Watching and Waiting

When I returned home from work yesterday, Jake informed me that Holly had been sick at least three times during the day. (Sick = throwing up icky stuff.) I went to find her and she was dry heaving and looking miserable. I let her be until the sick feeling seemed to pass and then picked her up. As I did, she squealed a little bit, as if she might have been in pain.

Jake then told me, “Dad said she probably won’t make it a week.”

The combination of that statement and what I had just witnessed caused me to have a little melt down. I was sure the vet’s assumption that she had another month or so was way off base.

Later, I gave Holly some bits of chicken and she ate it willingly. I don’t think she’s been eating her dry food. She threw up all of the chicken not long afterwards.

I woke up at 3:00 this morning, and had a little trouble going back to sleep because I kept thinking that somewhere in my house, my little Holly had passed on. But I was afraid to go look for her. I finally did go back to sleep and  got up just before 6:00.  After using the bathroom, I hesitantly opened the door, afraid I wouldn’t find her waiting there for me. Normally, when she hears the water running, she comes to the door and then jumps up on the vanity to get her drink, but I didn’t expect to see her there this morning. Much to my relief, she was. As soon as I opened the door, she started meowing over and over. I think she’s too weak already to even attempt the jump, so I lifted her up and turned on the trickle of water for her and she drank to her heart’s content.

Afterwards, she huddled up into the bread loaf position on the vanity and stayed there, sleeping, nose down, while I cleaned up for the day. When I was done, I carried her to the love-seat where I had spread out my favorite fleece blanket, which she just loves. She’s been sleeping there ever since.

She seems a little better today, but I’m seriously doubting she’ll make it another month. As soon as it’s clear she’s in pain, I’ll do the humane thing.

The hardest part of this is just knowing she’s dying and being reminded every time I look at her, yet not knowing when it’s going to happen. We’ll know when it’s time, I know. And I do remember that after we had Shelby-dog put down, it became immensely easier knowing she was no longer in pain.

The kids seem a little less scared about the prospect of losing another pet. It was extremely hard on them when we lost Shelby, but I think now they’ve learned that time goes on, and pets come and go. And since Dacotah entered his life, Brad has learned that it’s possible to fall in love with another pet again. (Talking on the phone with him today, he said she’s in heat for the first time. She’s wearing doggie diapers and hates it, so she sort of waddles when she walks and “it’s SO cute!” I think HE’S so cute.)

So, these are difficult, but valuable life lessons for all of us, I guess.

Sometimes I feel a little silly, thinking, “My gosh, she’s just a cat, and one that I never even intended on having. She just sort of fell into our lives.” But she’s been a part of this life for 15 years. She’s been a source of love, entertainment, amusement and frustration over those years. She grew up right alongside my own children. And they love her immensely. She has a very distinct and permanent place in all of our hearts. It’s sad to know that very soon, I won’t feel the soft, silky feel of her fur on my face and the sound of her purring when she cuddles on me.

Holly in her younger days

Okay… I’m going to try to stop with the bummer posts from here on out…

I’m hanging around the house waiting for the stove repair guy to show up today. It sucks that a brand new oven doesn’t work on the first try. (And since we were remodeling, it wasn’t installed upon delivery – our choice – so that’s why it didn’t get tested when we first got it.) Hopefully it’s no big deal and I’ll be able to cook in it soon!

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16 thoughts on “Watching and Waiting

  1. I hear you…my Haley is 16 and has been losing so much weight that we could feel nothing but spine and fur when we petted her. So as a shot in the dark two weeks ago, I started giving her moist cat food from a can (boy does it stink to high heaven!), and now she is eating like crazy! I can already tell she’s put on weight and she isn’t throwing up anymore. I know I should take her to the vet, but I’m afraid to…and it stresses her out so much to go. Maybe it’s better not knowing? I’m in a holding pattern, much like you…just waiting and keeping an eye open to see if anything changes. It’s a major bummer. :(

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    • I had the same thought this morning. If the vet thinks she has another month or so to live, maybe she just needs something she can digest a little easier. So canned food is on the shopping list today.

      I hope Haley continues to improve!

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  2. My heart is still raw and sore from loosing Grover. I’m so sorry Terri. I hope the canned cat food is just what she needs to perk up some. :(

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  3. So sorry to hear this.

    Besides traveling a lot, a major reason we don’t have a pet is that I don’t want to have to put up with becoming attached to it and then losing it.

    My favorite dog when I was a child died after I left for college so I was not there when it happened. But that death has stayed with me.

    That story is here, but I don’t think you should read it until after Holly passes.

    http://home.comcast.net/~19steeb70/anarchist/an4.htm

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  4. Terri don’t ever feel badly about a “bummer” post. Holly has been such a huge part of your life that her impending passing must be nearly all-consuming. When I had to put down 2 of my cats, each time I felt like I was over-reacting because they were *just* cats, but they were my kids and had been loving members of my family for years.
    Blog about Holly as much as you need to – we’re here for you!

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  5. Don’t apologize and worry about bummer posts. Sometimes you have to let your feelings go when faced with a crisis or bad situation. It helps to share and we’re glad to be here.

    We didn’t have as much time at the end for Shadow and I still regret that. When we took him into the vet, I honestly thought he would be coming home. We all know this time will come. We tell ourselves that this is inevitable, but when it actually comes, we are still not ready. Enjoy the time you have. Feed her stinky canned catfood if she’ll have it. Keep posting about her status and don’t worry about how maudlin it sounds. We are here to help & listen.

    Good luck.

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  6. Terri, the “bummer” posts are totally understandable! You know I understand. This is a tough thing to go through. I’m just glad you understand what the “humane” thing is. I watched my neighbors cat suffer for two years because she just couldn’t bring herself to do the right thing.

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