The tears are flowing so fast and hard right now, that a mere Kleenex can't keep up with the deluge.
And my heart…oh, how my heart hurts…it aches to the point where I want to rip it out, hoping that will stop the pain.
All of this…over a cat.
My beloved cat, Juliet, passed away this morning…about an hour or so ago, actually…fresh enough to bring on this state of mourning and grief that seems unbearable.
She was my baby…my precious little sweetheart…who only wanted to love and be loved in return. None of the usual diva-cat behavior from her - she carried no attitude, no superiority complex, no finickiness…she just wanted to sit on your lap and purr.
We had seven years with her…seven years of sweetness, gentleness and love…wrapped up in a giant furball of hair so thick and bushy, that I had nicknamed her my "Squirrel Girl" a long time ago. She was calm, she was serene, she was zen…and if you'd had a bad day, her mere presence on your lap and steady purring would be better than a week at a relaxation camp. An informal poll done in our house had revealed that she was everyone's favorite pet in our house, but of course, we'd never tell that to the other three.
She had seemed in perfect health…up until last week, when we noticed she wasn't eating or drinking in her normal way. Normally, Juliet is what you would call a "Hoover" - she would suck up and eat anything and everything in her path - again, I say, not finicky in the least. I would often call her "Miss Piglet" because of her snarfing up food…so to see her turn up her nose at dinner was our first red flag of something not quite right.
We monitored her over the holiday weekend, but by Monday, we knew something was wrong. Off to the vet's office she went, where she had been ever since. Fluids were administered, food was forced down, and my twice-daily visits were spent talking to her and scratching her lethargic body, as I tried to figure out what was going on. This is when it can be so frustrating to not have a common language between us and our pets - so they can say exactly what hurts. I'm a mom. I want to fix the hurt. But I can't fix it when I don't know what it is.
The vet didn't have any answers…saying that cats will sometimes just choose to "shut down." But this made no sense to me…as Juliet had everything to live for.
This morning, I was literally heading out the door to visit her, when I got the sad news…that Juliet had had a seizure overnight and passed away. I was stunned.
It may seem crazy or ridiculous to be this upset over a pet, but for pet owners, we know how much we fiercely love and protect our fur babies. They're our children, and are treasured and loved just as much as a real child. I know, that with time, I will heal…the pain will go away and the tears will lesson…but for today, I hurt.
Rest in peace, Juliet, my little Squirrel Girl. You will be missed.
Postscript: The vet called while I was writing this…a quick autopsy revealed that Juliet had congenital heart disease, along with a packing peanut obstructing her intestine. I have no clue as to where the packing peanut came from…but that, combined with a weak heart, led to her death.