Saturday, April 12, 2014

He Wanted To Be With The Angels

This is a very difficult post for me to write, so I have been putting it off. But here goes:
A few weeks ago, we had to make an agonizing, heart-wrenching decision. Our beloved Dizzy Kitty was suffering, and he was going downhill fast. His behavior had changed, and we had noticed it, but he was still eating, and he seemed to be getting along all right, just slowing down and he was going on sixteen. We thought he probably had arthritis and that was making it more difficult for him to jump up onto things. But, he was managing.
And then we realized, suddenly, one day that he couldn't see. It may have been coming on slowly, but he was making his way around, probably because he was used to his living spaces, indoors and out.
Then we saw that he would nearly walk into things, and only his whiskers prevented him, and he would turn at the last second.
I went out of town for a few days, and the morning I was to head home, my husband called me and said "Dizzy is getting worse. When will you be home?" I asked what he meant and he said he could barely walk. I couldn't believe it; he had been walking just fine when I left. I got home as quickly as I could and the kitty I saw was in really bad shape. All he wanted to do was hide somewhere; I believe that he knew he was dying. That's what they do. Obviously we couldn't let him out. He kept trying to wedge himself into places where there was no room for a little kitty. Between the heater and the wall, under chairs that didn't have enough space. He was dragging his back feet and going around in circles. He was no longer himself. It was the most painful thing to see. He has NEVER ever fought me, and he didn't even want me to hold him. He would scramble to get away and I was afraid he would hurt himself trying to jump down. He did not cry when I picked him up as though he were in pain, but periodically when he was trying to walk, he would let out the most piteous cries you ever heard. I could get him to lay down and then I'd cover him with a blanket because his little paws were cold. I looked up symptoms on the internet and saw what I did not want to read. For brief periods I could get him to settle in with me and I laid motionless with him on top of me on the sofa and I didn't dare move because he seemed to be finally resting, sleeping for a little while with his breathing obviously labored, holding him close and keeping him warm. I couldn't stay with him every single minute, though I wanted to, and when I was getting dinner ready, I heard something in the other room (he had been on the carpeted floor covered up with a blanket and resting when I left the room). He was inside of the fireplace box, where I have my collection of vintage chalkware angels - and they take up every single inch of space. There are a lot of them in there; they are on pedestals, various heights and sizes, and he was trying to get behind the large mirror that is propped up behind them - so he could hide back in there. VERY carefully, I got him out from around the knocked-over angels and I was like "No, no Dizzerbugs - you can't be in there with Mama's angels....".  He did it again a little bit later, and I had to barricade the whole area - because I didn't know where he would go if I just left the room to go to the bathroom or something! Mind you, I only left him at times when he had settled down and was resting. Then, invariably he would get up and try to make his way into some place where he could wedge himself in and hide when I was out of the room for a minute! But he could barely move, and he was going around in circles. It was so painful to watch.
You would have to really know me to know how much I adored this little cat. He was my baby , and any of you who have ever loved - and lost - a beloved pet will understand. We didn't know if he would make it through the night, and I didn't even want to go to bed. The next morning I found him "standing" with his nose in the corner in the little room where his bed was, like he just didn't know what to do or where to go. My husband called and talked to the vet, who is a friend since childhood, and we made the decision that nobody ever wants to make.
I want my Dizzy Little Kitty back. I want him right here, right now. I want to snuggle him and hold him and pet him and tell him how much I love him just like I did every day.
 I want him to jump up on my lap and I want him to lay on top of me while I'm watching TV at night, and I want him to wait patiently to lick my bowl after I eat ice cream.
And I'll never get to do any of those things again, and I have to try not to think about it, because my eyes well up with tears EVERY single time.
I ran into an old friend I hadn't seen for a while, and she didn't even want to mention it because she KNEW.  But she said she was sorry to hear. And, standing in the crowded grocery store, the tears started to come as I said "No, I can't even talk about it...".
 "I know", she said.
You know, when he was trying to get into the (unused) fireplace and hide? Where the angels are? Not a single one of them got damaged. He was trying to be careful, even then. He was such a good little kitty. He was the best kitty EVER.
And I realized what I had said - "you can't be in there with the angels..."
So I will try to tell myself that he wanted to be with the angels. I wish he was still here with me, instead. But I'd like to imagine him in Kitty Heaven, where he can see and walk once again, basking in the sun, eating his favorite treat food, trying to catch birds and mice and moles and lizards - and no longer suffering nor in pain, and being held and loved by the person who loved him more than anybody ever thought they could love a dear little warm and furry creature.

