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How do you accept?

Discussion in 'Crossing the Bridge' started by angels4mom, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. angels4mom

    angels4mom Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    May 21, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    Have you ever had a cat you were so bonded with that it felt like they were in every breath you took and in every beat of your heart? :rbheart: It feels like that with my Cocoa. His little spirit is so strongly with me.


     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014

  2. alisa brown

    alisa brown TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jan 19, 2014
    Yes my little Stella was with me every moment when I got home, she rode on my shoulder and slept on my chest sometimes at night. I miss her so much at times I cannot bear it. She would come to me when she was thirsty or hungry and talk to me, when she was scared or cold she would crawl on me and lay on my shoulder against my neck and just go to sleep.

    I have never had a cat love me so much and I hope some day I will again. My other cats just use me for food, so I miss my best friend.

    We are kindred spirits and I hope we both get blessed with another loving cat some day that we can be as close to as our others.
     

  3. jodiethierry64

    jodiethierry64 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Nov 29, 2013
    Colorado

    Oh yes my Perkins. He was always with me. Even when he meowed, my husband swore he was saying ma-ma. When he became diabetic he became incontinent. I would put a baby diaper on him. Cut a hole for his tail. He didn't mind. After he pottied I would take if off for a couple of hrs to give him a breather, then put it back on. He would just let me.

    He loved me so much and he knew I loved him. He was my baby and he never left my side. He passed in 2004 and yet when I clean his urn I still kiss it and tell him I Love You.

    I can't wait till we're reunited!!!
     
    alisa brown purraised this.

  4. smouse

    smouse TCS Member Young Cat

    when I lost my baby Murray last year, I had a very similar experience. As I held him in my arms, in his blanket, for our goodbye, although he was totally sedated, he began to hyperventilate when he recognized that mommy was holding him and whispering how much she loved him. The vet said I'd be able to have a half an hour with him but he was going into crisis because he was excited and kept trying to turn to see me and burry his head in my chest, although he was so sick and so weak. The vet quietly said 'I think it's time', and administered the last injection. He was gone. His little baby tongue sticking out of my angel. I wanted to take him and run away, I wanted to scream, I wanted to die just to go with him. My mother had to handle these final arrangements as I was a complete mess. The second day that he was in critical care I refused to believe he was there and couldn't bring myself to see him, which I will always regret. My mother assured me that if I didn't hold my baby while he passed I'd never get over it, she made the arrangements for late that evening and the critical care facility, so it was quiet and as peaceful as they could make it. I was probably as heavily sedated as he was, but when I heard his unmistakable cry in the hall as they brought him into the dimly lit 'goodbye' room, I sat up and said, 'that's my kid', d for a moment under the delusion we were there to pick him up and take him home. That lasted about a second. I barely remember paying the million and some odd dollar bill, although I do recall being asked about his paw print preference or color and thinking this must be a dream because I seem to be pointing to a color; surreal is the word that comes to mind. The next morning I went to pick him up from the end of my bed ... and lost my mind all over again. My mother rushed in with his blanket and put it in my arms. She said, 'It's okay, I washed it', and I asked what she meant. She said well, he urinated a little when he passed'. I screamed, I cried, I yelled at her for washing the last thing he touched ... even if it was pee. It was my baby's. And, it went downhill from there. Dark thoughts and a hollowed heart. Everyone tried but no one could. I had three other beautiful creatures who relied on me ... and I was gone. I heard him crying in the basement from a crawl space he'd get stuck in when he was frightened. I was not going to make it.

    Then something happened, not a good thing, but I recovered. And, although I wasn't sure why, I felt that he'd been with me and pulled back into the world. It wasn't that things got better from that day, only that I understood there are certain losses you'll never fully recover from. But, what you can do is accept that desperate times can call for drastic measures. And, although I love all my felines which some might think should be enough to pull you through, in this case, it wasn't. As radical as it sounds, I adopted another rescue kitten in need. He was not Murray, but in many ways they were alike. And, because he had always been the baby (and died young), I needed something to pour that particular kind of love into  ... not just because I loved him more than anything but because of the way he was ripped from our lives; unexpectedly, unfairly and prematurely. Unfinished. Adopting Rory, saved me.

    There is no right or wrong way to get through something that's taken part of your soul. Listen to what your heart tells you and do it. No matter what anyone thinks.

    I still hear Murray crying in the little crawl space ... and I always will ... but, because I listened to my heart instead of what others thought I needed ... thankfully, my journey to the rainbow bridge, has been postponed.

    ... But the one thing I didn't have, didn't even know about is this sight. And, I'm so glad you found it. I wish I had.

     I'll probably be kicked off for alluding to certain things in this post ... but, if you get to read this, know that it was written in empathy. 

    ... my angel.
     
    di and bob and jodiethierry64 purraised this.

