February 2015, eh? It has certainly been a month. A month of what? I’m struggling to keep track of it all myself!
Sad news in our house this week as we said goodbye to our eldest cat, Kitty (Yeah … we tried a few names on him in the early days, but that was the only one that gelled!).
I've written the story, but it's up to you if you'd like to read it (click here).
He was only 13, but we had been watching his rather rapid decline since Christmas with a mix of concern and frustration. First, he stopped eating biscuits. Fine. We offered him more meat. But then he got picky about the meat. He was getting picky about how he drank his water, too (from a plastic container in the bath to from around the plugged bath drain to straight from the running bath tap …), so it was very much a “How can I keep you well fed if you won’t eat what I offer?” situation. I felt like I was spending large chunks of my days dishing out cat food in small, frequent meals. Until this last week when we realised he was refusing every meal, and not even making an attempt to eat. At the same time an infection set in (runny nose & eyes), so it was definitely time for the vet. Long story shorter, the conclusion was a cancerous lump in his gut. Surgery/chemo/radiation might give him a few (unpleasant) months. With him already not eating, we decided the kindest option was to peacefully send him to sleep and away out of this realm. Now, the plan was to discuss this with Mr 4, let him know why Kitty wouldn’t be coming home again and give him the opportunity to say goodbye and also the choice to see Kitty after the deed, if he was comfortable with that. Well, in true Mr 4 style, he wanted to stay. At first, I said it wasn’t a great idea (I’ve helped two pets along before; 1 (cat) very peaceful, and 1 (dog) also probably peaceful, but didn’t look that way to me as an observer). But, when the time came, his curiosity got the better of me, and I decided not to drag him from the room. We explained what was happening, and Mr 4 was far more interested in mum’s tears than having any of his own or any worries about the whole thing. It’s hard to know how much he understands, but it’s good to know we can have open dialogue and he knows he’s welcome to ask questions and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. Overall, I’m happy with how things played out. Just sad to see the little white/ginger fellow gone so soon.
It’s the first of October here in New Zealand. This morning, when I realised the date, I also recalled, of course, what tomorrow is … October 2nd. Which was, and always will be, my first dog Griffin’s birthday.
And I realised something … I miss him, deeply.
Griffin came into my life when I was a 17 year old school girl, potentially on the cusp of making stupid decisions. But I didn’t need to. I had Griffin. I loved him and he loved me, and we did everything together. I still fancied boys, but I didn’t need a boy. I had Griffin.
Every year, we gave Griffin a present under the Christmas tree. It didn’t need to be food, yet he could always pick it out. And as long as the paper wasn’t that shiny stuff, he could open it himself, too. But he would always carry it to my mum to get the OK, first.
My Pop (mum’s dad) was diagnosed with cancer soon after I got Griffin, and a year later passed. I will always remember Griffin running happily into Pop’s house, which we were staying in to attend his funeral, and running around looking for him … he was very disappointed Pop wasn’t there.