Friday, June 29, 2012

Didn't think it could get worse....

But it did.
Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about Ellie. And how I lost her. And it wasn't fair. And now it's EXTRA not fair. I haven't even healed from Ellie and my heart is breaking all over again.
Last night, I couldn't find Christopher.

When I finally found him he was under the bed. His left leg was limp and he was breathing very heavily. I immediately took him to the Emergency Vet. They said he had saddle thrombosis...blood clots in both his legs that cut off the blood circulation to his legs. And this was due, most likely, to congestive heart failure, which can be virtually undetectable and can strike in an instant. And it did with Christopher. The vet said that he wouldn't regain use of his leg and there was nothing we could do for his heart...and that it would start to get very hard for him to breathe and the clots would start to cause some pain. (Sometimes, reading facts make me feel better, so I've included this)

And with that...I lost my second baby. We had to put him to rest so that he didn't suffer. And again, I held him while he took his last breath in my arms and told him how very loved he was. He was, for all purposes, the most mellow and LOVING cat you would have ever met. Give him a belly rub and he would be yours forever. He couldn't meow. He had a pitiful little squeak...almost like a soft honk that made me giggle every time he did it.
I told him how I loved all his snuggles and the time I spent every morning and every night with him, and the way he wrapped his paws around me in a never ending hug.

For both my kitties, 12 years and 13 years seem like such a long time....and yet, it IS NOT. It is a short, short time. I am not prepared for any of this.
I didn't think my heart could break into smaller pieces, but when it's already shattered, apparantly that's possible. Yes, my animals were so loved. And yes, they had a grand life. And yes, I have another kitty at home that I need to give all my love to. And yes, their lives were so much better with me in it. But, so was mine. Part of my life WAS them. And now that's gone. And now I have to sit here and wait for the pain to lessen again. With a larger piece of my life and my heart missing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Five Things

For those of you actually reading my blog, sorry about your luck. It's been chock full of nothing pleasant lately. I would be full of lies if I told you from here on out it was going to be rainbows and unicorns. (Except, how awesome would it be if I actually DID have a unicorn? You'd never believe me and then I'd show up at your house with my unicorn and yell at you to never doubt me again.)

Anyways. I wouldn't say I've overcome my sadness just yet. In fact, I might even say I've got a lot of anger boiling up right in this general vicinity right now.

Instead of talking about that though I'm making the choice to do something that is a little bit healthier for my mental state and talk about three things I am lucky for or am happy about. (Yeah so here's the thing about that title right up top. I thought maybe I should do five things, but I could really only come up with three. I mean, with all the things going on, you should really just give me a break.)

1) I was just offered a promotion at work. I will now have direct reports and it comes with a teeny bit of a raise. In the grand scheme of things, I've now gotten my second promotion within a year. Which means I'm pretty damn good at my job and I'm pretty damn awesome.

2) I have the most amazing friends. Friends who love me no matter what. Friends who don't judge me. I have two ladies in my life who let me be me whether it's good, bad or ugly.
True friends are the people who are there for you unconditionally. They are the people who never question you and support you no matter what the circumstances are. They are the people worth living for.

3) I have my health. In addition to my health, I'm getting healthier. I am blessed to be a part of Team Challenge where I am training for my second half marathon and I'm helping others by fundraising to find a cure. Donate Here
This is not only going to lead me to complete my second half marathon which is KIND of a big deal, but allow me to take my second trip to Napa with an amazing group of people and enjoy life.

Luckily, I have some really awesome people in my life to help me when I feel like everything has been turned upside down. So, in the end...I'll get through this. I always do.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Does it get easier?

Sort of.

