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Part 1: My Kitty Grey Is An Angel, Longish


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I'm new here. I'm posting 2 separate times since I exceeded the length when I tried to put the posts together. The first is about the passing of my baby, Kitty Grey. The second is the aftermath of that, & the final act of burying her. I hope this makes sense. I also tried to attach pictures of her, but I'm not sure if they turned out. One is of us together, as we were most of the time. Pics of her alone are hard to take since her pretty crossed blue eyes, turn out red.

I'm pretty miserable, under a counselor's care & fighting lifelong clinical depression, anxiety, & fibromyalgia on top of losing my girl. She was my "surrogate child", so her passing has altered my life completely & I'm not coping without her at all. I'm grateful to find a group where I can vent my feelings without receiving ridicule, scorn, or sheer callousness. Thank you. Deb

Here's PART 1:

My Kitty Grey Is An Angel

I can hardly write through the tears. My brave, sweet, 20 yr old Kitty Grey left me yesterday at sunset. She had been in the ER last week for the reaction to a medication & seemed to go downhill from there. The last two nights that I stayed up with her convinced me it was time to do the unbearable, & let her go. She hadn't slept much & spent more time in the bathroom or litter box just staring. I'd give her medicine & sweet baby, as usual, never fought or complained, but now, I could see in the weariness & resignation in her eyes. It was if she was asking me, mom, must we do this again? I picked her up & she laid her head on my shoulder. She felt so tiny & thin.

I knew then, that I could not continue to poke her fragile skin daily with fluids, keep pushing pills & syringes down her throat, or trying to make her eat when she didn't want to. I was just prolonging the inevitable. I sadly realized I was providing life support & she was just existing now & not truly living. I believe she was holding on for me, since she knew I felt I couldn't go on without her, that I was afraid that she was my lifeline, my only reason to live.

I looked into those tired, blue crossed eyes & told her I loved her, always would, & that nothing, time nor distance would change that. Then I repeated the story I had told her so many times...how I fell in love with her at first sight, knew I had to rescue her from a terrible place, because she deserved so much more care, respect & love, & I was the one to give it to her. How, 2 yrs after that first meeting, I finally got her, cradled her in my arms, crying tears of happiness & announcing "She's really mine", like I had just adopted a baby. (In a way I had. I never had a child, so Kitty Grey became my "surrogate baby"). She was kitten like from the start & never seemed to grow up to "cat" stage, even though she had been a mama to so many litters, & now it was my turn to be the mama I wanted to be to her.

I told her I was so very proud of her, that she was a brave trooper through her entire life, to survive terrible abuse, to go on for 20 years with no bitterness or fear toward humans, which she had every right to feel, but instead she showed me incredible love, comfort & how to find joy in the smallest thing. She lived each day to the fullest & she made my days & nights full of happiness. She went on to bravely fight CRF for the last 8 yrs, with grace, dignity, sweetness & her little bit of sass. She also sailed through the surgery on a benign tumor & not only did she survive the surgery, she stayed with me for more few months, happy & proud once again of her gorgeous, silky, silvery fur. I thanked for her being such an inspiration to me. When I was scared, hurting & wanting to give up, she was there to kiss away my tears, keep me company in bed through months of pain, & love me deeply & unconditionally. She never left me or let me down as so many humans had...but perhaps she understood that feeling.

I told her I loved her endearing habits, like waking me up by gently placing a paw on my cheek, head bonking or "pretending" to bite my toes, draping herself over my shoulder when I fell asleep, & covering my nose & forehead with sandpaper kisses. She was there for me through a rough divorce, uprooting moves, disabling pain & personal losses. I told her how she was a part of me, that we shared a special bond & our hearts were connected & nothing could ever break that bond.

I told her so much more, but most importantly, that I wasn't going to poke, prod, or take her to another vet. I told her that as much as I wanted her to stay, I had to let her go. That it was ok for her to leave me, it was just temporary, & she was going to a very special place where she'd be free of pain, disease, would be able to run & play like she used to & reunite with former housemates. I told her I'd meet her there later, & expected her to be waiting for me. It was hard to say, but harder to see the toll this disease had taken on her.

