Thursday, July 02, 2009

onward and upward

I have a lot of bloggy back-tracking to do, to catch-up on all the things that I have been too busy (ahem), ok LAZY to write... but I don't have time for it now, either. Dang.

On with it then: This week has been harder on me than expected. It was this time last year that we learned that our dear cat, Monkey, was not just suffering from allergies* but was instead in the late stages of heart failure. We leapt into action as soon as we could, but as with every fatal disease, there is only so much you can do. We made him as comfortable as we could and relished in every moment that we had left together. But by 4th of July (also his birthday), he was in pretty bad shape. The diuretics helped pull some of the fluid out of his lungs but he was pretty weak and tired all the time. I also suspect that he had a lot of headaches (being a fellow migraneur, some of the signs are as bright as neon) and so he preferred to hide away in the back of the dark, cool closet.

We stayed home that day and went about our normal routines and tried to spend time with him without overly pestering him. The only time we left the house all day was to stand on our own driveway and watch fireworks and then we came right back in.

Fourth of July was his birthday and so it sits a little heavy in my heart that he isn't here this year. He would have been 10 years old. And while I have an enormous amount of gratitude that he is no longer suffering and that his heart beats on eternally elsewhere in the universe, I still miss my kitty. Will it be nice to leave the house on the 4th without worrying about his 4x daily medications? Yes. Isn't it better that he won't be pestered by screeching Piccolo Petes all night? Absolutely**. Am I still making plans and carrying on? Yes, of course. But it won't be the same. Some days I'd trade all the worrying and couch-scratching and shedding and barfing and eating plastic bags in the world to have him back for one more day.

SO. This 4th of July we're making plans to hang out with friends and eat fried chicken and ride rollercoasters and eat funnel cake and wear dorky Americana outfits and it's going to be great. And every smile, every laugh, every dorky guffaw will be dedicated to Monkey.

Sweet monkey

photo taken July 3, 2008

*he had these periodic sneezing fits and sometimes would have a big wheezing cough, which are the exact signs of allergies (and also heart disease) and so he was on antihistamines and responding fairly well. An earlier x-ray showed an enlarged heart, but since he was a big cat (in height as well as girth) and we also didn't have any 'before' images, there was no way of knowing if he'd always had a big heart or if this was being caused by something else. Also, the vet said that when cats get x-rays done, they tend to hold their breath, which can distort the lungs in the images and sometimes causes the heart to expand briefly and also look bigger on the film.

**he HATED any kind of sustained high pitch noise (a single 'ooooooooo' for 2 seconds was all it took to get him to stop scratching on the couch) and these fireworks are the worst (they also make me crazy).


Miss Bliss said...

July seems to be a heavy month of late...a very dear four legged friend went to the great beyond on Thursday of last week. Which had me thinking about and in a couple of cases talking about Monkey. Such big spirits in those little bodies.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Monkey... You guys gave him the best life. He couldn't have asked for a better family. And the timing is still kind of making me step back - that I would be struck with the compulsion to decorate a matchbox of all things (I was like, "Oh! Something useful Mia will have have an excuse to carry around with his picture!") with absolutely no idea that it was his birthday (and it was a total Monkey box. I was going to do different colors and then was like, "No. Orange. Orange and white.") I think he must've made a visit this week and just wanted to let you know he's okay.


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