Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Loss of a Furry Family Member


 Dear Friends & Readers,

I am setting this post for Friday, June 24th at 3:00pm, PST.  This is the appointed time that our veterinarian will arrive at our home.  A special burial plot is ready, as is a small box.  It is time for me to give my beloved kitty, "Tiger Lily" a dignified end to her life.  She has been a member of our family for 14 years.  I am writing this tonight, on Thursday evening, as my own form of therapy-- in dealing with the fact that I will miss her very much.
 Tiger Lily and her Littermate, Camo

It is Friday, at 2:00pm.  In one hour, the vet will arrive.  I lifted my kitty up, to take outside into the sunshine. She has been pretty listless for the last two days.  She managed a few rolls on the concrete. She's so thin-- a mere wisp of 6 pounds of fur and bones, as her intestinal cancer is ravaging her body.  But she's back in the house, in her hunched position.  She is tired. She is ready.  It is time for me to let go... say goodbye.

I always thought that I love dogs as the best pets.  Somehow, this kitty-- who destroyed one of my favorite chairs, years ago... the kitty who learned how to grab bathroom cabinets and open them at 3am just to hear them slam shut with a loud BANG... the kitty who always spooned next to me on the bed...who picked up her cat food with her paw and used it to spoon feed herself... she has given me fourteen years of companionship, unconditional love, amusement and she captured my dog-loving heart.

I worry about her sister's grief, as I'm prepared for her to search for where her sister has gone. She will be buried on top of our hill, and we'll plant flowers on her spot. 

...so, now, it's just you and me "Camo".  You no longer have to fight for your share of dinner. My lap will be vacant for you to take her place.  Then, one day, the time will come for you to be laid to rest next to your sister. When that time comes, I will give you the dignity of not having to suffer.

Tonight, I plan on making potent margaritas to help numb the pain a bit,  and to just remember what a wonderful family pet that my Tiger Lily was.  I'm thankful that I can give her the gift of humane euthanasia.  She has earned it; she was just "on loan" to me for as many cat years as she had to give.

I'll be back to blog in a couple or three days. I just have a few buckets of tears to cry.


Four Feet in Heaven

Your favorite chair is vacant now...
No eager purrs to greet me.
No softly padded paws to run
Ecstatically to meet me.
No coaxing rubs, no plaintive cry
Will say it's time for feeding.
I've put away your bowl, and all
The things you won't be needing;
But I will miss you little friend,
For I could never measure
The happiness you brought me,
The comfort and the pleasure.
And since God put you here to share
In earthly joy and sorrow;
I'm sure there'll be a place for you
In Heaven's bright tomorrow...
by Alice E. Chase




Pin It

35 comments:

Dad and Mom said...

Sorry Debby.

Animals understand death. Allow her sister to smell her body and her grieving will be less.

Velva said...

I am so sorry Debby. I know how important our furry friends are in our lives. I recently had to put our cat Pancake to sleep. It was very difficult but, was the most humane act we could provide to her.

Drink your potent margaritas tonight, and raise your glass to your furry friend.

Cheers.
Velva

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Debby - I am so so sorry for your loss. Tiger Lilly was a beautiful cat and I know she must have meant so much to you. Losing a beloved pet is so hard - but I know you will put your love in comforting her sister Camo. Remember the words of Dr. Seuss: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." A big hug to you.

From the Kitchen said...

Debby: So very sorry that you have to say goodbye to your precious Tiger Lily. Those sweet ones worm their way into our hearts and we are hooked! We've said goodbye to two dalmatians that gave us great joy. I love the legend of The Rainbow Bridge and like to think that our Cooper and Argos and your Tiger Lily are running around, the best of friends, waiting for us.

Best,
Bonnie

Lizzy said...

Debby, sending you a huge hug as your mourn the loss of your dear furry friend and companion. I'm so sorry...

stacief said...

Aww, I am so sorry for your loss! She was a beautiful kitty! We lost our kitty of 18 years last summer. I still miss him, but like to think of them up in kitty heaven chasing mice. hugs!

J said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. I know just how hard it is to lose a family pet after so many years. You are doing the right thing. Just know that she left you after having a life FULL of love and affection. She had a family, which is more than a lot of kitties can say. *Hugs* to you and Camo.

Frieda Loves Bread said...

So sorry for your loss, Debby... You will always remember the pawprints on your heart. I had no idea that a vet could make a personal house call. What a great act of service and love for your pet!
((hugs))

Joanne said...

Oh Debby I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is so hard, especially when they have been so ingrained in your life as Tiger Lilly was. My thoughts are with you guys!

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Oh Debby how heartbreaking. I remember that same kind of pain. I had a cat, Fatty. He was mine for 21 years. His passing hit me hard. I still tear up when I think of him.