I arranged for a very special vet I just heard about to come to the house. I didn't want Kitty Grey to suspect anything, to stress over the hot car trip, see another clinic or feel that I was leaving her at the hospital again. All she knew what she was spending another sunny afternoon on the sun porch, that "grandMAW & grandPAW" were visiting, & that mom was giving her lots of love & kisses as usual. I tried not to cry in front of her but at times, it just flowed out. The minutes ticked by as I got more scared, nervous, panicked & then the doorbell rang & my stomach dropped. The vet had arrived. She was understanding, compassionate, & told me to take all the time I needed to say my goodbyes. She thought Kitty Grey was gorgeous & boy, was she! Kitty Grey was sitting comfortably on the bench, ( not hunched up like she'd been sitting lately) but stretched out, regally, like the Sphinx, her long fur blowing in the breeze, her head held up high, her fur shining in the sun.

It was really hard to "begin". How does one play God & name the time a life should end? My parents each held an angel ornament off the tree I had put up for Kitty Grey, Christmas 2006, when I thought I'd lose her, but as she had so many times, rallied & proved the vets wrong. She wasn't ready to go then. The little tree is still up, with her tiny kitty stocking hanging off it. But then I noticed Kitty Grey tiring out, head drooping, reality setting in as I recalled how awful the past nights had been, & gave the nod to start.

The vet said a beautiful pet blessing I had picked out & I held my sweet girl's head in my hands as I sang our special song to her & told her again I loved her. The first shot hurt her a bit being in the muscle. That hurt me to hear her cry out, but she relaxed quickly & laid her head down by mine. She looked like she was peacefully basking in a sunny nap. The vet told me when she was giving the second shot & I watched my beautiful baby slip away quickly & peacefully as the sun set. Once the vet said she was gone, I released all the emotions I had held in for KG's sake. I thought I'd die right there, trying to catch my breath & felt as if my heart was ripped out, the sadness, anguish, & emptiness so was intense. I was sobbing as I laid over her, gathering her in my arms.

The vet laid her hand on my shoulder, & said a prayer for me I didn't hear through my tears, but I know she was asking God to give me strength. All of us were crying. My parents kissed the top of Miss Grey's head, then my girl was wrapped up in her blanket & put into my arms. I looked down at her peaceful face, & knew I did the right thing at the right time. It didn't make my grief or pain any less, but holding her like a baby comforted me. Some might think it's too sad or even morbid, but I don't. It's like a final hug. She was so soft, so little & I just rocked her. I also do this thing I began when I lost Gizmo 2 yrs ago. I carried Kitty Grey through each room of the house before leaving for the ER, remembering all the times we shared in each one, the hardest being the bedroom where her bed, munchies, toys & space we had shared for so long. It's as if I wanted her to "see" her home once more before she left.

I held her on the ride to the ER, where they'd keep her until I could take her home to Sedona, & bury her next to Gizmo, under the big pine, in the backyard, where I can see their memorial stones from my bedroom. The ER tech was very compassionate & gave me a private room to say goodbye. My parents & I spent a few more moments tucking her in her blanket with her sock & ball, & they literally had to drag me out of that room. I kept stopping the tech in the door asking to let me see her face again. She looked so perfect lying wrapped up with her little gray nose showing. My mom finally helped me leave that room as I sobbed like a baby & it broke my heart all over again.

I'm hurting so bad, I can't believe how much I miss her. When I woke this morning & turned to the nightstand, I couldn't believe she wasn't there, on her heated bed, opening those gorgeous, blue crossed eyes to greet me. She wasn't there to pull over onto my chest for her usual chin rubs, snuggles & my nose & forehead kiss with her sandpaper tongue. The toughest time was at sunset tonight, when I relived yesterday's moments. The soft breeze, the vivid red & orange sun streaks were the same, but she wasn't there basking in the last rays. I couldn't bear the sense of loneliness & deep pain. I know she's at peace, but I'm not. I know that I put her needs before mine, that she wasn't happy living & was starting to suffer, but it doesn't help me cope. Intellectually, I knew it was time to let her go, but emotionally, I wanted to hold on to her forever. I had hoped & prayed for her to have a peaceful passing, which she did, & now I pray for strength to survive this loss, to beat the depression & the hopelessness I feel about waking up tomorrow. I have no idea how to go on without her. For now, I need to cry & figure out how to go on.

Thank you Kitty Grey for the best years of my life. You were the best part of me.

Kitty Grey's sad, proud mama,




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