To anyone who has ever had to make the decision to put an animal to sleep (and seriously, couldn’t someone have come up with a better term?), you have my heartfelt empathy.
The rationale makes sense. It’s humane to spare them suffering. We spare them suffering because they can’t talk. They can’t tell us how bad they really feel. On the other side of that shit coin is they can’t tell us how UN-BAD they really feel. So in addition to the heartwrenching grief of losing your beloved furry friend, you also get to wrestle with the guilt.
It just seems like it went so fast. Did we panic and make the decision too quickly? I know he wasn’t going to get better but maybe he would have rallied a bit and been around longer. This is all in hindsight, of course, because the thought process before was “holy crap, what if we wait too long?” So there’s never a right time. I have been told that “you’ll just know” but to be frank, that’s a bunch of crap. You don’t know. You guess. You question every meow, every look, every action wondering “is he trying to tell me something?”
My mom and I loved that little (big) guy so much. Our worlds are a little emptier today and it sucks. I thought I remembered how much it hurt when we had to make the decision with Jager but I think my brain blocked out the true depth of the soul-destroying numbness I felt. I appreciate that, brain. This is not a feeling I can carry around on a day to day basis.
Here’s something nice to end this horribly depressing blog… my mom and I drove around all day because we didn’t know what else to do. When we got back to her house, I was petting Little, Fatty’s anti-social lil bro, while looking out the front window. What I saw, lazing on her front walkway, was a very comfortable all-black cat. He was by no means Fatty, but it’s rare to see a stray in her neighborhood at all, let alone a black minion laying in her yard like he owns the place. We just watched him for awhile, and then he got up, looked at me, trotted towards the window, then under it and out of sight. My mom’s friend told her Fatty would send a message that we did the right thing. I am not the kind of person who believes in signs. But I am taking this as the kitty world telling us we did the right thing. And while it barely makes a dent in the hurt, it is a comfort.
RIP Chaos (yeah, that was his real name until we discovered his love of food, no one has called him that in probably 16 years)/Big Guy/Fatty
Even if it results in my contracting malaria or some other nature-related death. At some point I enjoyed the outside world, and to an extent, I still do. I love going the beach. I love soaking up the sun. I greatly appreciate varieties of foliage and the carbon-reducing part they play in this world of ours. The greenery I appreciate from afar. One, I don’t want to kill it, as my black thumb is wont to do. Two, there are bugs and animals and THINGS in there.
So today, as I took my shift as cat-watcher while Fatty sat contentedly amongst the vast foliage my mom has decorating her lawn (she is a firm believer in foliage), I was eaten alive by mosquitoes, had a minor heart attack when a snake slithered out suddenly in my direction and very close to me (to be clear, I am not afraid of snakes, and having lived in FL my whole life, I know what black racers look like and that they are not harmless and that they are more scared of me than I am of them, but having one appear suddenly when you are not expecting them…), dodged bees flitting about collecting nectar (I AM afraid of bees, though…I will make every effort not to kill one as I know they are much more helpful to the world than they are harmful but I do not extend the same courtesy to wasps, also, there was a giant super-sized bee that apparently is a bumblebee but in 33 years of life I have never seen one), witnessed some weird leaf bug and admired (from afar) giant caterpillar.
Fatty minds none of this. He just settles himself amongst it all and gets cozy. He’s happy there. My discomfort is worth that. I certainly wouldn’t brave that for a human.
My mom and I took Fatty to my vet yesterday, because I love my vet for very important reasons. She never acts as if wanting to have all the information is annoying, she explains everything, she gives options, and she really spends the time with you. She is a great cat vet but even better as a cat mom counselor. We didn’t really know what to expect with Fatty’s cancer diagnosis.
Now we know. She found a mass, so it’s progressing pretty quickly. We have a questionnaire to help us figure out when is the right time, before he suffers. It’s going to be a lot earlier than we thought.
So he is getting everything his little heart desires. Tuna, trips outside, KFC.
