An honest look at my grief over losing my cat.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
I didn't really feel like posting most of the day. I thought maybe it would help if I wrote some stuff down. I posted it earlier in my personal journal. I know you guys have been worried about me, so I thought maybe I should copy/paste it here. There is only a brief mention of ANYTHING fitness related, so while it's not nessesarily Spark material, you guys have become a second family to me.
His fur is still everywhere, and I want it all gone, but I don't want to do anything about it :( Instead, I'm moping around the house debating whether or not to put a bra on, and listening to the most depressing music I own.
Honestly? I've lost pets before, and none of their deaths have hit me as hard as this. It was sad, yes, and I'd miss them for a while. Hell, I still miss Tika (our childhood english springer spaniel.. smartest dog I've ever known). But...I don't imagine I'll see them walk around the corner at any moment. Senpu was very special, and knowing he is gone has been so hard.
Yesterday, he went very peacefully at the vet's office. It was horrible to watch. I knew I wanted to be there, because it was the kind of thing I'd regret if I didn't. I didn't like watching him go, though. Even though it was fast and quiet, I start crying every time I think about those long seconds when the needle went in. She was so slow and gentle and careful about it. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my vet. The worst part was watching the drugs kick in, though. I am not sure what is in the syringe, but I'm pretty sure there's a really strong paralytic in there. When he relaxed, his tounge rolled out and his eyes just glazed over. Shortly after, I heard one exhale, and that was it. I knew he was gone before she even finished the injection. After she finished, she grabbed the stethescope to check on him, but he was already gone. I knew it the moment I heard that long, soft breath. They let us pet him one last time before they took him, and that was it.
Then again, sometimes I think maybe the brain continues to live for a few minutes after everything else as stopped, screaming inside while it's body dies all around it.. a last, few gasping electrical transmissions before oblivion. And that thought is upsetting. I try not to think about it. I especially try not to think about that with the memory of Senpu's eyes, wide and vacant. I don't know why I even have thoughts like this, honestly.
I thanked the vet for eveyrthing she'd done for him, and for gently ending his pain. I think everyone in the practice was a little choked up. I'm not sure, but it seems like they didn't schedule any appointments at all immediately before us, because when we went in the entire practice was strangely quiet, and no other pet owners were around. The techs that saw him often were all a little red-eyed, and it was all around just sad. We were not charged for the service, and the receptionist said it was because everyone knew we had done everything we could for him. I am thankful for the little things.
The rest of the day was rough. I couldn't stay in the house. When we got home, Matt and I just held each other for a while, but I did not take off my coat. I packed a bunch of stuff in the car and just got OUT. I really couldn't keep myself together, though. I was crying the entire time I was in the car. Not wracking sobs, but it just wouldn't stop. I tried so hard not to think of his little pink tounge coming out of his mouth, or how he cried when I put him in the carrier before we left. He didn't cry in the car, though. Matt and I both thought it was really strange. He always cried in the car.
I donated Senpu's medication and a bunch of pedialyte back to the Vet's office. She said the medication could go to families that could't afford their own. It wasn't much, so it may only help one person, but they said they can always use the pedialyte.
I packed up all his leftover canned food and took it down to Fuzzy Freinds, the shelter where we found him. I felt a little better knowing that it would do other cats some good in the same place that saved Senpu. When we adopted him, we found out that his litter was found in a box under a bridge without the mother. He was the only one left, and we weren't even planning on getting a cat until they took him out of the cage and he crawled all over Matt.
I didn't think anyone was going to talk to me at the shelter. I spent a long time moving all the food from my reusable shopping tote to the donation bin. I was internally getting a little angry, because I felt like everyone needed to know how great Senpu was and why they were getting the food. Ultimately, I had to track someone down anyway because I wasn't sure if they wanted the open Hills Science k/d kidney food. Nugget loves that stuff, but I'd rather give it to a cat that actually has kidney problems, you know? -..-
Well, I should have just left, because as soon as I opened my mouth to ask about the dry food, I just started bawling. I really should have waited to bring the food down there, but I couldn't stay in the house. I needed to just not be there for a while.
I stayed and played with the cats. A crazy cat lady gave me a big hug. I know I am not ready for another cat yet. I have Nugget. Maybe one day, I will find her a freind, but not now. None of those cats were Senpu. The employee thought I might feel better if she showed me a few cats that looked a little like Senpu, but they didn't, really. The eye color was wrong, or the size was wrong.. and none of them had that same spark of intelligence behind the eyes. I didn't want to look at cats with markings like his.
I did see a cat that looked remarkably like Derreck, though. He seemed to want to come home with me too, but I just pet him and left. They understood me there, but I still had to go to the pet store and buy more urine remover.
