A lot of bloggers have written really beautiful and touching posts about leaving their furry friends behind to travel. Of course I felt the need to add to this and always intended to write my girls a goodbye on our blog before we left. Even a year ago, I was thinking about how to write to them and tell them how much we’d miss waking up to their furry little faces and the evenings and weekend mornings spent on the couch watching TV together. I especially wanted them to know how they’ve made every place I’ve lived, since I was 20 and I first got them, more of a home than just an apartment or a house.
Belle and Adeline in our old apartment, back when they were still friends in 2002
But instead, just before launching this blog, we had to say goodbye to one of them. Even now, over 3 months later, it still chokes me up.
Last summer, Adeline (pictured below) very suddenly stopped eating. For a cat that weighed 13 lbs, it was an obvious sign she didn’t feel well. After a lot of tests, we came up with nothing. The vet assumed she had cancer, given her symptoms, but without a couple more thousand dollars, there was nothing definitive.
Addy sitting on the back of a chair, as you do
The idea of another year in our home without her felt too painful to handle. I had already had a lot of heartbreak last year, I couldn’t bear another blow. I needed my kitty. I didn’t realize how much until faced with her illness. We did what we could – giving her steroid injections to calm the massive trembling she was having with increasing frequency, fluids to help stimulate her appetite, and hoping for the best.
With some luck and great care from our vet, Adeline survived and thrived another 8 months.
She was, and always will be, the Queen of Cozy
Suddenly, in mid-April of this year, she started acting funny again. Earlier in the week I had a strange feeling in my gut, one I’ve had before, that something wasn’t right. I’ve learned through some experience to not dismiss these feelings, but to pay close attention to what is going on in my life. That was on a Sunday. Wednesday, she stopped eating.
I took her to the vet as soon as I could – a little more difficult these days without a car. We gave her some fluid, but had stopped the steroid shots awhile back because not only had her shaking stopped, but her blood tests came back completely normal just a couple months prior. I took her home to see if she’d start eating, but I could tell, it was the beginning of the end.
She went quickly. After a lot of heart-wrenching conversation, Shawn and I made the very difficult decision to put her to sleep. As much as we didn’t want it to happen, we knew it was the only fair thing to do.
Our last picture with her – I was only smiling because despite being sick, she wouldn’t sit still for a picture
When Adeline first got sick last summer and I sat there with her crying, I begged God – “Please, just give me more time. At least until before we leave.” It became my mantra every time she started to feel unwell. When it was time to put her down and I knew it was really the end this time, I couldn’t be too upset. I had gotten exactly what I wanted and, more importantly, exactly what I needed.
Belle now sits in “Adeline’s spot”
Honestly, that whole experience hasn’t made it any easier to say goodbye to Belle. She has no idea what changes are coming – moving into my mom’s house with her 2 other litter mates and her birth mom, her humans leaving her… But everyday, she just looks up at me, wanting love and affection, and all I can do is enjoy the time we have left with her. That’s true as we get ready to leave Belle while we travel, as well as the time we had left with Addy. It’ll never be enough, but right now, it’s really good.