I'm thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. What a lucky kitty to have you for a Mama all those years.

Anonymous said...

So sorry, Debby. The loss of a beloved pet is very painful. You have some wonderful photographs to cherish.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Anonymous is me. I didn't click the right button.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oh Debby I'm truly sorry for your loss, I'm sure she lived a wonderful life with you and your family.

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
You know how much we loved our Shasta cat. She looked a lot like Tiger Lily.

She had a good life and you gave her a good home, and that's the beautiful thing about having a pet. I know you will be sad, but always think of the wonderful companionship she offered. I miss my kitty too. Thinking of you. xo Stace

The Glamorous Gourmet said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of Tiger Lilly. We had to put our dear 15 year old dachshund Katie down a few months ago and even though you know you are doing the right thing - it is still so hard. I am sending prayers and positive energy your way - hang in there!!!

Momof1 said...

so sorry to hear about your cat. Hang in there ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

I am so deeply sorry, I have a FULL understanding. Bless your heart.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

With tears in my eyes as I write, I feel your pain Debbie. My only children were four-legged ones and they were so special. I have no idea how you had the courage to write this without that "bucket" for your tears next to your keyboard, but bless you. I wish I was there to give you a hug.

Take some time for yourself. When our first collie died, I couldn't go back to work for almost two weeks.
Sam

Maureen said...

Every animal lover understands your grief. I'm so sorry for your sadness and loss.

What you did for Tiger Lilly comes from love and compassion.

Susan said...

I have tears for you, Debby. It is so hard..so many years of love and devotion. Bless you little kitty.

jezinthekitchen said...

Debby, I am crying right along with you. I have been through this twice in the last five years and will go through it a third time in the not too distant future.
Drink up, my friend ... and know you're not crying alone.

Pam said...

So sorry to hear this Debby. She was beautiful and I know how much you will miss her. I've been through it several times and I can't imagine what it took for you to write this post. Take care

Kim said...

I'm so sorry Debby,
We had to take the same decision with our kitty last month. We agonized over it the whole night.
We fortunately had a miracle in the morning. But I know how hard it is to take that call.
Warm thoughts are being sent your way, and do take comfort and help comfort her sister.

bellini said...

I am so sorry to hear this Debby. I know there have been many years of affection between you.

Lynn said...

What a beautifully moving tribute to Tiger Lilly. I sat here and cried as I prayed for your family, also knowing your pain well. I'm sorry for your loss, and pray that your sadness will be replaced with joy in the all the memories of your beloved pal.

Karen said...

Debby, I'm so very sorry for the loss of your precious friend.

Cheryl said...

Oohhh Debby I know how terrible you feel and I won't tell you it gets better because I don't think it does at least for a long time. I am still grieving over my Doberman I put down two years ago.

Have a margarita for me, she was an amazingly beautiful cat as is her sister.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I am still devastated over the loss of my Chloe... so I know how you feel... the loss of a pet is a big one... *Hugs*

Allie said...

My heart aches for you Debbie. I lost my dog when she was only 2 and I mourned her death for years...I still miss her. There are tears in my eyes as I can only imagine the pain you are experiencing. I am so deeply sorry. Pets really are a part of our families and bring such unconditional love. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Wish I could be there to bake you some cookies and give you a big hug!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That poem brought tears to my eyes. So sorry for your loss. I have been catless for many years (hubby isn't a cat person and doesn't want to share our limited apartment space with a litter box) and I still miss my long-gone cats so much! Hope those margaritas helped!

Elisabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gina said...

So sorry for the loss of your dear friend. We have a kitty who is so thin. I buy him prescription cat food to try to give him something satifying. But, he's old. I'm sure his time is near... I had in my favorite blog posts this tribute to a cat. Read down the comments when you are able. They are truly as beautiful as the author's tribute itself.

http://www.thisgardenisillegal.com/2010/04/sicily-kitty-1996-2010.html/comment-page-1#comment-7340

Noelle Ritter said...

aw Debby. it's so hard to lose a pet. what a beautiful kitty. i'm hoping your kitty loving heart is healing.

mjskit said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of Tiger Lily. I know how hard that is on the whole family and her sister. My sweet kitty lost his brother last fall. It took a few weeks but he adjusted, I think better than we did. He use to be the independent cat that never needed any petting. Now he is the "needy" cat, that follows me around the house in hopes for a little pet which he gets a lot of! Big Hugs to you Darlin!

Monica H said...

Oh Sweetie, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a pet, but never one that I've had for 14 years. You gave her a good home and lots of love and in return she gave you the same. I know the flowers you plant for her will be just perfect.

Hugs my friend.