The Art of The SuckerMom: And Sometimes, You Fail

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(This post is dedicated to my Boo, who died too young. Rest in peace, my friend.)

As the owner of a pet supply company, I come into contact with a lot of pet owners and I read a lot of pet-oriented blogs.

Recently, I was reading a cat blog.  The post I was reading that day concerned the writers’ frustration and heartbreak over having done everything right and doing the very best she could do for her cat; only to see him die far, far too young, of a condition even the vet couldn’t diagnose, in time to save the cats’ life.  The writer was (is) understandably heartbroken.

It’s understandable to me because I’ve been there myself.

I do things right by my pets, as do, I’m sure, my clients, my customers and my readers.

On my end, grooming, handling, behavior, health care..the bases are well-covered when it comes to me and my pets, or so I like to think.

Because this is my blog and I can talk about these things, I’m going to write about a time when I didn’t and couldn’t have, predicted something bad would happen to one of my own pets;  with the sincerest hope that this helps someone wrestling with the unexpected loss of a pet–be it yesterday or years ago.

I once failed, in epic fashion with one of my own pets.

A number of years ago, shortly after moving into a (then) new (to me) house..my cat ate an earring.  It wasn’t even my earring; I would later find out that it belonged to the former owner of the house.  I don’t even know for sure where in the house my cat found it.

All I knew, at first, is that my big, strapping, 30 lbs of love and muscle cat was suddenly vomiting blood all over the house (it’s his picture that is featured on this post).

So naturally I did what one does when one’s cat is suddenly vomiting blood everywhere and parked his furry butt at the vet.

Xrays were performed..and that’s when I found out that my cat had eaten an earring.  I was completely baffled because I knew my cat couldn’t lift the lid of my jewelry box. (He was talented.  He wasn’t *that* talented)

It took time for the earring to pass on its own– which it did within hours of the vet preparing to go in surgically to retrieve it.  You can imagine the relief I felt in discovering that surgery wasn’t needed and that the earring was not mine.

What neither the vet nor I knew at the time was that the internal damage was done.  One complication from ingesting the earring led to another, and another..

Long story short, my cat wound up with an infection in his intestine, and later, an infection in his pancreas.  I don’t know how or why they linked.  All I know is that they did.

There were more antibiotics administered than I care to remember.  Finally we hit on one that seemed to work.

Just as the vet and I thought the infections were cured, the infections came back and ate away at my kitty alive from the inside out.

I was horrified to find this out upon walking in the door coming home from work one night.  I walked into a wall of stench.

Finding my kitty near death in the bathroom and all this vomited-up..material..from the living room to the bathroom… was..wrenching and disgusting all at once.

With shaking hands I grabbed the phone, called the vet and made the final arrangements.  She stayed open late that night so she could greet me and my kitty at the door. I could not let my kitty suffer any more than he clearly already had, and neither could the vet.

Within minutes, the vet and I sent my kitty back to God.  I wept and I shook while doing it, but it was the only humane thing to do..and yet I still felt as if I were committing a sin.

At 4 years old, my kitty was too young to die.

As soon as I got home, I cleaned up the mess and forthwith proceeded to get stinking drunk in order to try to wipe out the feelings of horror,sadness, grief, and disgust flooding through me.  It didn’t work.

I felt as if I had failed as a cat mom.  I failed to keep my kitty safe from harm.  The guilt I felt, as you might imagine, was horrendous.

You can bet your ass, too, that getting stinking drunk failed to wipe out the haunting images of finding my kitty in bad shape.

I had done (almost) everything right, save those things I could not predict or plan for.  and I lost my kitty.

I lost that kitty 5 years ago and I have not quite forgotten the shock and the horror and the sadness and the stress.  I just can’t quite bear to write about it in detail yet.

But I have learned from the experience, and I’d like to share what I learned.

I’ve learned that you can do everything right by a pet, and something might go wrong anyway.  I’ve learned, perhaps in one of the harshest ways there is, that there are no guarantees when it comes to owning a pet. None.

I’ve learned, too, that love is never wasted. (More on that in another post)

I’ve learned that you can do everything right by your pet; even when you make sacrifices for yourself personally so that your pet can have the best..and still, sometimes, stuff goes wrong.

I’ve learned that as a cat mom, no matter what you do, sometimes, you fail, and your life is never the same afterwards.

Last but not least, it takes a hell of a long time to be okay, again.

Have you had a pet that died too young?  What have you learned from the experience of that loss?  Contact us button.

Follow this author @livelovemeow


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