sick. And many times we don't see the signs because they can be very subtle.

This illness must have been very sudden. If so, there wasn't anything you could do. I've read your various blogs about your kiddies, they've always been pampered. You've never neglected them. They've always had a loving home. That's what really counts. You did make Sweetie's last few weeks comfortable. She was a very pampered kittie.

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EMMACORY 6/21/2013 2:54PM

    So sorry for your loss. Sweetie has blessed to have you for her human friend. emoticon

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Goodbye, My Dear Sweetie

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Warning: This blog will be quite emotional. It is about having to put my beloved cat Sweetie to sleep.

As my husband and I were moving into a new apartment back when we lived in Seattle, we had a surprise visitor. An adorable, fluffy cat came to welcome us to the neighborhood as we moved in our boxes. She followed us into our apartment, used my cat's scratching posts, played with toys as though they were for her, then sat in front of the fireplace like she lived there. We fell in love with her instantly. She didn't have a collar and appeared to be a stray with her scraggly, dirty fur, but we didn't want to assume anything. We gave her a little cat treat, then sent her on her way.

It was a few weeks later, but she returned. I opened the door to take the trash out, and there was this cat again. She walked right though the door like she was coming home. We wanted her, but we didn't know if she belonged to anyone. My husband went to the local pet store and bought a collar with a tag on it that said, "We would like to adopt this cat. If she belongs to you, please call xxx." We put it on her, then sent her on the way.

The following day, my husband received a call from a neighbor a couple of buildings away from us. She said she was looking after the cat because her brother didn't want it, but she would be happy to give it to a new home. Speaking to the woman about the cat's history, it seemed she had been passed from home to home unwanted. We asked what her name was, and the woman hesitated. She said the brother called her, "Creepy."

We renamed her "Sweetie" because she was so genuinely affectionate. She seemed to love everyone.

After she was in our home, we made her an indoor only cat, which she didn't like very much. We started to see some behavioral problems that indicated why it seemed she was passed around between people. The last caretaker just pushed her outside because she didn't know how to handle her. Sweetie was sometimes not so sweet as she clawed viciously if she didn't get her way. She peed on our sofa a few times. She didn't get along with my other cat.

But despite her issues, she was so lovable. She loved to be around us, and followed us from room to room. She literally squealed with delight when a can of tuna was opened. She ran with a spring in her step as we put the food bowl down. It was hilarious the first time we gave her catnip. She rolled on the floor and waved her paws in the air.

She slept on my pillow, sometimes pushing me off. It was annoying.

And in time, with a lot of love and patience, her behavioral problems went away. Her semi-feral nature to claw and draw blood eventually tamed to a typical pampered housepet. She didn't howl to go outside anymore. While my other cat and her never became friends, they did learn to share the humans.

She so, so loved attention. Everytime you pet her, she purred. If you scratched the side of her cheek, she leaned into it. If you picked her up, she curled into your arm. Whenever my husband came home from work, she headed into the kitchen and asked, "What's for dinner?" While we ate dinner, she sat on one of the empty chairs. We called her our "dinner guest." My husband gave her little bits of whatever we ate because he couldn't resist how adorable she was. Sometimes she stomped her foot on the table to get attention like she said, "Ahem! I'm here! I'd like my salmon served rare, please." It's a bad habit having pets at the table, but we couldn't refuse her.

About a month ago, I noticed that Sweetie wasn't eating much of her food. She licked the gravy off the canned food, but she left most of the meat. She's never been a really big eater, but there was a declining interest. I complained to my husband for feeding her so much of our food at dinner, she was no longer interested in her own food. A couple of weeks ago, he gave her a little tuna, which made her squeal with delight, as usual. But then, I noticed that her poo in the litterbox wasn't quite right. So I asked my husband not to give her any more non cat food because it was upsetting her stomach.

She gradually ate less and less. She stopped socializing with us, and spent all her time under the bed. Then a big alarm bell went off when she got violently sick on the floor. I won't go into details, but it wasn't normal. We took her to the vet the next day. The vet took tests, and the only thing she noticed was a low red blood cell count. Could be internal bleeding, and her dark stool indicated it might be, or...it could be cancer. We didn't have a lot of evidence for the latter, so we went with the former. The vet gave us medicine for us to treat her digestive upset as an ulcer. She gave us formula cat food.

We took her home, gave her medicine...then she completely stopped eating. I was so freaked out and desperate for her to eat something, I tried to coax her with tuna. She refused. Something was seriously wrong. She was so thin, she was barely there. When I pet her, all I could feel was her spine and bones. I cried all night.