You see, Senpu had a UTI on top of everything else, and he peed all over our bed when we brought him home on Monday. To combat this, I put down the bathroom rugs in the guest bath. He will always pee on a rug in that bathroom no matter what. Even if he is feeling well. So.. down went the rugs. It kept our bed from getting peed on, but he took at least two dozen trips to those rugs before he went to the vet for the final time yesterday. I was out of solution to dissolve the enzymes, so I had to go to the pet store yesterday.
In the cat adoption center there, I looked at cats. Not to take home.. but somehow I thought petting them might make me feel a little better. All the cats were black, except for one 5yr old grey one in the corner. A black one with white spots was very affectionate. His name was Steve. Seriously? Who the hell names a cat Steve?
After that, I picked up some stuff at the grocery store. I felt like I was going through the place in a haze. I'd try to smile at strangers so they wouldn't give me strange looks, but I didn't really feel like I was all that aware of what was going on. I was just trying to get enough stuff for dinner for the next day or two and keep myself together until I got home.
When I came back, Matt and I held each other some more and I told him about everything I'd done. We'd both been crying.
Ray came home from a meeting shortly afterwards. I was thankful for that, because I didn't really feel like cooking. I still don't. It's almost lunch time, and I haven't had anything but an apple today. I only ate the apple because I thought maybe I should eat SOMETHING when I went to the kitchen to get water. I can feel my stomach growling a little bit, but I just don't care.
I've been crying most of the morning, too. I hate it. I feel restless, but I don't really want to do anything, either. Nugget doesn't seem to notice that Senpu is even gone. I woke up this morning at 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep, so I just cried until Matt woke up. We both messed with Nugget, and he went on to work for the day. Now I'm alone. Nugget is napping on a different bathmat, because she is a moron. (Matt's mom brought a new one with her last time she visited. I had it put away until this morning. It's plush and soft. Nugget thinks it's her mom, and lays on it while sucking on the plush bits. That cat is dumb as hell)
Sure, Senpu was just a cat, but to me he was a very special cat. I love Nugget, don't get me wrong. But she's not that special. Maybe special ed. Senpu was a singular feline. I'm going to miss him terribly. Every time I see Nugget walk into the corner of my vision, I do a double take, because it's not the cat I was expecting. I know he's gone, but it's hard to go from room to room and see the places he'd usually lay and not see him there. It's really hard thinking about all the small things we'd do to accomodate him. I am not going to miss his daily medication or special food mixes or any of his illness related stuff. But...
It hurt when I realized I could put the bathrugs down after washing them without having to worry that they'd get peed on. (Nugget just sniffed them on Tues, then used the box anyway. She is a good cat sometimes.)
I was picking up cat toys and saw the little plastic card box on the floor in the living room and damned near lost it. When he was a kitten, Senpu loved to chew on cords. To keep him from gnawing on the speaker/fan cords that plugged into the floor, Matt took a hard, clear plastic card box and cut a hole in the side. That way, the plugs could feed through and we wouldn't worry about them getting ruined, or Senpu getting electrocuted. I suppose I can take that off of there and throw it away now.
His fur is still everywhere.. on the black chair where he used to sleep, the curtains he used to walk behing, etc. I am still finding little fur tumbleweeds in the corners, too.
I really want to deep clean the house right now and get rid of every bit of it. I want to vaccum it all up and not have to look at it or think about how I'll be picking his fur out of things for the next two decades. I want it all to be gone, but I just don't feel that motivated to do anything right now.
I kind of wish I still had a workout partner. I need to workout today. My rational brain tells me I should work out, because the endorphins will help me feel better. Also, I ate a lot of candy yesterday. Instead, I've just been moping around in my PJs, drinking water and crying a lot. I hate this. There's nothing I would have done differently with him. It is what it is, and I'm ok with that. I just want to stop crying at the drop of a hat and missing him so damned much. I want to get on with things, get the house cleaned up, and go back to everyday life. But... for the last 12 1/2 years, Senpu WAS everyday life. He was there when Matt worked nights and I was all alone in a house that made strange noises. He's been there, licking up my tears every time I was upset about something. Now, all I have is a Nugget that meows at me and wants food. I miss my buddy. I knew all his little quirks and idiosyncracies. I knew what would upset him, and what not to do if I wanted him to stay and cuddle.
Heck.. he's always loved eating things cats shouldn't. Yesterday when I had lunch, I gave him a big glob of cream cheese with chives. Cats aren't supposed to get onions. Onions and garlic can cause kidney failure. But I knew putting any food in that cat was a useless gesture since we would just be losing him later in the day. I just wanted to try to make him happy and see him get excited about something.. instead of hiding in the corner and feeling awful because of his health problems.