Rest in peace, my beloved Dizzy Little Cat, rest in peace.


Tina Dawn said...

There is nothing I can say. He was a very special little kitty. I hope he meets Lotus up there, they would look pretty together, both gray and white. I loved your story, I know it hurt to write it but it was beautiful. Love T

Beedoo747 said...

De-lurking to say - well, what can one say? There are no words. We went through this late last year with our much loved oldest cat and a few weeks later our second cat got ill, and we thought we were going to lose her too. But she survived, thank the deities.

I believe all things happen for a reason though we do not always know what the reason is at the time. We have always been a two cat household, and we always want to be a two cat household, so after a short time of mourning we headed to the cat shelter to look at a two year old cat (as I wanted to give an older cat a good forever home) but the older cat we saw did not get along well with other cats, so we had a discussion with the shelter staff and a rethink, and we chose our new kitty who was 6 months old.

She helped me a lot to mourn the passing of my much loved kitty, and she helped both of us so much when the older cat got ill - I would have totally lost it coming home to zero cats.

But most of all, when I went back to the shelter to collect her, I spoke with the staff there again and found out they would soon be holding a volunteer induction. That is something I have always wanted to do but every time I have tried to volunteer they have been full, or they have not been running an induction.. this time I was in the right place at the right time.

So now, once a week, I get to go and give some love to shelter kitties. And I know it might sound silly, but I believe this is the reason our older cat got sick when she did.

Volunteering at the shelter is such an incredible thing - the moment I walked into the cattery I felt at home but the more time I spend there I realise what that room is full of is love. The amount of love there cannot be described, it has to be felt. And sometimes kitties need that love until the right person can come in and give them the forever home they dream of.

I am so thankful your Dizzy Kitty got to live in that forever home and be loved by someone as special as you. :)

I am also so thankful that our much loved kitty lived with us for 14 years. She was my baby and we had a very special relationship and when kitties leave us that is what can never be replaced because every kitty is different and has their own personality and quirks.

Our new kitty is quite different to any kitties we have ever had before. I am so thankful for her because she has helped me mourn that special relationship while building a new relationship with her.

I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

lorlore said...

Rest in peace with your Angels, Dizzy Kitty!!!!!!

Shara said...

Oh, I am so, so sorry. I have a little girl kitty who looks very much like your Dizzy Kitty. I have a very special bond with her and love her SO much. I can't imagine your heartbreak. I'll be thinking of you.

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Heidi, I am so sorry. I do so understand because we had to make that decision concerning our almost 16 year old poodle. He was my third child and my children had grown up with him. These precious pets of ours are family. You are so right, Dizzy is with the angels now. I truly believe we'll see our dear pets in heaven. I also know how your heart aches over loosing him. My prayers are with you. Twyla

Anonymous said...

Aww, I am so very sorry. You have some wonderful picture to go along with your seet memories.

Laurie S.

Lynne said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. From Lynne in Illinois

The Brittons said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Animals are our family too, it is hard when your home dynamic changes in such a way. (((HUGS))))

Rosie said...

Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss. :( After reading your post I can tell that no one ever loved a kitty like you loved yours. I'm sorry. <3 :(

Heidi Ann said...

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who commented. Tina, Lori, Chelsea, Twyla, Lindsey, Shara, Beedoo747, Laurie S., Lynne, and Rosie - it means a lot to me that you too the time to write something in response to mt heartfelt little attempt at a tribute to my Dizzy Kitty, and I appreciate it very, very much.

Jim J said...

I am so deeply, sincerely sorry, Heidi, and my heart is aching and I am weeping because, well, I know, and warmest hugs, you very dear person. In time, smiles will kiss the tears as you remember your baby kitty. Caringly, Jim in Cedar Grove.