  5. angels4mom

    angels4mom Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    459
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    May 21, 2013
    Pennsylvania

    Thank you to all of you. When I first saw Cocoa he was so tiny and in a metal cage in a friends basement. He was by himself. A small kitten needs attention and affection. I took him out. Contacted my landlord to make sure it was okay to have him then took him home. He had fleas and was too young for a flea bath so I combed him gently. He sometimes nodded off while I combed. I took a tick off his ear flap. It was latched on so it hurt him when I removed it despite how careful I was. As he got older he was a handful to keep up with. Very hyper and got into everything. He was ALL kitten. The day after I got him he snuggled against my back in bed or against my face and neck. He was so funny too. He had a human personality. He was just what I needed and I think he knew I rescued him too. The friend's dog pounced on him as he ate. The dog is a Doxie but still too big compared to how little Cocoa was. I loved him so much and always will. He is my heart and soul. I look forward to seeing him in Heaven some day. Us seeing and hugging each other again.
     

  6. alisa brown

    alisa brown TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jan 19, 2014
    All I can say is I wish I could HUG you right now for sharing something so personal and painful with us.
     

  7. angels4mom

    angels4mom Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    459
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    May 21, 2013
    Pennsylvania

    Thank you. Your story tugged at my heart. Especially when your guy's tongue stuck out and you held him in his blanket. I sometimes hug it when I want to hug him. Cocoa was so little and so weak. I will never wash this blanket. The thought of his tiny face poking through it and part of his tongue sticking out sometimes gets to me. I've sometimes begged him to come back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

  8. I cried when I read this. I'm so sorry for your loss. He's beautiful.
     

  9. Yes, my cat Cora was my best friend. I've had her ever since she was a kitten. She liked to be on my lap whenever I was on the computer. She was like a kitten all her life. Whenever I would accidentally drop my pencil, she would come and bat at it until it would go under a piece of furniture. She would let me hold her like a baby, too. She was the cuddliest cat in the world. Her and another cat named Dante were such good friends because they would hug each other and cuddle. It would was so hard when I had to watch them put the last shot in her. When I pet her while they were getting the needle ready, I would start to tear up. But it was the best choice for her because she was sick and I didn't want her to suffer. She was my angel. 


    Her and Dante sitting and watching outside.


    My angel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

  10. angels4mom

    angels4mom Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    459
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    May 21, 2013
    Pennsylvania

    She's beautiful.
     

  11. smouse

    smouse TCS Member Young Cat

    the way you talk about him is so similar to my experience ... down to the baby tongue and  blanket, not to mention that you saved each other during a difficult time.

    I love all of my cats, unconditionally:  the ones I own; the ones I sponsor; the ferals to whom we give sanctuary at our home in the Caribbean. But, also similar to your experience, Murray came to me a time when a lot was going down ...  culture shock, profound family loss, personal disappointments, and recovering from a major illness. Much of it, beyond my control. Nursing this fierce, little spotted tiger-baby back to life (whom I found at four weeks; sick, starving  neglected and taken from it's mother) gave me, not only purpose, but hope. Those first critical days were touch and go; he faded away on two panic filled occasions ... and, basically, lived in my sports bra stave off hypothermia ... until the day he took his first few steps without collapsing. He had been that weak. But, with lots of love and nutrition, began to thrive and play with the other young rescue (our three legged Tink) who figured Murray was a present and claimed him as his own  (we didn't tell him otherwise:). And, although Murray was never but an inch from my feet, or cradled in my arms ... I missed him. I missed him even when he was snuggled on the bed with everyone else. In hindsight, those feelings foreshadowed the inevitable loss I would face in time to come.

    Murray was the light of my life. I knew the sound of his breathing, when he wanted the tap run for a cold drink (my husband loved  that), and the exact moment, while being pet, that his, exuisite amber eyes became glowing slits and a warning growl, sounded (this concluded the current mauling session lol). In fact, his silly 'faux' growling would evolve into part of his everyday vocabulary (making him all the more lovable and unique). Friends joked that, I might as well make arrangements to be surgically attached and just get it over with ... or simply pretend he's a shoulder bag while we did our daily grocery shop ... because the bond was that ridiculous. 

    But, there were signs; he almost died from a reaction to ketamine when he was neutered  and done early because, between himself and Tink,, the house was beginning to smell like a skunk colony. However, although he survived (my own physician actually came up to the house and administered the antidote (life is like that in the Dominican countryside), that sinking feeling crept in again.

    When we returned from the Caribbean, he began having tummy trouble. Presented classic signs of feline leukemia ...  I didn't know much about it (my cats had always been healthy, vaccinated and altered) but severe illness was foreign to me - even with the sheer amount I've rehabilitated and rehomed over the years. After any amount of blood panels and x rays: special diet, different meds ... we were told he was fine but had a delicate constitution. Yet, for some reason I was becoming uneasy, the holidays approached and although we were meant to fly to see relatives, I kept making excuses. I wanted to spend that Christmas with Murray, in our own home. I couldn't explain why ... and husbands don't often understand when their wife has a 'feeling'. Suffice it to say, I wasn't myself. And, even though my husband assured me there'd be many Christmases with Murray, nothing felt right. 

