Monday, December 31, 2012

The Kleenex Means Tears

For most, their posts on their blogs today will focus on New Year's resolutions. Maybe reflections on the past year and their dreams and goals for the coming one.

Not me.

For me, I'm simply having a hard time focusing at all. You see, yesterday was a really hard day for our family.  We woke up to find our beloved cat "Popcorn" of 9 1/2 years suddenly couldn't move his back legs. At all.

I knew. I knew as soon as I saw my girls try to put him on his feet and his whole backside collapse that something was terribly wrong. And I knew the outcome probably wouldn't be a good one.

I was right.

We spent a total of 2 hours at the emergency vet clinic. One in which they didn't realize how serious his condition was until they found out how cold his body temp was and they suddenly flew into motion. I thought, "Why do they think we needed an emergency clinic on the weekend?"

The vet was very, very kind and gentle though. Our beloved "Popcorn" had a blood clot which was blocking flow of blood to his legs. Probably caused by a bad heart. His prognosis? "Guarded."

It's hard enough to face your own sorrow at a moment like that, but to watch your two daughters hurting and sobbing as well? Excruciating.

The vet hadn't even left the room after she gave us our options before the sobbs just gutted my whole being and poured out. My poor husband had three crying and sobbing girls all at once and his own eyes were struggling to be dry. Tough, tough moment in time.

Yes. We could have spent thousands of dollars to try and help our sweet feline. With no guarantee of a good outcome. And in the end - he was hurting. He was half paralyzed overnight. And we needed to show him mercy. So that's the decision we made.

My girls didn't want to be there for it. So they ran out to the car.  Me? I wanted to be there with him to the end. And I was. I held him as he went to sleep forever. And my heart cries even now at the thought and memory of it.  I told him I loved him and he had been a good cat. I thanked God for the joys of the last 9 1/2 years with him. And I asked for one more moment to hold him after he'd gone.

I will miss him sitting on our mud room counter every time we come home because he'd heard the garage door open and knew we were home.

I will miss him sitting at the bottom of our recliners, waiting for us to put a blanket out so he could hop up and lay by our legs.

I will miss him sitting outside the kitchen (because he wasn't allowed in) every time he heard me start dinner because he wanted to be fed.

I will even miss all the white hair on everything that he constantly shed.

I will miss how he always laid in the laundry basket on the dirty clothes while I worked on getting them washed.

I will miss how he always tried to get into my husband's office - even though he knew he wasn't allowed in there.

I will miss him sniffing all of our guests shoes, bags and beings - checking it all out.

I will miss him meowing at night or during the day - wanting to know where we are because he wanted to be in the same room.

And I will miss him trying to carry his bowl out of the mud room in his mouth because he wanted to eat his food in by us - not alone.

I will miss him terribly.

I've discovered what Kleenex boxes in doctors and vets offices are for. I'd always eyed them - thinking they were for runny noses. But no. They are for tears. For I used at least 10 that I could count yesterday and several more got passed to my family. Runny mascara was wiped and yes - noses. But mostly tears. Tears for an animal that brought us love, gave us love, and helped us give it in return.

Those kleenex boxes mean someone has to give bad news. And someone has to get it.

God placed animals here for us to care for. Ultimately, I know they have their place. I've never put their importance over people. Yet still, there is a bond. A love that is shared and a deep grief that is felt when they pass.

And I understand.

For those of you who aren't interested in hearing all about my cat - I apologize. But it's my blog, and I can do what I want to. :) And for today - I'm soaking in memories and moments.

For my heart is still very much hurting.

Animals are a gift. And I'm thankful for the one my family got in sweet 'ol "Popcorn."

He was cross eyed. He was slow. He shed A LOT. But from the moment my daughter at the sweet age of 6 saw him at the Humane Society, held him in her arms and said, "I love him with ALL my heart!" I knew he would be ours.

As he will always be ours in our hearts.

I wouldn't change one thing.

I know one day, we will speak of him with sweet smiles on our faces instead of tears in our hearts, eyes, and throats.

But for today....the kleenex still means tears.


lynnmosher said...

Oh, Dionna, I am so very sorry for your loss. Losing a furry family member always breaks your heart. Praying for all of you. May the Lord comfort you.

Dionna said...

Thank you, Lynn. I've been distracted in the last day or so with company and New Year's Eve celebrations - but I do miss him so terribly. The lack of his presence in our home leaves an empty spot. :( He was a good cat.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain very acutely. We have had our beloved cat for over 10 years and I dread the day that we lose her. My daughter was also 6 when this tiny little kitten came to live with us.

Dionna said...

Anonymous - I'm sure you can resonate with our love. Most cats live a long time - especially indoor ones as ours was. Hopefully, you will have yours for many many more years.