Thursday, December 29, 2016

We're almost through

This past month and a half have been beyond stressful.

Right after my last post was the end of my semester for school and I had plenty of work to do to try to pass my finals. I managed to squeak through my last final on the last day of my semester (I passed with a decent score, but the door closing for the end of the term might have nipped my heels a bit.)

On the upside there, I now get to say that I'm certified for Project Management, and that's super spiffy.

Unfortunately, the world tried to collapse around my ears 3 days later.

My last remaining pet had to be let go at the beginning of December. Our weather took a really harsh turn for the worse (colder) and he was already battling some of the worst arthritis most of his vets had ever seen.

Shu was an abuse survivor. I don't know what all happened to him when he was tiny. I know he was taken from his mother WAY too early. He was probably taken at just barely 5 weeks old. I don't know what happened to him between then and when he showed up on my doorstep. There's about a week of unaccounted for time. I do know that he was thrown out of a moving car nearly 17 years ago. I know that he haunted my apartment building getting handouts from neighbors. I know he showed up on my doorstep on the day that I brought home a foam mattress topper for a twin bed that happened to be perfect for plopping down on the doorstep to prevent him running away and hiding.

I know that he was so tiny that he fit in the palm of my hand and could barely reach the sides of my hand with both paws. He could have fit into one of those silly, small, elegant china tea cups and had room left over. He was this little cadet blue and white kitten with the tiniest little voice. He already had long scars down both back legs and some other damage. And he was so desperate to be held and cuddled and loved.

Little monster launched himself at my lap once, in the bathroom. When I was using the bathroom... He hit my lap all right, but he was going so fast that he couldn't STOP on my lap. I had 12 slices across my left thigh from him trying to stop. He ended up stopping all right, after he hit the wall. Poor little turkey. He was horribly accident prone, and I seriously think there was brain damage that kept him at the emotional and learning equivalent of a 6 month to 12 month old kitten.

He would get tangled up in something and not be able to get himself untangled. He would forget that there was a door or wall right in front of his face, even after he noticed it, sniffed it and touched it. He would then run his face right into whatever it was when he got up to go somewhere. It didn't always happen, but it did happen more than once.

He was dumb as a box of rocks. And he wanted so badly to be loved and make me happy that as long as I could get him to understand what I wanted, he would do it. Just to make me smile and tell him that he was a good boy.

He was so submissive, he hid from hummingbirds. He would chatter at squirrels, but if they so much as looked his way, he ran to hide. He wouldn't go after spiders or bugs in the house, he would watch, but if they came towards him, again with the hiding.

He absolutely loved being held and cuddled. He adored being picked up and held to my shoulder like a human child while I rocked in the rocking chair. He would purr if I so much as laid a hand on him. If I touched his nose, he would try to lick my finger. And if I timed it right, I could poke him again while he was in the process of licking and he would forget that his tongue was out. It would stay sticking out until something called his attention to it again.

When he was about 1, he used to play fetch by himself. He would take those rattle mice from the pet store, sit up on his haunches and throw them across the room. Then go get them, come back and do it again.

He always backed down before Willow, my other cat. They slept together and he was always in the submissive position. When she died, I bought him 2 stuffed toys and I put pocket watches in their heads to simulate heartbeat noises as much as I could. He didn't like the rabbit, but he loved the dog one. He slept with that for years after Willow's death.

As he got older and more arthritic, he stopped playing. He would cuddle up next to me on the couch and tap me on the arm regularly to ask to be petted. I have a video of him in October or November of this year where for several minutes he just would pull my hand back to his head to pet him just a bit more.

I have an audio recording of his purr.

He would sleep curled up between my pillow and the pillow on his side of the bed. His head would be on my pillow with me and he would pet my shoulder or cheek until I fell asleep. If I woke up in the middle of the night, he would ask for cuddles and then pet me to sleep again. I would wake up to his purring next to my ear. This is much better than when he was really young. Then he would get under the covers and push me while I slept. I always moved away and would wake up nearly falling off the bed. Often clutching the edge of the mattress to keep myself from falling.

The first Friday in December he couldn't do any of these things. He couldn't manage to walk across the room without crying from pain. He couldn't lay down from the pain. He fell frequently as his joints locked up. I gave him double doses of his pain meds and let the vet know that it was time.

He went to sleep curled in my lap. I know that he knew that I loved him. I know that he wasn't really ready to go, but he was more than ready to not hurt. I know that he had no clue why he hurt so much. I know that he loved me and that he always had.

I know that there is a huge hole in my heart where he was. I know that my house is too quiet and too empty and that I cry so frequently still.

I miss the tugging on my arm. I miss the purring next to my head and the petting as I fell asleep. I miss the whining and complaining when he wanted something. I miss the rattle of his toys when he played. I miss the jingle of the bell on his collar. I miss him and Willow curled up on the other end of the couch. I miss them both trying to pet the parrot while I corralled the parrot to keep him from biting them.

I miss feeling loved.


akqguy said...

Oh sweet you, you're loved. Those we hold so dear never fully leave us. I'm so sorry I can't give you a hug right now. I know this pain is so big right now. Take a deep breath with the tears for me. And another. And another. And listen with all your heart, you can still hear them because they're not ever all the way gone. I swear I still see my old girl out of the corner of my eye on the trail some days, with a happy smile and wagging tail.

Kim Stogdell said...

What a beautiful tribute to your boy. They leave enormous holes in us when they pass, but the eventual hole is worth every second that they spend with us. Much love to you...

purplecatlady said...

I just had to have one of mine helped over the rainbow bridge a few weeks ago. I'm so sorry that he's gone, but do know that he knew how much you loved and cared for him, and how much he meant to you.

Dianne Stucki said...

That may be the sweetest tribute to a pet I have ever read. He sounds like such a sweetheart.

I don't know your feelings about religion, but mine tell me that you will see him again someday. In the meantime, dear one, you are loved.

Lindsey Bockhorst said...

That was a beautiful tribute, and very movingly written. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

Emily Shorette said...
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