    Two weeks later, I found myself running into a state of the art critical care unit; my baby in crisis, in my arms ...  and, knowing he wouldn't be coming home. Full blown FeLV. the prognosis: terminal. They offered to insert a feeing tube allowing time for my husband to fly home from Iraq to say goodbye ... and so Murray could pass at home. But, as much as we both adored that cat, we agreed, it was asking too much.

    I posted a fairly raw account of the days that followed, and my inability to cope with this particular loss. I mentioned some very personal details that were not meant to frighten ...only to illustrate that ... we lose friends, we lose family and, of course, we lose pets. However, although these are all profound losses (respectively), there are other losses that break your heart into a million pieces; never to fully mend ... in some cases, you can't even be bothered to pick up the pieces.

    I received a comment, a supportive one mind you, from a very caring member just wanting to be sure I was comfortable sharing such personal information. But, when I read 'How do you accept' I thought, someone needs to speak this truth, even if it's a very sensitive topic. So, whether you're a cat worshipper, a dog person or just all 'round animal lover ...  'animal people' are simply a different breed (no pun intended). Some dedicate their  lives to rescue, others simply need to own pets to make their lives complete ... and, when we lose those incredible creatures, who've changed and improved our lives - our touchstones - our best friends. Our family. It shouldn't be a source of shame or weakness that losing a particular pet can bring one to their knees. To be at a loss as to how they're going to survive ... or if they will. It's not 'just a cat' or 'just a dog' it's your soul mate. And, whether you 'build a house', take solace in the rainbow bridge, sleep with your coco's blanket forever ... or adopt another rescue to avoid the rubber room (or worse), do it. 

     And, to dear, dear 'Angel4mom, know that baby knew that you did everything you could for him ... and somewhere close by, he's playing soccer with his poop

    thank you, Alysa. I just hope that my experience can help those in the same boat.
     

  12. jodiethierry64

    jodiethierry64 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Nov 29, 2013
    Colorado

    Your story has touched me so deep. I'm crying feeling your pain. God bless you for sharing the pain we all have felt.
     

  13. smouse

    smouse TCS Member Young Cat

    God bless you for the kind words. I realize these are very dark and lonely feelings to be expressing on a public forum. But, it comforts even one person to know others have gone down that path of irrational despair and survived ...  it was worth sharing. 
     


  14. angels4mom

    angels4mom Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    459
    57
    May 21, 2013
    Pennsylvania


    Ever feel like playing with them even though they're not here physically? When Cocoa was tiny he tried to catch his tail but he and his tail were so little that he couldn't. His tail was about the length of my pinky. My heart feels ripped out and shredded. I miss my booboo bear so much. I love your photo. Such a touching one. You should frame it.

     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014

  15. smouse

    smouse TCS Member Young Cat

    I know exactly what you mean about interacting with your Cocoa. I talk to Murray all the time as if he's here.

    We recently moved and I have a pretty wicker hamper with everything of his, including his ashes; blanket, toys, bed ... the list goes on. I walked into a room and one of the packers from the  was fishing around in it (only doing her job). But, I'm sure the poor thing thought I was insane as I hurdled over boxes to grab the urn just as she pulled it out. I just said,' it's okay I'll unpack this myself' (no need to explain it's my little pharaoh's tomb and that it comes everywhere with me). There is nothing that you're doing or expressing that anyone on this forum can't relate to. Initially, I joined to maybe have some light chit -chat about cats in general and share our experience with FeLV, in the hopes that it might help others. However, although I did mentioned our loss, in the 'new cats' forum, mostly I focused on how life is now and what blessing Rory is. But when I read a few posts on 'crossing the bridge' (namely yours), I thought maybe I should share that experience. Because, there is nothing worse than feeling like you're the only one in the world dragging your loss (and his blanket around) with you. Lord knows I did ... for a long time.

    ... but when you have had that kind of connection with such a special creature ... really, that's a magical bond that not many people experience ... 

                               ... and, when it happens to you, you're changed for life.
     
    misssweetkitty purraised this.

  16. angels4mom

    angels4mom Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    459
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    May 21, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    This may sound strange to some people but the night he passed they put him in a special card board box. I've been trying to bury him but we had an unusually cold and snowy winter so his box has been in a freezer. Nothing but him and ice to preserve him. Well my friend that made a special wood box to bury Cocoa in dropped it off today. I plan to bury my buddy on Thursday. I was flabbergasted at the beauty of the box. He does wood working. I am not putting it into the ground and you'll see why in a minute. I'll use the box the vet put him in. It's not that Cocoa isn't worth it. Anyway. Here it is. Even a lining in it. When I put it on the floor to photograph it Holly and Mandie checked it out.




     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

  17. Wow, that box is beautiful!
     

  18. angels4mom

    angels4mom Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    459
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    May 21, 2013
    Pennsylvania

    Here are more. I didn't notice the fine detail around the box until a little while ago. I'm stunned at what he did for my baby boy.



     

  19. cat nap

    cat nap TCS Member Top Cat

    3,608
    700
    Jan 31, 2014
    Canada
    I think that box is beautiful, @angels4mom.....What will you do with it then?
     

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