On Monday, I wasn't sure I was going to live. Those of you without pets may never understand that statement. And that's ok with me.
On Tuesday, I was pretty sure I was going to live, but I wasn't sure how. And I cried a lot with people at work who understood.
On Wednesday, I fluctuated back and forth between being devistatingly sad and knowing I did the right thing. *(I need to come back to this).
On Thursday, I was doing pretty good. I miss her with every bit of me, but I knew she was better off.
Today, my tears have pretty much dried up. But I have kind of a hole inside. I'm a little numb. I'm kind of at the point where I'm not necessarily realizing this is real just yet. Or maybe I'm avoiding realizing this is real.

*On Wednesday, I got to spend some time with my friend Sue. Who helped me probably more than she realizes. She pointed out what a control freak I am. Which doesn't seem all that helpful on the surface, but let me explain.

I was having a really hard time with the guilt. While I know Ellie was really sick, I kept having these feelings of wishing there was something I could have done to keep her here with me and hoping Ellie wasn't somewhere wondering why I didn't. Which is illogical...because had the vet told me that there were some kind of possibility to save her, even if I had to go into debt for it, I would have done it.

Sue reminded me that this was all bigger than me. I want the control over the situation, but the reality of it is, I never had control in the first place.
And the other reality of it is, this happened exactly the way it needed to happen FOR ME.

I knew something wasn't right at the end of April. And I had a good month and a half to "prepare" myself. I knew inside that things weren't getting better. And even though I may not have realized it at the time, subconsciously I WAS preparing myself for it.

In addition, I had the opportunity to spend that time with her to love her and say good bye on Monday. God gave me that because He knew that had it happened the other way, where He just took her while I was at work, and I didn't have that time to say what I needed to say, it would have been more than I could bear.

So, long story short?
In the end, God was taking care of me. And He was taking care of Ellie. And I couldn't be more grateful for that OR for the people in my life who have continued to take care of me when I needed it the most this week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When the pain needs somewhere to go...

...I usually turn to writing. That's why my posts are so few and far between. I always say I'm going to keep up with this blog. And yet, when the good times roll, the blog dwindles.

Keeping right in tune with that, I have had a gut wrenching 24 hours. It appears the tears have dried up for now. Yesterday I had to put my beloved cat Ellie down.

She has been with me since the end of my freshman year of college. She's been there through the ups and downs and the tears and excitement. She's been a constant through many years of uncertainty.
One day, at the end of April, I had been gone for a week and came home to a different cat. She was thin. Over the past month there had been a quick decline. She stopped eating. She started staying under my bed, only coming out occasionally. The vet did a complete workup and all of her blood work and xrays came back normal. And then she started vomiting blood clots. It was rare at first and then over the past week it became horrifyingly regular. Yesterday, it happened again and I could see how very weak she had become. She needed to rest walking 5 feet to the water dish. I called the vet and said that something wasn't right...he said they would do more tests but the outcome was most likely not going to be good. I knew then that it was time.

They speculated that it was a hemorrhage due to some kind of GI cancer. He said that there just wasn't a treatment. There was nothing they could do for her any longer. I could tell she was tired. She was exhausted and I could see it in her face. And her life was no longer enjoyable. In fact, I hadn't heard her purr in the longest time.

I got to spend time with her before they sedated her. We snuggled. I told her how very special and loved she was. I told her I knew she was tired. She purred the whole time she was in my arms. And I think she was saying thank you. I choose to believe she was telling me it was ok. She fell asleep on my chest and wrapped in my arms, held tight by my love.

I am heart broken. I am sick with grief. I know in my head that she needed this. That it was only going to get worse from here and the chance for her to be in pain was too high. I could not put her through that. I know in my head that she went peacefully and surrounded by the person that loved her the most. And that it was the best way for her to go. But my heart just doesn't understand. My heart has lost it's companion. My heart is shattered.

I know with time the pain will lessen. But I will always crave the way her fur felt and the sound of her purr. I will always crave the pitiful little meow she gave when she knew there was tuna in her future, like she hadn't eaten for  years. I will always crave the way she slapped the other cats around like it was offensive for them to be in her vicinity. She was MY cat. She didn't much care for anyone but me. We are loners, my Ellie and I. And I think she and I preferred it that way.