kakohler5
September 17, 2015. This is the day my roommates and I decided to adopt a kitten. We spent all of two minutes discussing the pros and cons of adopting a kitten before we started thinking of names, pretty ridiculous but we were so excited. 

We went to the animal shelter and they brought us to the 'kitten room'. Before I even walked through the door, I saw Paaka. He was sleeping in his bed with another buddy, right on the ledge by the window, while all the other kittens were playing around with each other. He was a short hair, beautiful black kitten with the brightest green eyes. He was sleepy, didn't want to be bothered but I had to meet him. He gave me sass, but I let him smell me and waited for him to make the first move. After about a minute or two, he was moving around in the bed and allowing me to pet him. I had never felt such a strong connection with an animal like that before, especially not in the first minute of meeting. I had to have him.

My roommates had already chosen another kitten before I was able to pick him up and say "look at this little guy!" They said we could vote between the two, but I already knew the answer. While they brought the kitten to the desk to fill out papers, I stayed with Paaka. I didn't want to leave him after he put so much trust in me for those few minutes. 

I'm not super religious, but I can promise you that that day someone was looking after me. My roommates came back in the room with the kitten they chose and set him down. "He was already adopted, we can't take him." I think it took less than a minute for me to pick up Paaka and walk out of the room with him. We adopted that sweet boy and I've never been more happy with our decision.

Paaka was 2 months old when we got him, he was born on July 16th. He was so little, so precious, and so cuddly. We slept together almost every night, he loved the giant window I had in my room. If he wasn't with me at night, he'd be with me in the morning. He woke me up at 6:30 AM every day and I would have to get up and feed him, then he would come back and cuddle with me until class. I'm not a morning person, but I wake up every day around that time now.

Paak changed my life. He calmed my anxiety, made me feel safe when he would sleep with me, and kept me happy at all times. We would play together everyday, he loved when I would hide behind walls and make him find me. I sometimes acted like a cat when I would play with him, luckily my boyfriend loves me because anyone else probably would think I was insane. Paaka is my best friend, he is a part of me.

I know I cared for him more than my roommates, they know it too. He is my everything. I would go to class and immediately come home to him. Sometimes it got annoying how much my roommates didn't care for him, but now that I'm thinking about it I think they just got used to me doing all of the work. I don't blame them, more Paaka time for me anyway. I took him to my home for every break we had, my family loved him so much, even my dad (although he would pretend he hated him). I think my mom thought of him as a grandchild, which is fine because I treated him like my son. My older sister and mom were both out of town when he died, I still feel awful that they weren't able to say goodbye.

June 6, 2016. This is the day my baby went to paradise. 

Paaka was home with me for the summer. I didn't like the idea of keeping him as an indoor cat while I was home because the world is so beautiful, he deserves to run around. I came home to new neighbors, though. She was a single mom to four rescue dogs, they are all beautiful dogs. One dog is too aggressive, though, but I understand it was due to his previous owner and she is training him to be better. But at the time, he would throw his body against our fence and try and jump over...I should have listened to my mom about letting Paaka outside with the dogs next door.

My dad had let Paaka out that morning while he was helping my 13 year old sister get ready for school. I woke up to him being let out, but decided to let him do his own thing this time. I usually go and sit with him out there. 

I think I fell back asleep for 5 minutes before I woke up to a screech from Paaka outside, something I've never heard before. It all happened so fast. I heard my dad open the backyard door, and all of a sudden my little sister was running up the stairs screaming my name.
"Katelyn! Katelyn!! Paaka is hurt, the dogs hurt him, get out of bed!" She was crying.

I ran down the stairs and outside to find four dogs being held back by our neighbor, Paaka lying in the dirt in her yard. He has never been over their fence, he always knew better, but this morning he got over there. Our neighbor had let her dogs out and they all attacked Paaka. I don't blame her or the dogs, they shouldn't have to worry about a cat being in the yard.

I tried jumping over the fence, but my dad pulled me back and said the dogs would attack me. I swear I would have let the dogs take a chunk out of my arm rather than see Paaka get hurt. I ran around the house and through our neighbors gate to grab Paaka. That little guy put all of his energy into trying to walk and hop back over the fence, he wouldn't let me grab him at first. Once I got him and lifted him up, his back legs hung like spaghetti. He had open wounds all over his body, blood was dried up in his fur and ears. His eyes had crust in them like he had been crying. I couldn't pet him, I couldn't fix him, I could only tell him that he would be okay and that I love him.

My first instinct was to make him drink water...I wasn't thinking straight. I brought him to my room while I put shoes on and tried making him drink, it wasn't working. He didn't even have breakfast that day. I was screaming at my dad asking where to take him. I never thought I would be in this position, I had no clue what to do. I grabbed Paaka and put him on the floor of my car, thinking it'd be more comfortable for his legs than the seat. Again, I wasn't thinking straight.

I drove him to the emergency vet hospital alone. I kept telling myself this wouldn't be our last car ride together, but I think Paaka knew better than I did. He built up enough strength to pull himself onto the passenger seat and climb over to my lap to cuddle me for our final minutes in the car. I regret not putting him there in the first place. 

