There has been a lot going on since July of last year. Some has been good, but it seems there have been more that I'd classify as 'difficult.'
November was very hard for me this year as we were approaching the Thanksgiving season. I think the loss of the baby combined with my son's 15th birthday just a month later both weighed very heavily. I really did no look forward to the Holiday at all, because Holidays are supposed to be about celebrating. Personally, I was not celebrating. I was sad and grieving. I was trying to survive.
Dont' get me wrong, I did enjoy the time my nephews came to visit around the Holiday. The night before Thanksgiving one nephew rode with me to the garage to drop off the truck and pick up the car. On our drive back home, there was a poor lonely Christmas tree laying along the highway in the rain. I figured it fell off a truck on its way to the city. We turned around and 'rescued' it.
The rest of the drive back home we sang,"Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Treeeeee, we found you on the hiiiighwaaaayyyy!!!!" I leven lucked out by having all three of them sleep over one night. We all got up and decorated the tree in the morning before Hubby got out of bed.
So there were fun times.
But then there were the results of the xrays for the "old man" of the house, Monster Paws. The vet gave him 3-6 months. I classify that as some of the 'difficult' times. At first, it seemed the pills we got from the vet were helping because Monster did start eating again.
Monster Paws, what a funny guy he's been. He's one of those social cats. He loved it when we'd have a party with a house fool of people. He loved coming out to greet and meet the company.
He was EXTREMELY bad as a kitten, well for the first 8 years he was bad. Almost like a kid in that he'd do stuff just to be yelled at. He'd sit on the banister at the end of the hallway waiting for you to look at him, and when you did, he'd knock something over the side. We did not allow him on the table or counters. Every now and then we'd catch him up there, again waiting to make eye contact, then whap he'd push something off.
He loved to run. When I moved from my efficiency apartment to our new house years ago, he had a ball. He loved running up and down the steps. More than that he wanted to be chased from the living room, through the dining room, up the stairs, down the hall, into the far bedroom, and back out into the hallway, down the steps, into the kitchen. Sometimes if I'd stop while chasing him, he'd gladly turn around and start chasing me ... up the stairs, down the hall, up on the bed, and down the hall agian.
When he was about 9 we got him a kitten, so he'd have someone to play with. Surprising to us that cats don't like to play the same. The kitten, Pussy Willow, liked to wrestle with bunny kicks and full nelson headlocks. She wasn't interested in chasing Monster. If he would try to chase her, she would fall over to wrestle him. After awhile Monster figured it out and would wrestle with her until he'd make her mad enough that she would chase after him.
Monster also loved being pushed around. If he was laying on a vinyl or hardwood floor, just give him a good push so he would slide across the floor. He thought it was great. He also enjoyed laundry basket rides. Pussy Willow has no appreciation for either game.
Monster knew how to bend the rules too. At our former house he knew he was allowed on the back porch and on the outside steps, but that was the limit, he was not allowed out in the yard. Well one year he found a way to cheat. I stood at the door to see him tip toe off the steps. But he was not in the yard, no, he was tip toeing along the edge of bricks I had turned on their side to border the flower bed beside the steps. He was right, he wasn't technically in the yard.
So, Monster Paws has been a fun cat with lots of personality who made everyone laugh alot.
I got him when he was a kitten, shortly after moved into my first apartment. A lady I worked with at the time refused to get her cats fixed, and every year she would take a litter to the Humane Society. That particular litter she brought into work in the morning, and was going to drop off the kittens on her way back home.
So I had this box of kittens at my desk mot of the day. There one that was just really adorable, but it didn't have a playful attitude like the black and tan tabby that wasn't as cute. I finally decided that I liked the spunky kitten best, even though he wasn't the cutest, and I took him home that day. In February 2010, he would be 18 years old.
The pills we got from the vet, worked at first. But it got to a point where Monster is just weak and not well, and it just didn't make sense to me to be shoving pills down his throat anymore. Especially when he'd fall over when I'd try to give him a pill.
Around Christas when he nearly stopped eating, I felt so incredibly guilty. I felt like I was starving him to death. But I talked w/ my sister from NJ, and she pointed out that his system is probably shutting down and that's not why he isn't eating - not that I'm starving him.
So far he seems to just lay in front of the coal stove or sleep in the video rocker. Most of the times when we pet him, he purrs. I carried him outside yesterday and walked around the deck while holding him, and he was purring. I could mis-reading it, but his purring makes me feel like he's content and at least he's enjoying something in life still.
He laid by the door yesterday wanting out, so I left him out. When he'd stop and lie down, I'd cover him with a small blanket. One of his trips outside he wobbled right down the steps off the deck. He started down the path (that I didn't get done because of the weather and me getting sick and now the ground is frozen) alongside the deck to the front of the house. He went to a flower bed and just sat there in the dark mulch. He looked so happy, that I grabbed my camera to get a picture.
He is not indicating he's in pain. If he were in pain, we would not allow him to suffer. But if he's content to just fade away here at home and isn't suffering, that's what I want to allow him to do.
That doesn't mean it's easy. It's hard, not just for me, but for my Hubby too. After all we were dating when I got Monster Paws. It really is his cat too. In fact I think Monster was more his cat than mine from the beginning.
Tonight however; Monster seems restless. He isn't just curling up and going to sleep. He's moving from place to place. His back legs aren't cooperating, and he can't keep his balance. I've cried a lot tonight, because I know the time isn't far away. But how long is that, exactly. It is hard watching him struggle. He was a 17 lb cat at one time. Now he's so skinny.
I don't want him to suffer, but I don't really want him to die either - I don't want to lose him. Yet, I know it will happen... it must happen. We're hoping he'll drift peacefully away in his sleep.
I'll miss you Monster Paws.
***11:30am 1/9/2010 - The struggle is over, he's gone. ***