I took her back to the vet the next morning. She developed a respiratory problem, and struggled to take a breath. We tried giving her an appetite stimulant, and she still refused to eat. We finally took xrays. The results were confusing. She had some fluid build up, like with pneumonia, but there was another strange mass in her lung. Her intestines didn't show up on the xray because they were so inflamed.

The vet tried to administer antibiotics through an IV over two days, but it had no effect. The vet found a strange mass in her leg - most likely a cancerous tumor that went undetected because she was a long hair cat. We never saw it. Her progress deteriorated, and she still wouldn't eat. The most likely scenario was the tumor in her leg metastasized and spread to her lung.

We could take her home, but we were warned she might suffocate to death as her respiratory condition worsened. Her body temperature was cooling. All signs indicated her body was shutting down. The vet said we could take Sweetie to an animal ER for 24 hour monitoring.

My husband and I came to the painful decision pretty quickly that we had to let her go. If there was any chance at all she could recover, we would have done whatever necessary. But all signs indicated she was dying, and nothing was going to save her. We could take her to the ER for force feeding and maybe prolong her life by hours, days or maybe even a week. But she was not going to get better so she could come home. I didn't want her spending her final days in a cold cage with strangers.

We informed the vet of our decision, and she said she didn't think it was a wrong choice. She asked if we wanted to be present. I said yes. It would have been easier for me not to be there, but I didn't want my Sweetie to die without us there, stroking her fur until her last breath, knowing that she was loved.

The vet said it was a very noble and selfless act, but I felt utterly selfish as I cried in anguish as the injections were administered. I wish I had been more brave and said more soothing words of comfort as she passed from this world to the next. I know the instant that she died - she took a breath, then seemed to relax.

Her body was already in the process of dying, and the sedative pushed it over the top. We should have had about 2-5 minutes of her calm before the injection to stop her heart was given, but unfortunately, the sedative was her body's last straw. The doc had to administer the second shot to stop her heart. She assured us that Sweetie wasn't in pain, and she not conscious.

After it was done, I sobbed over her body and stroked her soft fur. The vet cried with us, and gave us a hug. I folded her body into a ball like she was sleeping. I covered her with the blanket, and said my final goodbye. They asked if we wanted her ashes, and I said yes. Next time my husband and I go back to Seattle, I plan to take her home, back to the forest-like area where she used to spend her days before she found us. Where I imagined she used to chase birds and squirrels.

I miss her so much. The house feels so empty knowing that I'll never find her sleeping on my spot on the bed again. I walked into the house today and imagined her little ghost walking towards me, wagging the tip of her bushy tail. I so wish she would sleep on my pillow.

We had no idea she was so sick. I am racked with guilt about it. If I had known she was so sick, I would have given her all the tuna and catnip she wanted. I would have done more to ease her way. But she never complained to let me know she was hurting.

I'm glad that she came into our lives, and I hope we were able to give her a better life than the one she started with. All she needed was someone to love her, and she gave it all back and then some.

I hurt so badly, and the temptation is to push it away and make it go away. But I choose to embrace my pain and heartbreak and wrap it in love. If I didn't love her, it wouldn't hurt so much. I don't know where we came from, or where we go when we die, but for me, the meaning of life is to love and be loved. I can't know that she knew that we were with her at the end because we love her, but I hope she did.

I love and miss you, Sweetie.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAYLE-G-63 6/23/2013 9:26AM

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JULISKA09 6/22/2013 1:10PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. When my pug died a few years ago, I was devastated. I cried all night. It happened suddenly, like with your little angel, so it didn't make it any easier.

Sweetie seems like she was a wonderful cat, and you gave her a wonderful life. Don't ever feel guilty for what you assume you didn't do for her. She would never, ever blame you. Animals have the purest love this side of heaven.


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ROCKLAND2010 6/22/2013 7:59AM

    Pets have a special place in our hearts. Hold on to the good memories.

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STRONG_SARAH 6/22/2013 1:42AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. What a lucky kitty she was though, to have found you and your husband.

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2WHEELER 6/21/2013 1:17PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Sweetie was very lucky to have found such a loving home. You gave her a wonderful life. I still remember the day I lost my cat of 17 years--it happened within 24 hrs--I could hardly believe it happened so quickly. But mostly I remember that she was a unique and beautiful cat who gave us lots of love and lots of fun, and we were lucky to have her in our lives. There is no need to feel guilt; I hope those feelings pass quickly. In time, the memories that you hold in your heart will be good ones.

