Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Maxine Has Left The Building

Remember last summer when we had to put my cat, Boo Boo, to sleep and I was super sad face about it and it totally sucked? Yeah, I had to do it again in November.

After Boo died, my other cat went downhill fast. My Maxine. She was my baby. I adopted her when she was a kitten. I was fresh out of college and had just gotten my first grown up job and rented my first apartment. She was the runt of a litter of farm cats and I could not resist her. She saw me through a lot of difficult times: A broken engagement one month before the wedding, a move to another state where I knew no one, the death of grandparents, the adjustment to married life and a ready-made family.

She was special, is what I'm trying to say.

She was also extremely awful. She peed on the carpet. A lot. So much that the Captain and I had to have it ripped out and replaced with hardwood. She was grumpy. She hated most everyone but me, but insisted on sitting right in their faces in order to fool them into thinking she liked them so she could bite them when they tried to pet her. She chewed up all the ribbons on Christmas presents and then pooped them out for months afterwards. She puked EVERYWHERE.

But I loved her so much.

So when Boo died and she began wandering around the house crying pitifully for hours and then began to eat less, the Captain knew what was coming. I kept myself in denial. Sure, she was 15 years old and was obviously in mourning for Boo. But she would come out of it. I just knew it.

Still, when no one was looking, I would whisper in her ear "Please don't die on me. Not now. Please. I need another year first. I can't take it right now." And Max would look right at my face and it seemed like she understood.

And maybe she did, but she just couldn't do it. Soon it became obvious to even me that she was sick. She was drinking large amounts of water and urinating constantly. Exactly what Boo did at the end. So we took her to the vet and got the same diagnosis when we took Boo. Diabetes.

That was on a Monday. We told the vet we were taking the week to decide if we wanted to treat her or put her down. By Friday, Max had made the decision for me. She could barely walk. She spent hours sitting in front of her water bowl with her head hanging in it. She had lost so much weight in a 5 day period that you could see her hip bones jutting out.

I took the weekend to say goodbye. I held her on my shoulder the way she always loved. She would purr and sleep while I walked around the house talking softly to her for hours. I cried a lot. I had moments when I thought maybe she'd get better, but by Sunday morning I knew it was time.


Max and me in healthier times

So on Monday, almost exactly four months from when Boo died, we took her to the vet. I couldn't bring myself to do it with Boo, but I knew I had to be there for Max. I was her person, her favorite. I couldn't leave her alone at the end.

It was hard. It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do so far in my life. Even now, months later, I still think about those last few minutes. I hate that she was terrified and hurting and I could do nothing but talk to her and tell her I loved her until she was gone.

But it was fast. Just like everyone says, it was over in seconds. One second she was there, staring at my face, and the next she was gone. I was somehow able to not cry until she died, because I didn't want her to see me upset. So at the very end of her life, I was the last face Max saw and my voice was the last she heard. And that brings me comfort every time I think about her.

I got to spend awhile with her afterwards, but it was so hard to walk out without her. The Captain, who had been there with me the whole time, held my hand and took me home. I went straight to bed for the rest of the day.

And I miss her still. I know some people will read this and roll their eyes and say "It was just a cat, not a person". And that is okay, I don't expect everyone to understand. I know it's not the same thing. I've lost family members, I know that pain. This is a different kind of pain, but still just as real. Max was my buddy for 15 years, my entire adult life up until this point, and I will always miss her.


Love you, old lady.


54 comments:

Jen O. said...

Aw. I'm so sorry. And the pain you feel when you lose a pet is just as valid as when you lose a person. We love our animals, too, and they love us back. I'm so sorry.

Gia said...

Ohhh that's SO sad, its making me tear up at work. I'm sorry for the loss of your kitty. :(

Mandy_Fish said...

I'm so sorry you lost your fur baby. I lost two of mine within a year of each other seven years ago and I haven't been able to get another pet since. You love them so much but then it hurts so much when you lose them. It totally sucks. SIGH.

Mrs. Oh my.... said...

I'm so, so sorry. Sending you hugs --- she was beautiful, by the way.

bschooled said...

This made me cry. I've only ever had one cat, who lived to be 17. He could have been Max's brother, that's how much she and this post reminded me of him. I always thought he wasn't a big fan of people because we called him "Pussin"(he didn't get the "Pussin Boots" reference). But for some reason I took pride in being the only human he could tolerate.

It;s funny, I always make fun of my friends for being "crazy cat ladies", but the truth is I totally get it.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

A pet is much more than "just an animal". And in some cases, the loss of a pet might be even harder than losing a friend/family member.

:(

The Curmudgeon said...

So, so sorry. I've had many older animals and it always seems to go that way - healthyhealthhealthy and then suddenly it's time. They know, somehow.

So sorry you lost your sweet Maxine; you'll be in my prayers.

DevilsHeaven said...

Damn you for making me cry at work!!
I understand the pain. Puppy is not even a year old yet and already I fear the day this too will come to pass. I can't imagine not having her little face look at me.
You go ahead and cry girl. Non-pet owners just don't get it.

mossum said...

