Monday, May 7, 2012

i heart you sandy kitty.....

so this has been a really crappy year to try to recreate myself.  stress obstacles have met me at every turn and i've caved to each and every one of them.  right down to putting on seven pounds in the last month and i feel like such a blob.  i eat my feelings.  and this is what i have been eating for the past three weeks....

since i was a little girl, i've always been a cat person.  but i was the only cat person in my house so i was going to have to wait until i was all grown up to start my cat lady destiny.  so when jeff and i bought this house and got married, i started planting seeds about getting a cat.  he resisted.  but when nina was almost seven, we ended up with a horrible mouse infestation in our house.  it seemed that a mama mouse got in our house and had a whole litter of baby mice.  we discovered it on halloween and the journey of trying to rid ourselves of mice went on past thanksgiving into the first of december.  we had caught 8 or 9 of them and a few days had gone by without a sign of a critter.  we were out to bowling and jeff made the comment "thank god that was over, i was about ready to give in on the cat issue." 

the next day we came home to another mouse in a trap.  and the following saturday, nina, jeff and i all made a trip to the humane society and came home with sandy kitty.  she was six months old and cute as could be.  (we almost came home with a boy cat we were going to call oreo - but he sneezed in front of the volunteer and she was worried he was sick and needed to be observed.  you try telling a seven year old that she ISN'T going to leave with a cat that day as promised - so we looked at sandy kitty - who i had seen and fallen in love with online.  HSMO called her "sparkle".)

now sandy kitty was not only a solution to our mouse problems, but she was also going to be a birthday gift for nina's 7th birthday.  (that's right - one of many times that i encouraged something for nina because i really wanted it too - midnight showing of hunger games anyone??)  the only thing was - sandy kitty didn't form an attachment to nina - because she recognised me as mama cat in the house.  sure, she loved nina and hung with her on occasions.  and she didn't mind telling jeff off once in awhile and laying on his pillow (because it had the better view of the bird nest next door).  but her den was our bedroom - as the litter box was in our walk in closet.  her place of comfort when she was scared was under our bed - cause there's lots of clutter to hide in.  and come bedtime, her favorite place to sleep - was on my head.  sandy was a perfect picture of unconditional love - and she unconditionally loved me the best.....

those of you who know me have seen over the years the saga of love between sandy and i.  quite often i thought she was really trying to just suffocate me to death.  she slept on my head.  she fought with my books.  if i was home, i had to be within eyesight.  and heaven forbid the suitcase move from it's spot in the closet.  that made her anxious.  she knew what it meant.

when we had both sandy and bailey - bailey was always the one that had us running to the vet.  bladder infections and stones.  skin allergies.  pulling out her hair.  sandy was always the healthy one.  so it kinda knocked us off our feet three weeks ago when jeff and i took her to the vet for what we thought was a bladder issue - she was in the litter box a lot.  that was the only thing wrong really.  sure.  she was a little whinier than normal and she wasn't perching in her normal high places but strange hard places, like the floor under the kitchen table, the bathtub, and the rug by the front door.  she hadn't been dashing through the house like a crazy kitty either - but she was 8.  some of that was bound to change over time.  but the vet immediately felt something wrong and an xray confirmed it.  there was something on her kidney that shouldn't be there.  in just a few short minutes - our whole world was turned upside down and ripped apart.

that was tuesday.

on thursday, we took her to a specialist who did an ultrasound - the rest of our tax refund was utilized - only to confirm that not only was there one mass on her kidney, but a second larger one that could be attached to her liver - but they weren't sure.  lymphoma was the best case scenario, and while he couldn't say for sure without a biopsy, he felt pretty certain it wasn't lymphoma.  the only treatment would be an attempt to remove the masses, which once they got in there they might find they weren't able to do.  and it was very costly.  very very costly.  like $2000 costly.  and it wouldn't be fair.  when asked how long before she deteriorated - he told me that it could be days, it could be weeks, it definitely wouldn't be months.   

on top of this, nina was leaving on sunday for a week long trip to DC with school.  so our decisions all had to be made quickly because we didn't want sandy to suffer, and we didn't want something to happen while she was on her trip and have her not be here.  so we did the hardest thing in the world. 

on saturday, we told her good-bye.  and it pretty much sucked.  jeff and i were with her - i couldn't not be with her.  being with me made her happy - i couldn't stand the thought of handing her over to a stranger and having her be scared thinking i abandoned her.  i held her and loved her.  and it was very fast - which means she was way weaker than we thought she was. 

you know - when you can't have more kids - you really transfer that love that you would give kids to something else.  in my case it's my pets.  and sandy was my baby.  i haven't dealt with it very well.  i'm still really upset.  still looking for her around the house.  looking at the places where she liked to be and expecting to see her there.  expecting to see her run to the door when i come home.  it took me almost two weeks to be able to read in bed again - and i'm still struggling with that one.  and don't ask me to go in the room where jeff stashed all the kitty stuff.  it's not happening.  on the surface i may seem okay - but even 2 weeks later, i'm still not ready for her to not be here.  i miss her.

on sunday - nina left for DC and i finally had time to really address the turn of events from that week.  and then i ate about 2000 calories in 3 hours.  i think i know where a couple of those new pounds came from.

anyway - this is my big struggle right now.  some will think it's silly.  "she was just a cat".  no.  she was more than just a cat.  she had quirks and a personality and lots of love to give (as long as you weren't a stranger and didn't make horrible noises whenever you came into our house - which is why she didn't like my dad - everything he did here was noisy).

i have hundreds of pictures of sandy on my phone.  she was always so silly or cute that i couldn't help it.  (and rolen isn't as easy to get pictures of!  he won't stay still!)  below are two of the last three.

taken the day before she died.  she seemed week that morning and i wasn't sure she would make it through the day.  this was how i wanted to remember her - so i took it before i left for work.

and this one was taken during our last snuggle session the morning we said good-bye.

i'll always love you sandy kitty......


  1. She was never " just a cat". I get it. Even a dog person... I get.

  2. Karen-
    I'm so sorry you're struggling so much with this. It's a simple thing to say, but "time heals all wounds". I know it's still a heartbreak right now; I have lost a special pet/family member too. I've felt like my heart would never heal. Trust me, it DOES get easier. One day, you'll be able to think of her, and you'll smile more than you want to cry. Hang in there.