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Posts Tagged ‘Loss of a pet’

Wednesday, I was faced with a decision that I wished I never had to make.  It was coming to the realization that I had to weigh the quality of life of a very dear, very loved feline family member.  Wednesday I said goodbye to my little, precious and beautiful girl Indigo.  I want to first say that she was peaceful and in no pain in her final moments.  I would hope that in those moments she also realized just how much she was loved and cherished.   These past two days have brought up so many emotions, but I keep taking into account that she is no longer in pain, she is no longer losing weight, or having issues.  The past year and a half really took a toll on her and I still cannot fathom that  her brother Trooper is 16 and Buffy is also 16.  I never thought I would be saying goodbye to my little girl first.

As far back as I can remember, I have always had pets…As a child, my family had Rusty 1 a big orange and white tom cat which was from what I remember Kevin’s cat.  After Rusty passed, of course we had to adopt Rusty 2.  Another big orange and white tom cat.  After that there was Nosey and her sister Suzy Q.  Suzy Q was my cat and I was devastated when she was killed by a car.  Shortly after that, when Nosey had kittens – one looked just like  Suzy Q and I begged my parents to keep her.  I guess my begging worked and  I named her Precious as it was such a coincidence that Nosey would have a clone and the same facial markings of Suzy Q (a calico).  Then there was Cleo (short for Cleopatra – another calico).  At some point my brother Keith brought home Skeeter from Long Island and then there was TJ (formerly Thomas Joseph named after a friend’s boyfriend and my dad).  TJ was adopted from the barn at my Uncle Monroe’s house in Woodbury.  He was the runt of the litter but he was a Maine Coon cat.  He grew to 22 lbs. and had a wonderful life tromping through Robert Treat’s Farmers Field in Milford.  Of course there was also Charlie brown our rabbit, followed by Buttercup another rabbit.  Not to mention the little turtles, my brothers fish tanks, gerbils (thanks Lorelei) and all the rescue birds the cats caught.   I guess you can say I grew up in an animal loving family…I was also surrounded by animal loving friends and over the years have adopted in my mind their pets (better known as their children). 

When I purchased my condo I wasn’t expecting to get a pet as it would have to be a strictly indoor pet since I was on the second floor.  Well, that changed when Trooper was brought home from a New London parking lot weighing in at 3/4 lb.  we adopted Trooper.  Fearing that he was lonely, we adopted Buffy 6 months later who had a family blood line of Maine coon cat.  When these two did not get along, we figured if we added another cat, then something magical would happen.  So under Carol Forleo’s porch we went to choose the pick of the litter.  And something magical did happen…  She was a tortoise shell/calico little fidget and she became my little girl (in all senses of the word).  From day one, there was something special and comforting about her. Of course i love and adore Trooper and Buffy beyond belief also, but with Indigo, something just clicked…We connected with our eyes and she was forever engrained in my life, and especially my heart.  She was named after my favorite band … the Indigo Girls. 

Well, immediately, Trooper the male decided to take her under his wings and became quite the motherly figure with Indigo.  They walked around the house together, they slept together, he groomed her.  They were inseparable.  Indigo was tiny and even in her healthy times, never made it more than 7 lbs. Still she was my little girl.  Jake our Golden Retriever joined the crew and as much as he wanted to hang with the cats…Trooper would not allow it.  Funny thing is…Indigo picked up Jake’s puppy tail wagging trait, thus getting the nickname Waggy..Whenever I walked into the house or called her,  she would come up wagging her tail…not something a cat normally does. I smile when I envision how she used to get the play ball stuck in her claw and she would wave her paw up and down looking at the stuck ball until I would go over and get the ball off.  Or how she would mix the water in the water dish with her paw before she drank it.  She also had a habit of not liking to eat food out of any dish so she would bat a bunch of food onto the floor and then eat it.  She loved to chase flash light beams or the laser pointer.  And did her circles around my legs when it was time for soft food. She was also fond of bug watching and would sit at the slider door waiting for any type of flying insect to come within her reach.  That was our summertime ritual, bug watching and if I even said the word “bug” , Trooper, with Indigo in tow would take their positions in front of the slider screen door.    I used to call her my Chakra helper as she used to stabilize me in so many ways.  She was my friend in good times and bad, and knew my moods and habits probably better than anyone other than Trooper and Buffy.   Cats love unconditionally, without judgement.  They nurture their owners and show love in each headbutt, meow, lick, rub and snuggle. 

Wednesday when I realized something had to be done, my mind was numb, all over the place, racing.   It doesn’t matter how the morning unfolded.  I tried to call my mom but she was at bingo, I spoke with one friend who was en route home to MA and she turned around without me asking and just came over and surprised me and helped pass the time until I had to go to the vet.  Another I tried calling and didn’t want to leave a message.  

 Before Indigo and I  left the house, she was sitting so calm on my lap – Indigo and I had a good few hours that morning and afternoon together.  Letting me pet her nose and up her tail…something she always loved.  talking and just being in the moment together.  Trooper came over to her and basically licked her from head to every toe.  Kissing her, nudging her.  Even once I put her in her carrier, she stuck her nose out, as Trooper once again kissed her.  With one paw outstretched from the carrier, Trooper gently walked up and licked her paw and gave her a final lick on the nose.

In the end, it came down to bringing my precious little girl to the vet with the original parents she was adopted by 14 years ago.  I was right by her side along with her other mom who she knew for the first five or so years of her life and also on occasional visits.  Indigo cried a bit during the two minute ride to JFS and then the nest two minutes to the vet but she was calm, at ease, and a certain peace came over her as she sat on the vets table.  She was purring, and even gave me several head butts, and licks.  We were there by her side, talking to her, petting her and ushering her into the next phase of her life.  Allowing her to let go and for her soul to rise to see Jake and all those who passed before her. 

I can say that in the past few weeks, or actually the past year and a half when she started to have more serious  issues, she was more of a lap cat than she had ever been. I would not trade those times for anything.  My cats have been my life and one of the only sure thing for the past, basically, 9 years of my life living alone.  They shared my life 24/7… more so than some couples, or parents see their kids, husbands, relatives, etc. for that matter.  It is so sad that pets cannot say when they are hurting, when they want to just go to their maker, when they have had enough.  Maybe this is because they do not want to burden their owners, hurt the very person who has cared, loved and taken care of them.

I want to believe that Jake and my dad were there to greet her and introduce her to her earlier four legged relatives and family members. 

I would like to believe that she holds no contempt as I would never purposely let any type of animal suffer and I hope she understood that it was out of love and care that I made that decision on Wednesday.  I also would like to believe that when I said goodbye she believed that we would meet again and that I would never forget just how much she enhanced my life everyday.  And most of all, I sincerely hope she realizes just how much she was loved by me, Trooper and Buffy and all those who had the chance to meet her.  Rest in Peace my beautiful, precious little girl.  I am totally heartbroken  – and  Trooper and Buffy miss you so much.  As for me…that goes without saying.   Sweet dreams my little girl.  Always in my heart and mind.

PS … many thanks for all the phone calls, comments on facebook, cards, and the love and support of my extended family and friends.

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