I felt so alone in that room they took me to. I yelled at them to do everything they could to make him feel better. They tried telling me costs but I couldn't listen, I just told them to take him and fix him. When the vet came back 5 minutes later he told me they had given him a shot, something that numbed the pain. He told me it was time to talk about options and the costs of what I wanted to pursue. My dad called me and asked to talk to the vet, asking only yes or no questions so that I wouldn't be able to figure out the questions. The vet said "yes" to whatever the last question was before the phone was handed back to me.

"I asked him that if this were his cat, would he put him down."

I only spent around 5-10 minutes with Paaka before I told them that I was ready to say goodbye. They kept telling me I could have more time, but Paaka was in too much pain. I couldn't touch him or hug him without him getting mad at me. He wasn't himself. I didn't want to be selfish and take up more time to say goodbye while he was in pain and probably couldn't understand me. He died 16 days before my 20th birthday and 40 days before his 1st birthday. I regret not spending more time with him in that room.

I came home to my dad apologizing and crying, which I never see. I never want him to blame himself for what happened. 

Paaka was my first baby. Talking about him now makes me sick to my stomach, sometimes sending me to the bathroom for a couple of minutes. I have pictures of him in my room. Sometimes I look at these pictures and cry, smile, or feel nothing. How can I feel nothing? 

My friends don't understand the pain I feel everyday because I don't know how to explain it to them. I think I sound crazy talking so much about a cat that I only knew for 8 months. I just don't want to bother them with repeating details, I need to figure this out myself.

Some days I wake up and have no energy at all. I won't be happy and my anxiety will be crazy all day. I can't get out of bed, there's nothing worth getting out of bed for. I can't listen to the music I heard in the car that day, it puts me in an awful mood. Sometimes I'll be in bed awake at 6 AM thinking of Paak and wondering if he can still feel me wherever he is. I wonder if he knows I'm trying to move on, and I wonder if that bothers him. I don't want to forget about him, I don't want to replace him. Is it crazy that a kitten makes me feel this way?

I've been different lately, but I don't think anyone really notices. I haven't felt like myself, I haven't acted like myself. I think I'm just trying to figure out what will make me feel better.

There's a void in my heart that I can't seem to fix. I try my best to hide my pain from my boyfriend, but I think he figures it out sometimes. Sometimes when I sleep at his place, I turn away and cry in his bed because I don't feel close to Paaka when I'm not home. It sounds crazy.

It's been 8 months since I had to tell a man that I knew for 10 minutes to put my baby down. I think about that every single day. I'm the one who made him an outdoor cat, I'm the one who didn't get up with him that day, I'm the one who signed papers and put him to sleep. 

I love him with all my heart. I miss him more every single day. I know it's only temporary, but this pain I feel is too overwhelming. I don't know, maybe I am crazy.

Love you forever Baby P<3
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aprilnovember811
So sad for you and your beautiful baby. What a heartbreaking story. God bless you both.
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Sampson
My deepest condolences on your terrible loss! We never really think or expect really bad things to happen. You said you usually sat with him and for what ever reason that morning he jumped the fence and this awful thing happened probably very quickly. I feel you made the correct decision to let him go, when the vet said you could have more time. You chose the option that was best for your boy. You took his pain away and left with your heart broken. Everything you described about the way you are feeling is normal. You loved Paaka very much and he loved you. I think it might be helpful to share with those who are closest to you just how bad you are feeling. Don't try to hide this grief. I also think it is normal to feel shocked by this loss and for it to seem unreal at times and other times unbearable. It will take time and you will need to allow yourself to mourn your boy. Maybe doing something for Paaka would help. You could make a book of memories or plan to plant a tree or bush that would be just for Paaka. Whatever you do, you will be honouring his life and the love and bond you shared. I think he will be happy to see that. I wish you peace.
S.
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Bethbug64
I know this post is fairly old. I read your story and it's just heartbreaking. I hope time has healed your pain. I can relate to this tragedy. Our cat that we have had for 13 years... His name is just little kitty, we found him outside as a stray young cat in 2003. He had always wanted to go out because that is what he was used to. He always seemed to stay close to the house especially as he's gotten older. Ten days ago I let him out in the morning and I looked out the back door I'm not sure how long after I let him out and he was laying right outside the back door with puncture wounds and bleeding all over and gasping for breath. I rushed him to the emergency clinic and they were trying to stabilize his breathing so they could take xrays and while the vet came into one of the offices to give me an update he passed away. I have never been so tortured by the death of a pet ever. I walk around feeling sick and full of tension and numb all at the same time. I torture myself with quilt.. Like I knew he was getting older and I knew there were dogs around..why did I keep letting him out. But he lived to be outdoors sunbathing and rolling in the grass. I ask myself.. How long was he laying out there alone before I discovered him. I feel horrible because he suffered for 45 minutes more at the vet while they were trying to save him and I didn't even get to be with him when he died. I've never felt this much anguish so I can definitely relate to ur story of Paaka. It's a terrible way to lose a pet and I wonder if I will ever feel normal again
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