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DDOORN 6/21/2013 12:20PM

    Our feline family members win our hearts so thoroughly don't they?

We've known that pain every several years as we have always maintained a brood of 3-5 cats (currently 4). Each one that passes is so, SO difficult!

The timing of when to have the vet administer their last rites is so tricky also. I remember one of our cats, Corkie...we waited too long and agonized over the added misery we brought her over her last few days. Our last loss was several weeks ago: Rachmaninoff (Rocky) our long-haired Persian. Still feeling his loss around the house. One of our other cats had bonded well with him and still looks for him and howls in her grief.

Very much with you in your grieving...


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BILL60 6/21/2013 9:52AM

    Very touching indeed. Hang tough!!

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BTVMADS 6/20/2013 8:40PM

    Ohh, reading this got me so choked up. I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you were a wonderful mom to your Sweetie -- she was so lucky to live with someone who loved her so.

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GETSTRONGRRR 6/20/2013 8:37PM

    Sorry to hear...tough thing to do

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BEECHNUT13 6/20/2013 8:12PM

    Oh, that made me cry! I'm so sorry about your Sweetie Kitty. I know it's so hard to lose a pet. emoticon

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434TERESA 6/20/2013 8:02PM

    I have a inside cat that I am scared one day I will find her passed away somewhere in the house. she is about 15 years old. She is not loving lol she don't like people really never has. When she wants a can of food is the only time she likes us. She can longer eat dry so its can only for her. She is still part of the family we just learned to take her for what she is over the years.

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GLC2009 6/20/2013 5:52PM

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NEWKATHYNOW 6/20/2013 3:55PM

    I am so sorry for your loss and I can feel your pain. Over the years you and Sweetie gave each other a lot of love and that far out weighs any other thing you could have. Take some comfort that you were able to relieve her final pain which is also an act of true selfless love.

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    I just cried my eyes out for you. I bet she is up where she belongs loving squirrels and tuna. You were the best thing that happened to her, and she went out loving you! emoticon

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BRANDIW7 6/20/2013 3:26PM

    I'm so sorry!

Please don't feel guilty about not knowing that Sweetie was sick. So often cats hide their illnesses until they are so sick that they can't hide it. emoticon

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WOUBBIE 6/20/2013 3:12PM


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FITGIRL15 6/20/2013 3:01PM

    This blog made me cry... emoticon I'm touched by your love for Sweetie!!! She was sooo lucky to have stumbled upon such loving owners!!!

She will be missed, but forever loved!!! emoticon emoticon

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LOUIE-LILY 6/20/2013 2:46PM

    First, I will offer my deepest condolences. I know the pain of losing, and indeed of having to make the terrible decision of putting a wonderful beloved pet to sleep to put them out of their pain. Make no mistake about it, you did what you absolutely had to do for your Sweetie. What a wonderful life you gave her. And she knew it and loved you back for it. I know it's hard, I've hung on to guilt every single time . . . Did I do it too soon . . . Should I have let him/her go sooner . . . Were they suffering and I just didn't see it . . . on and on it goes.

You could have given her all the tuna in the world and it would not have made any difference. Just yesterday I wrote to a friend that it's only recently I've been able to think about all the joy and wonders of my beloved Smokey-Boy without thinking about the illness. I pushed it all out of my mind for a couple of years because I couldn't bear to think of the pain and misery at the end. But they bring such love and joy, don't they? I saw my first cat, Tara, around every corner in the house for months after she was gone. For such small creatures they have such a big presence in our homes but most of all, in our hearts.

I hope you can let go of your grief soon and remember all the wonderful things about your Sweetie - soon. She would have wanted you to smile when you think of her.

If you would like to visit my SparkPage, please feel free to do so. If you would like to write me that is also ok and I will be happy to "talk" to you. I know how hard this time is -
and I am so, so very sorry for your pain and your loss.

Another Cat Lover -
Nancy emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/20/2013 3:02:18 PM

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MYLADY4 6/20/2013 2:45PM

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Losing a pet is so hard but you gave her the best life. I know what you mean about a stray cat just moving in, we have two that have done that and our oldest cat is probably near the end too (he's 15).

Hang in there.

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/20/2013 2:35PM

    What a beautiful tribute blog. I'm so sorry you had to put your wonderful cat to sleep. She had a good life with you. I'm sure she cherished you and your hubby as much as you loved and cherished her.

I want to give you a hug, but the network is slow.

HUGS !!!

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Comment edited on: 6/20/2013 4:04:00 PM

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MARYJOANNA 6/20/2013 2:32PM

  What a sad story. I know how it feels as we have had to put down several cats we had in our early marriage. They are certainly part of the family and after awhile you will remember the good times you had with her. Eventually you will get over it but it does take time.