Why would a cat that’s spent 17 years inside have any desire to go outside? LEMME TELL YA. When he was younger (and when I was, too), his favorite thing in the world and my LEAST favorite thing in the world was to haul ass out the front door at 5am when I opened it to get the paper, sans shoes or glasses. Yeah, I got to chase after him barefoot and blind, around the house into the backyard, where he would suddenly stop, reverse course and haul ass back the way he came and into the house. Super fun. I especially enjoyed stepping on slugs. At 5am. He’s been too fat and old to pull that kinda crap for quite awhile, but it seems his affinity for outside still stands. My mom took him out and let him roam today.
He’s not running anymore, he just sits down and watches things go on. When I visited earlier today, he nestled himself under a cabana of elephant ear leaves (I have no idea what plant it was, I’m sure my mom will give me an earful about why I should know, whatever it is, it’s Florida native because that’s all my mom will plant).
What Fatty wants, Fatty gets.
Some days, the cats make me want to leave home.
And some days, I luff them more than I can bear.
My kitty snuggle tonight is better than a beer. Cheers, Moosh Moosh.
I could google this, but for the sake of this post, I’ll allow my curiosity to fester.
“This” is the phenomenon of my cats seemingly recognizing my (and maybe the boyfriend’s) voice. I know that I’ve read that cats respond better to women’s voices, something about the tone. Moosh and Taco seem like they respond to our voices, particularly by their names. Taco is less of a sure thing, he just talks all the time, and to whatever variation of his name we use. But he at least looks like he knows that he’s being talked to. Moosh, on the other hand, knows his name like the back of his paw. Maybe it’s just the tone that we say it in, or the way that “Moosh Moosh” sounds. Saying it sometimes gets him all worked up, like I’m petting him without actually petting him. He’ll close his eyes, purr, and look like he’s in ecstacy.
It’s funny what you discover from years of co-existing with your animals. How you can figure out what their triggers are. Why do they have the triggers they do?
The best response I can get from Moosh is by shaking my head back and forth while saying his name in a deep, cooing voice. He’ll come running almost every time. Unless he gets distracted.
Taco’s ultimate call-over involves more energy. He responds best to an excited voice. Less coo-ey, more OMG, but still in a deeper voice. He gets all jacked up and runs over. If I’m laying down, combining that with patting my chest plate loudly will get him up and on my stomach purring.
So…am I crazy? Does anyone else know quirks this intimate about their furry children or do I just look waaaaaay too far into things?
As if one needs MORE reasons. I know I spend an awful lot of time on this blog bitching about my cats but really, I’m very happy to be a kitty mommy.
Why am I so appreciative today?
Well, for one, it’s been excessively rainy this week. My backyard was so flooded at one point today it started pooling in the tracks of my sliding glass door. This is nothing new, it’s Florida and it’s July. I should be happy it’s not a hurricane. What I AM happy for, and have covered before, is that I don’t have to take the cats outside for walks like this. But that’s not what I’m writing about today.
I read a story today (ok, I just skimmed the headline and a bit of the first paragraph, but I got the point) about how July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters accepting dogs. This saddens me immensely, but also makes me quite thankful to have my kitties. Of course, it’s not dogs’ faults that they’re scared shitless of redneck amateur pyro enthusiasts setting off millions of dollars of loud, obnoxious (and let’s not forget fiery) plumes of explosives. And it’s also not the fault of the canines that humans are assholes who take on the responsibility of pet parenting only to throw in the towel at a moment’s notice. Of course, since I didn’t actually READ the whole article, I may be completely missing the point, but after some conversations with friends who are puppy parents (the RESPONSIBLE kind) worried about the mental state of their furry children tomorrow, it’s not at all far fetched for me to come to the conclusion that I didn’t really need to read the article to figure it out.
The monsoons of the past week have also so generously brought loud, window rattling thunder, which apparently has a similar effect on the dog population. Personally, I find it soothing. My boys pay it no mind. Except for the other day when Moosh was dead asleep in a bed near a window, and a particularly loud clap of thunder shook the walls…he poked his head up, gave the window a “dude, I’m sleeping here” scowl, and took his time getting up to find a quieter spot where he could rest without his slumber being so rudely interrupted.