I just don't understand people who don't understand. You're absolutely spot on when you say it's "a different kind of pain, but still just as real." You have my sincere condolences and my permission to go back to bed and curl up in the fetal position any time you want.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Aw man, this made me cry. I know exactly what you mean about the pet who saw you through your adult years. I had that too. And then they're gone and you haven't been without them since you were 22 and you don't know what to do with yourself except eat and sleep. So I wish you that. Eat like the wind, my friend. Sleep like noone's watching. *wise face*

I'm so sorry for your loss. The naughty ones are the hardest ones to lose, sometimes.

dcr said...

so very sorry! i have an old kitty who will go eventually and i can't even fathom it!

i think i will miss my cat more than some relatives i've had.

Lo said...

So sorry!

I am a total crazy cat lady and I am 84 so you can guess how many times I have shared this situation and cried and grieved and gone on to take in another needy soul. As I always say about mine....she/he had a good life and a good death. You were there for her and helped her out at the end.

Be glad for her to be out of pain and try to heal yourself.

Bless you.

Kristine said...

I was a wreck for each our cat's deaths. Our dog too. They area huge part of our family and I loved them more than the two legged variety. Unconditional love and all that shit...

My heart aches for you...

Rita Templeton said...

There's no such thing as "just a pet." When we had to put our dog Andy down, I was beside myself for a shamefully long time. And I have this terrible, suffocating dread of something happening to my cat Thurman - even though I know that he's getting old, and it will be an inevitability sooner than later. There's nothing wrong with your grief for Maxine ... it's totally valid. RIP, sweet kitty!

Library Chick Lisa said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Maxine was definitely not "just a cat" to you. I'm going through much the same thing right now. I survived the Joplin, MO, tornado in May, and the ensuing chaotic summer. The whole time, I kept my senior dog going, despite his health issues. Then, in September, just after I moved back into my rebuilt house, he died from a damn spider bite. Surviving the tornado was tough; losing my fur baby of 11, nearly 12, years, has been devastating. It's been five months and I still cry when I think of him. I know it will be a while before I can even think of getting another dog. Hang in there. Know that there are plenty of us out there who know just how you feel.

Miss Yvonne said...

Once again, you guys are amazing. Thank you for all your kind comments. Sensual boob honks for everyone! Except for Lo, because she's 84 and is probably someone's grandma and that's just not right.

HSG said...

I'm so sorry :( I'd give you a big hug if I could. I cried through this whole post.

I remember having to put down my dog the week before my wedding. My dad brought him home as a puppy when I was 7 years old, and I cried for the whole week leading up to my wedding.

It's a big reason I don't want to get another pet. Loss is rough. Hang in there.

Erin said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Maxine.

Kristin said...

I'm so sorry about your loss. Maxine sounds a lot like my Bandit, and I'm dreading the day that we have to make the trek to the vet with him. I know that Maxine is waiting for you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Elle said...

Oh I'm so sorry. But like many others who have commented, your post made me cry. Boo. I love my pets. When my dog Keisha died a few years back, I was inconsolable for a week. I still have her collar in my bedroom nightstand and nearly three years later looking at it can still get me to tear up. It was good of you to be there for Maxine. I'm sure she knew just how much you loved her.

Mrs BC said...

Oh, hugs to you Miss Yvonne. Big squishy boobie hugs. You where lucky to have your georgous kitty for so long, & she was lucky you adopted her & loved her so much & gave her such a loved life.
xxx

Eva Gallant said...

This brought tears to my eyes. We had to have a well-loved cat put down in similar circumstances a few years ago, and we cried our eyes out. Hugs. I'm so sorry.

Venom said...

Beautiful tribute.

Losing a pet is never easy... call me a kindred spirit.

See Kate run. said...

Dammit, now I'm crying. There's nothing like loving and sharing your life with a furbaby. There's nothing like losing them.

islandwonder said...

Ahh! So sorry to read that.

Stephanie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! I have a 14-year old Dalmatian, and I just feel that he won't be around for another year. I was there when he was born. He's been mine his whole life, and I dread him leaving me. Pets are so much more than 'just animals.' I'm childless, he's my baby, my best buddy. Again, so sorry for your loss.

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

This made me cry. My pearl is 13 and according to the Hubs she is never going to die. Ever! (that's the deal,right red?)
She got me thru bad boyfriends, a move to another country, no family and friends, marriage and then kids. She is our Nurse and sits with us when we are sick. She is another child for me and I cannot imagine the pain you are going thru.

I'm so sorry...

Nadine said...

This gives me a big sad :( I know how hard it is. My grandma's cat Laverne was a lot like that. She didn't like anyone in the world except my grandma and me. It made me feel special :) I hope you are doing ok, and though no cat can ever take the place of the ones you lost, remember you can always use the dead-cat-blues to trick Captain Carl into letting you have a dozen new pets.

Joanna Jenkins said...

My heart is breaking for you and this made me cry. I'm sad for you and so sorry you lost your cat.
xoxo jj

Simply a Girl said...

