Monday, August 6, 2012

Goodbye to Our Little Gray Lion :(

Mom's cat, Peachy ....is a beautiful solid grey cat. Well except for his little white goatee that has been expanding under his chin in recent years.

(I very much wanted to put up a Peachy picture, but the computer is in it's working hard mode ...for hours now ...and will not let me bring up any private pictures from a folder.)

Peachy is being put to sleep now. :(

Mr SeaSpray and son are there with him. I just could not this time. I've been crying intermittently since last night. It reopens Mom's dying all over again because he was her loving companion for 18 years. He is 21 ...going on 22 now.

Why does it always seem like pets look and act better just before they have to have this done???? Causes me to second guess.

But he has been vomiting more than the norm this week and yesterday I was continually cleaning out the cat box and observed blood swirled in his stool. Even though he keeps eating small meals throughout the day and night he has gotten thinner over the weekend. He moves exceptionally slow. Although at 21 ...he must have arthritis. But, he even seems to just lie down after only taking a few steps. Although this morning he was up on the window sill.

He has always been prone to vomiting since we had him and he has this weird ...although convenient trait. He cat yodels. It reminds me of yodeling ...with a big cat voice. So ...we hear him cat yodeling from anywhere in the house and that for over 3 years has been our cue to run and get a paper or something in front of him ...thus avoiding that cleanup. But, now even though he's been getting sick ...he no longer yodels before anymore. He also doesn't purr when held or scratched. I think he must be too weak or in pain.

I know it is more humane to let them go to sleep ...but it still hurts like heck and because he was mom's "baby", as she called him ...it hurts even more. I feel like I am betraying her. :(

But, we've given him a loving home for 3 years, 9 months and six days. We brought him home after we locked up Mom's apartment for the last time at 1 am ... on December 1st, 2008.

It is just so HARD to call the shots to say when an animal should die ...even though my head knows better ...mostly anyway ...my heart wrestles with that decision. I can't even fathom how some people can intentionally hurt animals or drop them off in the middle of nowhere ...discarding them like trash.

So ...before they brought him to the vet, I took him aside and even though he doesn't hear well, I thanked him for being such a good companion for mom and for being the sweet cat he is. And you guys will think I'm nuts ...ha! Like you don't already. ;), but I even played one of Mom's messages for him from when she sounded healthy and vibrant and said he would be seeing her soon. I don't know if pets are in heaven and people debate that, but I did pray that he would go to Mom's loving arms.

And of course I don't know what he heard or understood out of anything I said and realize that was probably more for me to say goodbye than his understanding ...although ...what if? ... what if our pets do understand more than we give them credit for?

He has always had such a loud cat voice ...so much so ...that when he took to howling around the house sometimes, people talking with me on the phone thought it was a baby or young child. No wonder my mom thought she heard a cat howling in the nursing home. That howl was probably deeply embedded into her mind. They lived together for 18 years. I've always felt like he was calling for her. Her neighbors in the building said he did that every night after she wasn't living there anymore.

I was very concerned about bringing him into our home because we had Bob, our German Shepherd at the time and he did not tolerate other animals at all. Except for our cat and even that was a love-hate relationship. Well ...Peachy ...the little gray LION-in-spirit ...would have none of that nonsense and immediately put Bob in his place before he even got out of the cat crate. Bob was afraid of PEACHY! Even if he wanted to go in another room ...he would wait until Peachy moved out of his path. And the same with our dog we have now, Faith. She'd cry and howl to get past him and Peachy stared her down ...almost as if he was saying ..."You want a piece of me ..c'mon." Even last night ...he defiantly blocked her while she pleaded to come into the bedroom where I have been spackling, etc.It seemed he chose to stand or sit there longer ...just to make his point about who ruled the roost in our house. He and our other cat, Sneakers got along well though.

Well ...the guys just came back in. The vet said he was dying and if not today ..next week ..two weeks ...his body was shutting down. They both stayed with him while he got the injection. J said he did it for my mother. That was sweet. I know it was hard on both of them. I just would've been sobbing. I was already crying twice on the phone while getting appointment info, etc. And I've been there before. Just didn't have it in me today.

Animals are like family and it really hurts when they suffer and when you have to let them go... and making that decision.

He was always such a sweet, affectionate cat. Very pretty too. I am going to miss his loud, almost haunting howl at night. And his affectionate kitty cuddles. I feel so weird about it all and again ...I know it is because he was Mom's cat. It's like saying goodbye to another part of her... all over again.

And closing the final chapter in her death process.

I HATE goodbyes.

I do hope he went to be right with her. I can just imagine the joy of their reunion.

