Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This picture was taken on June 13. Hard to imagine that one month later he would be dead!

I don't usually do this so fast after a pet dies, but yesterday I packed up his food, dishes, beds, litter box, collar and leash, toys, medication, scratching post. I had to get them out of the living room and kitchen, can't look at them every minute. I am tempted to rip out the catnip I am growing for him, but I have resisted. I am not sure what I will do with these things. The food could be donated to the shelter, but could the other items transmit a disease to a new cat? I am not sure. Maybe I will ask Dr. Tina. The dogs have an appointment on August 2.

Bob picked him up while I was at a meeting. It was very upsetting, much more so than if he had died at home, which would have been my preference if I could have seen into the future. But then I may have felt guilty for not taking heroic measures to save him. I had to look into the bag he was in - Bob didn't want to - but since I didn't get a chance to say goodbye it was important for me to see him again. I wasn't able to curl him into a basket as I would have liked, but I wrapped him in a fleece blanket and put him in a box. I put a package of Natural Temptations in with him. Silly, I know, but it was his favorite food, when he felt like eating. Last evening we drove down to Samsonville. Our nephew and my father had dug a grave for him in the afternoon, right next to Edna. Not that she liked him very much, but he loved her.

Today I feel so sad. Also guilty, like it is my fault and I could have saved him somehow. Or should have worried and fussed over him and appreciated him more for the short time I had with him or something. It isn't rational I guess, everyone notes what a good life he had, that he would not have lived this long as a feral cat, how much love and attention we gave him, but I know it is the natural process of grief. All of that is easy to write and say and hard to believe and feel. It is especially hard because he was three. I was blindsided, when I shouldn't have been. The signs were all there that he was gravely ill, and I pushed it out of my mind. For his whole life I knew he had "pillow paw" which is a sign of a terrible immune disorder, but I was in denial. He seemed healthy, until very recently. Even then I thought he was young and it wasn't serious. That was how I felt until Saturday, when serious worry set in. But it wasn't until early Monday that it hit me: he might die, although even when he was at the vet, I chose to believe that he would bounce back.

For the first time in 17 years, I don't have a cat. He might be my last one, and that is a distressing thought, too.

I have so many things to do, and focusing on them would distract me, but I am too distracted to focus on them...

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