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Here We Go Again

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

There's so much wrong with this study, where do I even begin?


I can't read the original study source because I'm not going to pay for it. So I know the secondary article's conclusions are incomplete, but I'll roll with what is presented.

One of the big problems is the conclusion that red meat increases risk of diabetes is based on questionnaires. If it's not a clinical study, then it is not conclusive. Questionnaire studies might give some ideas for clinical trials, but they in themselves cannot assert themselves as conclusive. Survey takers are unreliable with a high margin for error.

Second, they are including hot dogs and bacon in their 'red meat' grouping. Chances are the people eating hot dogs and bacon have a lot more wrong with their food choices as a whole. I'm going to guess french fries, potato chips, and ketchup are as close to vegetables as these people get. But then again, they are answering a questionnaire, so who knows what they are really eating?

Yes, nitrosamines in processed food is bad. SO DON'T EAT THEM. Eat whole chicken, fish, beef, pork or eggs. Hot dogs and luncheon meat are not good protein choices for anybody. It is true that I have seen people claiming to be on Atkins think it is an excuse for all-you-can eat hot dogs and bacon. They are doing it wrong.

However, what are hot dogs and luncheon meat usually accompanied with? A bun or bread slices. Despite people being told to eat whole grains, most people I know still consume white bread because it tastes good. Not that I'm not saying whole grain is necessarily healthier, just saying the dawg isn't usually alone.

Fat + carb drives weight gain, and is the main component of a fast food diet. The beef patties in fast food have been blamed for our health crisis, but it comprises a very small portion of a drive through meal. My obesity was caused by the burger patty with the bun, french fries, and large Coke. It was a nutritionally devoid diet. Singling out the patty when there were all these other components is absurd.

If it was the burger patty's fault, then what if after I ordered it, I just threw the beef out and ate the bun, french fries and Coke? Would that have been healthier?

No, of course not. Crap food is crap.

Every instance I've read of house fires, there have been fire trucks. Therefore, fire trucks cause house fires.

That's the way the conclusions in this study reads.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETSTRONGRRR 6/19/2013 9:15PM

    I'm with you....correlation does not equal causation....the problem with these studies that correlate variables is that you can manipulate it to say all sorts of weird things.

And don't get me going on the "increases risk by 50%" statement. If one guy out of a 100 develops diabetes normally after 4 years, and 2 guys out of a 100 develop it in this study after 4 years, then the "risk of developing diabetes increases by 100%"!

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REDSHOES2011 6/19/2013 3:20PM

    I started reading it, your more patient than I was getting through it lol.. Sausages are fatty, but if one looks around they can be found in lean additions.. The organisation I used doesn't remove them because they are traditional food- lifestyle change means perhaps using a lower amount to a lunch time meal vs.. removing it totally.. Turkey bacon is also much leaner than pork.. One can drive articles in the direction the writer wants- we have to decide to be radical or not.. I like a sausage now and again- just work a little harder to burn it off..

Red emoticon

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What We Can Learn From Superman

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Some time ago I wrote about celebrity diets. With exercise and specialized diets from professional trainers, actors and actress can change their shape from super slim to super buff.

The newest actor to undergo this transformation is Henry Cavill as the "Man of Steel". Here's a snippet of how he trained to be invincible (or at least look that way):


Basically, lifting weights and eating all day.

Since it is his job to be perfectly sculpted, he gets the benefit of time and training to work on his body. He has someone to tell him 'lift this' and 'eat that.' Most of us don't have that kind of specialized help, but there is something we can learn from this.

"Eat less, move more" seems to make intuitive sense, but it is not quite right.

If you look at how actors drastically change their body shape, "eat less, move more" is rarely one of them. (Except in case of "Black Swan" where Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis ate almost nothing by their accounts). Christian Bale and Henry Cavill lifted more, and ate more for their roles in "Batman" and "Man of Steel" respectively. A lot more.

If the linked article is to be believed, then Cavill worked out 1-2 hours per day with heavy kettlebell lifts. He ate between 3,500-5,000 calories per day.

Think this is just for men? If you watch the National Guard promo video about halfway down the page, you'll see the actress who plays Ursa is doing the EXACT same workout as Cavill. She cannot lift the same amount of weight as Cavill, obviously, but she is doing the same TYPE of exercises. Men lift weights and girls jog is sooooo outdated 1980s thinking.

