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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Little pawprints on your heart

First off, thanks for all the kind comments, thanks for the people who didn't tell me I'm an idiot for being so sad over a kitten, thanks for the people who shared that they would have made the same decision, thanks for the people who didn't share that they wouldn't have made the same decision, thanks for the people who shared about their reactions to the loss of their pet and let me know that it's ok to feel this sad.  Every one of your comments made me cry while also making me feel better at the same time.  And if you want to stop reading now, go right ahead.  The rest is probably more for me than for anyone else. 

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I was worried about telling J about Sammie, but he handled it fairly well.  He cried a couple of tears when I first told him, then he had a couple of questions.  When I was telling him that we sat with her until she died, he asked, "And then she just disappeared?" It was an interesting little window into his understanding, or lack thereof.  I guess it might go back to when we had  Dingo, our 14 year old cat, put to sleep a few years ago.  Because I took him to the vet while J. was asleep and didn't try explaining to him about having a pet put to sleep, it must have seemed like the cat just disappeared.

He also said that he hoped that Sammie found Dingo in Heaven so that we could all be together once we all died, and he cried a few more tears at school when I dropped him off.  Otherwise, he handled Sammie's death surprisingly well.  Honestly, I was a little concerned about how easily the 7 year old took the loss while N and I were devastated.  That evening, though, I was reassured.  When I came home from work, J was laying on the floor with his arms around our dog.  He looked really sad, so I asked if he was missing Sammie.  "Yeah.  Nathan already buried her in the yard behind the garden, so I went out there and sat with her for a little while."

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That day in school was a little rough.  Seems like mentions of cats and kittens came up in everything we did.  While I held it together when my students were in the classroom (thank God for a job that requires your full attention), I cried basically the entire rest of the time.  I hadn't bothered to put on mascara that morning, knowing full well it would be all down my face by the time I got out of town, but the rest of the makeup was a waste, too, since it was all washed away.  One of my students told me, "You don't look very good today."  She was correct, but severely lacking in tact, so I tried to help her rephrase it: "I think you mean that I look like I don't feel very good today, right?"  She looked dubiously at my tearstained face.  "Uhhh....sure."

J. is doing fine, N. is sad but seems to be doing OK, and I'm still crying at least once every day.  Today I ran over a squirrel on the way to church and burst into tears.  I'm not sure why this has all hit me so hard.  I think it's the combination of her being my child's pet, her being such a sweet loveable thing, and guilt.  I'm the one who wouldn't hospitalize her.  I made the decision.  And while N. never argued with me or even asked me to please take her back to the vet, my older son told me that N. had texted him that night asking if he could borrow money.  That breaks my heart all over again.

But you know, you make decisions and have to live with them.  And move on.  Hopefully before I permanently lose the ability to write a complete sentence. :P

9 comments:

  1. Stop questioning your decision. You did the best thing for the cat and your family. That picture of her is so sweet on your husband's shoulder.
    I did tear up reading about your younger son texting the other for money. How sweet he sounds.
    Take care.

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  2. You made the right decision. I have and am in your same boat. You did your absolute best - I'm so sorry!

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  3. I'm really really (really) sorry to hear about your loss. I can only imagine how tough it is and dread the day I lose my lil Fredbird.

    Not that it matters but I'm confident that you did the best you could for you and your family. So stop questioning your decision and let yourself heal.

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  4. You did make the right decision and it's ok to be sad. Hang in there.

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  5. You totally made the right decision...don't be second guessing yourself. It's a very sad situation...big hug (((())))

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  6. If it makes you feel any better we once made the decision to hospitalize our cat Barbara. $2500 later we had a dead cat who spent most of her last days in the hospital getting needles and ivs. Totally, totally regret it. And, despite my last two comments I actually have some healthy pets :)

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  7. Oh, Kate, try to let the guilt go. You made the decision that you felt was right for your family. That's a shit-ton of money, and $ brings no guarantees.

    I hope you are feeling better :(

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  8. Dear super Kate...you are a good mom. and you made the right decision. I would have done the same. This is hard. I get that but you have to let go of the guilt. I agree dont second guess and let go of the what if... you are a good person and a good mom. that is all that matters. hang in there

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  9. When we have pets there are responsibilities we have to accept. Some of them are not good ones. Dewey and I learned the hard way after spending $1,000 on a surgery for our cat and he died the next day. There are no guarantees...and it's heart breaking. But we do the best we can...I've since had 3 other cats die (2 put to sleep at 16 and one just died) and it's never an easy decision. :( I'm sorry you're going through this Kate. Tracey M.

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