Mom was outstanding with her love for her pets and all animals.

10 comments:

Yolki,polki get in my fluff said...

Gulp -SS, I am soo, so, sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for having the courage to write about your little gray lion. I know how close animals especially cats can be as my own are so close to my heart. I still howl with grief ( crying now) when I think about my first own cat ( that is not my Mom's cats. I had rescued him and his brother and they were such a pair. Moggies both and so grateful to be rescued - just as your Little Gray Lion will have been so grateful to you for giving him those extra years of love and comfort with you.
Now he can deliver a message to you Mom in heaven that you were so kind to him and that all is well, you are ok and most of all he can be with your Mom.
Putting animals out of their pain is the kindest and most priviledged thinh we can do - I hope when the time comes for me, say a stroke, some person will put me down!

Yolki,polki get in my fluff said...

Big hugs, SS, I share your tears. I can't begin to imagine how it feels to lose your Mom's sweet cat - bad enough losing your own precious cats, but it must feel a bit like losing your Mom all over again?

Tears with you, if I could, I would bring you a cup of tea (we English, you understand.....) and of course - big hugs.

I will have to be doing the same for our dear cat not so far away in the future and I will howl louder than my clarinet.

SeaSpray said...

Thank you Yolki. I was so very sad yesterday and last night, but today have rallied back...mostly. You are so RIGHT that it was like losing Mom all over again! All those feelings were most definitely in the mix of this loss. I grieved over losing my mother so much ..that I ended up seeking grief counseling.

Loss is awful ...losing a parent has to be up there in degree of losses and I found that grief with guilt is toxic. We loved each other very much, but it was complicated and when I was cleaning out her apt when she was in nursing home, I realized how much I didn't know. But ...mom wore her feelings close to her vest. I don't know why I have this trait ...but someone once joked with me, "You should be Jewish because you always take on all the guilt!"

Intellectually, I know things were not my fault when younger ...I responded to my circumstances ...but I had/have regrets that I was not there for her more in the last decade of her life. I saw her and took her places almost every week, but I wish we did more socially. And I just could not handle being in her apartment because of frustrations connected to it and it resurrected emotions from when we lived together at the shore when I was a child to 14, which I spent a lifetime not wanting to feel or remember. And she was feisty and she would tell you we were oil and water. :) I had issues to resolve. Again ..my head understood, but my heart blamed me. And when someone dies, I think it magnifies the perceived mistakes in the relationship. And I guess ...because I felt I had the better life and insights into things ...I wished I was able to just be there for her more - emotionally speaking. I loved her immensely ..at a distance. I worried about her and always wanted the best ..but had emotional distance. I regret that. Oh the things I'd say now and perhaps force some discussions.

I realize now that it is wrong to avoid and dance around the elephant in the room when that elephant has separated two people that love each other so much. But then again ..it takes two. It was complicated.

Anyway ..you are so right ..losing Peachy resurrected the pain of losing Mom ..all my emotions swirling. but ..today ..they are already settling back down. Once the bandaid is ripped off ..the pain does subside.

We all do miss that little grey lion too. All pets bring their unique traits/personalities into the family. I think even our dog and other cat know he's not here now.

Thank you for understanding the connection to my grief yesterday. It helped just knowing you get it and my being able to say this to someone. I would thoroughly enjoy havving a cup of tea or two with you. :)

I miss all our animals too. Someday ..I would like to do a blog series 1 a week or month about each pet we got over the years and tell their story and with pictures. Someday. :)

Cats are wonderful pets. We never had 2 at the same time and it was neat seeing them together and appreciating their differences.

I know you are right about the pain and putting them out of their misery. Event he vet told the guys yesterday that it was too bad humans can't go like this.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments yolki.

Now back to painting - a project that got way more inviolved than I anticipated.

Chrysalis Angel said...

Sea, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to have to let them go for a time. Spirit hug.

SeaSpray said...

Thank you Angel - those of us with pets know it goes with the relationship.

I have a friend ..well my friend iris ..who never owned pets ...even tho she loved all animals dearly. She was concerned she would become like her mom and not want to leave them for vacation and also could not bear when they died.

But...the joy of having them in the family ..far outweighs the sadness at the end.

To everything there is a season...

Spirit hug to you too. :)

Yolki,polki get in my fluff said...

SS I think you and I hold many emotions about our mothers in common. I have "issues" too, y'know. I recognized all that you said about the guilt/emotion/intellectual stuff.
I feel we could chat and chat - I just wish this was a conversation - why oh why is it that all my dearest friends are emails away? Only the Lord knows why, but I have no close friends here, well - no friends who have anything in common that I can talk to.
I am sure Angel would have something perspicacious to say about what I have just written !