This is not a gloat post, I love animals. Much more than humans, in fact. Including dogs. I am just not a dog person. I find them cute and adorable and I think they’re wonderful for dog people. I just find things like this incredibly sad, and honestly, I empathize with the dogs. I don’t like loud noises either. And I also don’t like idiots who treat animals as if they’re not living beings who deserve every bit of care that a human child would. I’m also torn, because the type of person who would give away a dog as if it was a thrift store donation is not the kind of person who should have one, so in a way I suppose it’s kind of good.
All this being said, there are times when the cats go absolutely apeshit over a creak that I can barely hear, but at least I can rest easy knowing they’ll make it through tomorrow. Me, on the other hand…when the pyromaniacs come out, I’ll be safely inside, so long as a stray ember doesn’t burn my house down (I do, actually, worry about stray embers). I ooh and ahh over fireworks like normal people, but I like to enjoy those of professionals. From a distance.
Today is the shared birthday of my baby boys.
The boyfriend refuses to believe this is possible. Moosh’s birthday is, of course, not as definite, since he was found as a kitten after being thrown out of a car, but given that Taco was birthed behind my friend’s house, I DO know this for a fact. Whatever, they don’t care when their birthdays are. As long as they get extra treats, they’re ecstatic. I don’t know how to bake cat cakes, or else I would. Maybe hash brownies with catnip instead of hash? I don’t know how to make hash brownies, either. I’m pretty sure chocolate is bad for cats, too. Well. They’ll just have to deal with a little extra love today. Crap, I think I need to buy them wet food, too. Boy, I’m an awesome mommy.
Moving on. Moosh Moosh is officially an old man at 5, which in cat years is 37.
He’s older than ME! But still younger than the boyfriend. HAH!
Taco is still a little younger than me, 3 actual years, 29 in cat years.
Shouldn’t he be running out of steam yet? He thinks he’s still a kitten. I just tried telling him that and he looked at me, then continued to lick his foot. Ah, to not care about one’s age! Then again, I think I’m still in my twenties. At what age is it no longer appropriate to wear neon? I hope never. I’m not a fan of Chico’s or Ann Taylor Loft. But I don’t want to end up looking like those ladies who can’t let go of their youth, wearing midriffs and stripper heels. Please smack me if I’m ever that lady.
I suggested taking the kitties to the beach for their birthday, after all, it’s one big litter box…but they hate fresh air, and probably water. Oh well.
Despite the fact that I’m only on half vacation until 3pm tomorrow, I’m trying to make the most of my off time. So far, I’ve accomplished very little, except that I’ve actually been to the gym EVERY DAY this week! So what if it’s only Tuesday? This is still something to give accolades for. Yay me.
I also spent some quality time with my mom and my other cats today. By this I mean one allowed me to maneuver under a chair to pet him and the other demanded attention to his fat belly.
The mother is not used to having my undivided attention, so as usual, she forgot everything she was saving up to talk to me about. But we had a lovely time anyway, going through books and old photos. And I did all her “tech” stuff. You can lead a horse to an iPhone, but you can’t make em update it.
Then I came home. To a Taco that seems to be extra loud. He’s been meowing up a storm lately. I am ready to punch him. I won’t, of course, but I threaten him anyway. He meows in response. I’m considering not coming home at all tomorrow.
I plan to spend the rest of the time off with the boyfriend. Hopefully on the beach. I stockpiled a crapload of books (it pays to have a mommy with a bookstore when you’re a bookworm) and I even bought a fancy new towel that slides right on to your beach chair. Please hold out, weather!
I watched My Cat From Hell last night.
Spoiler alert: The cat had cancer. Why don’t ya throw me for a loop there, Jackson? CRY CITY.
In honor of the lovely lady who had such a big heart that she took in this stray feral cat that for two years did nothing but eat and hide and strike at her, I am going to ignore the fact that Taco woke me up yesterday with a well-placed paw on a sore ab muscle and focus on how lucky I am to be in a position to have rescued the kitties that I have and that my boys give me love and affection (for the most part) in return.
I also don’t have much else to write about today, so this is a picture tribute.
Oh, and the kitty got surgery that removed all the cancer and with Jackson’s help, he even got domesticized enough to let the lady pet him. Hopefully that road continues to be a rewarding one for her. You go, girl. And props to the husband, who didn’t really understand her need to help this cat but went along with it all anyway. Ugh. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it all.