I'm sorry, but I can't be buggered to LJ cut this. I'm done typing for now.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
As someone that has spent 16 years on the veterinary professional's side of the table (plus having to make that decision for 5 pets of my own), I can tell euthanasia is never easy. We are truly blessed to be able to assist our friends at that time when they need it most. I assure you the vet and staff were affected by it, it is always hard to say good-bye to a beloved patient.
Many hugs to you. I am so sorry for your loss!
I'm sure you have seen this before....The Rainbow Bridge:
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together
1701 days ago
Grieve. Don't become consumed by it...but let it out...because that is the first step to recovery. It's hard because they were everywhere in your home and lap and face and under foot. I still can hear my favorite kitty's annoying & very loud meow in my head, super smart & protective of me & she's been gone for 2 years. She would sit on my pregnant belly & hiss at anyone who pissed me off(aka my mother), i had to put her down at the start of my last pregnancy(but I'm sure she knew before I did, because she starting the hissing thing before I found out)......Senpu will be there with you in spirit. I believe there is an afterlife for animals, I believe this because they have the ability to love and be loved.
Thinking of you....
1702 days ago
It's never easy. I've had 4 kitties that I have lost in the last 12 years. I've only had to make that choice for one.
My Alex, I still look for him. He was a mess. He insisted on being an indoor/outdoor cat and would Houdini himself outside if I didn't let him out. Then he'd sit outside and meow his head off, because he couldn't get back in the way he'd gotten out. So I told him if I let him roam, that he'd always had to come home.
It's been over 5 years now and I still look for him when I pull in. He knew my car and would come running, meowing "Hello" every evening. I swear I hear that meow sometimes. He was hit by a car and killed, but he still came home. (A stranger brought him home)
I love all my furries, but he was my favorite. You never forget them. You never stop loving them and missing them. Some of the pawprints that are left on your heart are just a little deeper than others.
Grieve, cry, yell, scream. I've done them all.
1702 days ago
My condolences. I'm sorry for your losse. :(
As much as it sucks, what you're doing right now is good and healthy. Don't push yourself to workout or eat well if you don't have it in you (you can always get back on track anytime; it's more important to do what you need to do in this time). This time of pj's and moping (and even candy) are all part of the process, and even though you already have some healthy perspectives on this whole situation, you need to grieve nonetheless. That's okay. Don't even think about feeling guilty about it.
It's hard now, but it will get - better? Easier? Those aren't the exact words I'm looking for. It will improve in a way, I suppose. It sounds like you're no stranger to this kind of loss. Every phase, era, life, etc has a beginning and an end, and it's good to appreciate what was instead of wishing about what isn't.
I think you're doing this well for yourself, even though no amount of rational thinking and healthy mindsets will get you off the hook for all the terrible feelings you have to feel, whether you like it or not. I'm so sorry for that.
Like a proper second family, we are all here for you if you need it. Seriously.
1702 days ago
Sweetie, you need to take your time and grieve. We all understand that. Exercise WILL help, but do it for your emotional health, and not because you feel you have to. Try not to eat too much of the brother's candy and you'll be fine. *super duper ridic crazy hug*
1702 days ago
I'm so sorry for your loss. I know nothing I can say or do will really help at this point. But just know I've been there and I'm sure many others have too. I have had to help 3 cats through their final moments and one was to me what Senpu was to you. If I was sick or depressed, Betsy would stay by my side. She would lay beside me and put her head on my wrist. For the three days I stayed in a recliner due to wisdom teeth surgery, she stayed in my lap and would only move to use the litterbox and to eat. And she was never was before or after considered a "lap cat". She developed cancer at 3 and I had about 6 months with her before I finally had to let her go. She was the first one and by far, the hardest. I stayed in the room because I wanted to say goodbye and I felt I owed it to my kitties, but it is a hard thing to watch and those images do stay in your mind at first. But I promise they do fade. Anytime one of those moments pops into your head, try to pull up a favorite memory of Senpu instead.
You are grieving not only for Senpu's presence, but the kitty you used to have too. Based on what you've said, I have no doubt that you made the right decision and that Senpu would thank you if he could and that he understood.
Take the time to cry. You are going to feel restless and down. That's OK and it's understandable. If you shove it all in, it's just going to come back in the future more painful than it is now. Do try to do some working out or go run some (non-pet related) errands if you need some distractions, but don't do anything because you feel obligated to. You are not going to put the effort into your workout you had before if you force yourself into it.
I've been through the cat fur, the toys, the seeing a cat out of the corner of my eye, but it's not the right cat. And each time that happened the first few days and week, I cried. But as the weeks went on, the crying became less and less. It will get better and you will heal. Just give yourself the time and permission to feel sad and grieve.
1702 days ago
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