Yolki,polki get in my fluff said...

BTW, Hi, Angel. Yes me from aX pond - forgot passwords again. Hope you are well!
Hugs all round xx{Yolki SeaSp Angel}xx

SeaSpray said...

Everyone I know had/has good relationships with their mom. It is just sad for us because we did love each other very much.

I wish I had the insights I have now ..when she was alive ...maybe I could've been a better daughter.

I guess ...we said what was important when she was in the nursing home. It was brief ..but a connection.

I never heard her apologize in her life. Not once that I can recall.

I apologized for not always being a good daughter ..something like that ..and she said she said, "I made mistakes too."

maybe I was just being a daughter in a broken relationship ..that didn't begin with me ..but through life events widened the miscommunication ..which fostered distance in me ..all due to circumstances and other family influences. And mom was a loner and private or maybe she retreated.

And her testiness ..drove me away too. But ..I was hard on her and influenced by her siblings expectations since I was 14 and living with them.

I am grateful that in the nursing home with al of life's problems out of the way ...we briefly had a mother-daughter relationship again. When all the pressures that caused me to bristle and worry about her were gone ...i was able to just be ..to just appreciate the two of us. But that was a very brief moment in time because she had an exacerbating dementia and physical decline in health. And she was mad at me at times to which I think is why she refused to talk sometimes. I think mad because she was there. But I never could've done the physical care she required. And I was happy when I could do little things for her. And I was her advocate when she was in there.

You remind me of my friend Pat ..with the way you write. Warms my heart. :)

Well at least we do have internet. Not sure how much a call across continents cost ..but wouldn't rule that out.

I'm curious ...what do you and your husband think about our country moving toward the obama care?

I am upset about it. Foresee all kinds of problems and compromise in quality service/care in the future.

Chrysalis Angel said...

I'm so sorry to YP. Seaspray's comments went into my spam, and I never saw them until now. Hello!

Don't feel bad....all my RL friends seem to be on text and email too, these days. Life is too busy. We need to slow it down. Nothing replaces a good, warm hug from a dear friend who cares about you.

Sea, I never even had a relationship with my mother. She dumped my father and me when I was 4 or 5.

Parent's are people too and have issues of their own (as you know now as one yourself). The only thing I feel any of us can do, is be responsible for ourselves and how we turn out.

SeaSpray said...

DITTO on the BUSY Angel and I'm not even working yet! I realize this is my place now and when I accomplish what I am supposed to here ...other doors will open up at the right time. I was slow on the uptake about it and now see and feel it so clearly. Even have a peace about it now.

I remember you telling me about your mom and that is a heartbreak of epic proportions. Foe me it was my dad. But ..a mother ...something had to be messed up within her to do that. I don't know if this is true because dads would die for their kids they love them so much ...but, I've always felt that it would be harder for a mother to abandon a child because they carried the child in their bodies and already had that early and profound bonding experience and then the birth itself. She had to have had serious issues that clouded her judgement. I know children blame themselves for parents divorcing and I imagine for abandonment. probably explains why I take on all the guilt I do in life ..at my core I feel like things are my fault. If *I* did this better, handled that better ...only knew to do this ..or just stuck in there ....

I know you have a healthier perspective on things tho and your Dad was super with you.

I have been in this major painting, redecorating and cleaning out project all week.

last night I came across a box of photos left to me by my uncle that I wished i found before mom died because she could've identified my Scottish relatives and some others for me. I found a bag but wrong one and then never pursued when she was still alive - life busy and all.

Anyway ..these photos stopped my project cold. Two hours later ...tearful and filled with regrets I lost project mojo for the night.

I can't wait to go through all the photos. Will post abut it. But I felt such regret with so many of the people that passed on. I asked Mr SeaSpray if he thought all these people that have passed had their own regrets and then answered before he could ..they had to ...must be part of being human.

I am a sensitive soul now, but I think I was pretty insensitive when younger. By that I mean ...I just did not appreciate the importance of family relationships/experiences until the last decade or so. Loved them all but just so darned BUSY!!!

I did enjoy them ...but could've done so much more ..written more letters, made more calls and sent more cards and set up more dates to share together.

But ...if they were all still here ...would I still do it ...or would the busyness of life encroach upon it all again?

Yes ..be responsible for ourselves, shake the mud off when have fallen, forgive self and move forward ..hopefully wiser and more sensitive.

I can appreciate why God allows us to go through suffering. Definitely teaches compassion and appreciation to depths we otherwise might not know, etc.