She was NOT just a cat. When my Isabel (black, standard poodle) died two Marches ago, I cried so hard my husband thought it was my grandmother. And I cried for several days because I wasn't there when it happened and no one in my family but my sister in law was. She's a lovely girl and all, but I kept thinking, "Isabel thinks we just didn't care about her anymore because she was old and we couldn't be bothered. NONE OF US WAS THERE WITH HER, NOT HER REAL FAMILY!!!!!"

I'm so sorry that you've had to go through this twice in such a short period of time. You are stronger than am I. I now have a guinea pig and people at work sometimes ask me, warily, what the life expectancy is because they've heard me talk about him and they know I am going to LOSE MY SHIT when he goes (which he never is because yeah, they live forever).

xoxoxo

Rebekah Mae said...

I cried so hard when I read this post because I went through almost exactly what you went through with my cat Furry Man last September (He had Heartworm). I am so, so very sorry for your loss

Heather Cadorette said...

Dammit you made me cry at work. All these kids are looking at me like I'm crazier than they thought!

iheartcharlotte said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! That was a beautiful tribute to your "old lady". It reminded me so much of my Ko Ko, whom I had to say goodbye to at 15 last Christmas. One day he seemed fine, in a week he was gone. I know how you feel about being the last face he saw and voice he heard. It was brutal but oh so special. I don't even cry much for him or ever really have. I think maybe because I can't believe he's gone? I thought he was special and would be the cat who lived forever. I was 7 months pregnant at the time, so now just about every night I take my baby girl over to his urn on the mantel and we say "Goodnight Mr. Kokes" to his photo. (OK, that's NOT as creepy as it sounds although my husband thinks I'm nuts!). I just really wanted her to know him since he got me through so much in my life. Hugs to you. :)

Kelly said...

So sorry. It's insanely hard. We had to put our old girl cat down right before my oldest daughter headed off for college. They grew up together. We were all devastated, but Mack, my oldest especially.

Jennie said...

such a heart breaking story
thanks for sharing

Michon said...

Damn Girl....Sorry to hear this!!!

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Kurt said...

I'm so sorry, Yo.

So sorry I won't even make a joke. Even though "pussy" is like RIGHT THERE for the taking. So easy....

But yeah...Not gonna make that joke.

Sorry, Kid.

kyouell said...

I'm very sorry that your precious kitty had to go. You should be proud of yourself that you helped her by being there in the hardest moment. One of the hospice workers (when my grandpa was dying) told us that some people find comfort in thinking that it's only dying on this side, but it's like being born on the other side. I think about it like that for people, no reason it isn't true for pets too. You helped her through a difficult birth process and that was the best thing you could do for her.

Also, you got a spam comment! How cool is that?

Logical Libby said...

Cats are the most wretched animals that inspire the most love. Sounds like you had two good ones.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

Sorry for your loss. I sell pet products for a living, and they really are like children.

I have 3 cats, and a strong emotional bond with 2 of them. I love them dearly.

...#3 can suck it, but meh...

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Jessica B said...

Ah, this made me tear up. So sorry -- losing a pet is very painful and very real. What a beautiful cat she was, your Maxine. Hope each day lessens the broken heart a bit for you.

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MiStY said...

I'm crying like a baby. I hate losing our loved ones. Hugs momma.

Wild Willie o' Orkney said...

...Just found your blog/post which made this big 'tough' man weep...can fully empathize with you as I've 'been there' so many times with my beloved feline friends - the long walk to the vet - and the even longer walk back bearing the wee furry bundle to bury in a 'special' place...One of the few things that makes me REALLY angry is that comment which begins "Hell, it's ONLY..."their insensitivity is only exceeded by their ignorance, and 'Jen O' is absolutely right - the pain is just as valid (and I'd add 'intense') as when you lose a human relative or friend....RIP.
By some fluke of synchronicity my presnt cat Jaffa(>21yrs) has been diagnosed as diabetic, but to date is doing well on twice-daily insulin injections,which I give him
and he hardly notices it.Still eating well, and vet is happy with his weight.Was this medication suggested for your two?

MissFluffyBottoms said...

I get it. You were lucky that you had so many years to love Maxine.

My Pinotage was a handsome grey and white kitten my husband gave me for my 21st birthday, and he was awesome. I also had no reason to believe that he wasn’t perfectly healthy. Unfortunately, because of a glitch in the timeframe it takes to show up…I had no idea he had Feline Leukemia and a mere 18 months later, I had to say goodbye. I did the same as you and held his paw and talked to him and kissed him so I was his last memory. I still can’t talk about it for too long without turning into a sobbing mess. I made a print of his paw and my first tattoo was his paw print.

Today, I have three furry babies and I was not so naïve this time. I have been vigilant with blood tests and vaccinations, because I want to have them for as long I can.

Long time reader, first time commenting. *hugs*

Wild Willie o' Orkney said...

...but do keep vigilant - because even though you've kept up with vaccinations cats can still succumb to the virus - if they are bitten by a cat who has this in its blood.This is what happened to my beloved Tangey when she was bitten by a neighbour's cat. The neighbour 'doesn't believe' in vaccinations - how irresponsible can some fok get?

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