We are all familiar with someone who spends hours upon hours on a treadmill. They diligently adhere to a 1,200 calorie diet. You see them week after week, and their body doesn't seem to change much despite all that hard work.

Yeah, that was me. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Henry Cavill trained for 1-2 hours of lifting, and ate 3,500-5,000 calories per day. He looks like an Adonis.

Again, Antje Traue (Ursa) trained the same way as Cavill. Not exactly a bikini shot, but the armor is pretty darn form fitting.

If that's what it takes to look like a gilded god or goddess, what does running on a treadmill for hours and skimping on meals do?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 6/23/2013 1:54PM

    Nice blog! You always give me something to think about!

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BTVMADS 6/20/2013 8:58PM

    Whenever I read about athletes or celebrities who eat 4000+ calories in a day, all I can think is, "HOW? How do you consume that much food??" Dean Karnazes claims that when he runs daily marathons/ trains for ultras, he eats between 5 and 7 THOUSAND calories a day... He's Paleo now, but used to eat entire pizzas while running Ultras. When I run more than 10 miles, the mere thought of food makes me nauseated -- there's a reason I sucked down gels during long runs instead of trying to eat solids, lol. Granted, the celebrities you're writing about aren't eating huge quantities of food in the middle of a workout, but they're still having to find time (and space in their stomachs!) to shovel it all down. I'd love to see what they're eating, because I just can't imagine that much food outside of Thanksgiving.

As an aside: 3 hours of muscle-shredding workouts and super calorie-dense foods? These folks must sleep like logs.

I know, these aren't very intelligent comments, but it's what I think of whenever I read this stuff!

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CBLENS 6/20/2013 6:44AM

    At the gym I have noticed the "beefy" ones; both guys & gals are the ones who concentrate on strength more so than cardio. emoticon

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VHALKYRIE 6/19/2013 3:29PM

    Thanks for your viewpoint, SOUTHGOINGZAX! That reminds me about an article I read concerning very high intensity cardio INCREASING risk of all cause mortality. I forgot about it, but you just reminded me about it. I'll write about it soon.

Comment edited on: 6/19/2013 3:31:54 PM

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SOUTHGOINGZAX 6/19/2013 3:22PM

    I love the logic...but this is something I honestly feel kind of conflicted about - what about all the studies that show a high-protein diet is linked to many common forms of cancer? And that people who eat high-protein diets have a shorter life-expectancy and are at greater risk for things like diabetes and alzheimer's? Additional studies have shown that slowing down the rate at which your cells rebuild reduces the risk of genetic mutations that lead to cancer - higher metabolisms, and higher-protein diets speed up the cellular regeneration rate, thus increasing your risk....

I'm not trying to be a downer, at all - I am a super-fan of looking buff and working out as hard as possible - I'm honestly not sure what the best course of action is in order to stay healthy in the long term - or even, if there is one answer that fits everyone. It seems like the information is conflicting - you either do low impact and/or long-duration cardio exercise and eat a calorie-restrictive, low protein, plant-based diet to live a long time and reduce your risk of cancer, or you do high intensity workouts, eat lots of protein, gain muscle, and look AWESOME, but shorten your life-span by doing so.

What is the difference between "healthy" defined as looking awesome (translation: guilded god-like due to high-intensity workouts that build muscle, increase metabolism, and burn off fat), and "healthy" as defined as being a a low risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, etc?

Is it really a quality vs. quantity dilemma?

Right now, I am choosing quality. I love my high-intensity workouts and the muscles I have because of them. But will I still think that was the right choice 20 years from now?

Anyway, just my rambling thoughts. I appreciate the blog! (and the pictures of Cavill ;)

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NAYPOOIE 6/19/2013 12:12PM

    Good thought. Only problem is, I don't want to eat more.

Of course, I'm not exercising at the moment. Maybe appetite would step up if I started pumping some iron.

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BILL60 6/19/2013 10:10AM

    Keep on dreaming, GETSTRONGRRR.

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GETSTRONGRRR 6/18/2013 9:41PM

    I'm with you....and Henry Cavill (people confuse us all the time....I tell them, "I'm bald, Henry has the full head of hair!")

I ran....a lot....for years...lot's of marathons.....tons of halfs and 5Ks.

My body didn't change too much....some, but not a lot. I also ate a lot....of carbs

3 years ago, I stopped running and started lifting. Cardio became shorter, but more intense (mostly biking). I lost 4 inches in the waist and about 20 lbs.....oh, and I cut out a lot of carbs....and added a lot of protein.

Oh, I guess the only other difference between Henry and I is that I'm clean shaven and he sports a beard
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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