I will be visiting the previous thread about my Goody very often as all the replies there have brought me so much comfort.  But I knew that this post would likely be long and felt that a new thread would be best.

Coming home to my apartment was difficult for me today; I started crying 10 minutes before I even got home just knowing and rmembering that Goody was no longer here.  I had my strongest moment of guilt today - what if there was something more I could have done?

I brought Goody home when she was only four months old, so tiny and so full of energy.  I will always remember those first few days with her, as she slowly began to trust my touch and become comfortable in her new home.  Within a month of her being home, she started to develop bladder infections and I remember her vet at the time commenting that this was unusual for a kitten her age.  But she bounced back quickly and was back to playing and swatting at people's toes when they walked by.  Within a few months the infections came back; the vet would treat her with antibiotics and she would get better only to develop another infection months later.  This was the pattern for several years; better for a while, then fighting an infection.  Through it all, our bond just grew stronger.  My sweet girl with her big eyes and little pink and black nose just became such a huge part of my life and my heart.  I found a mobile vet who would come and see her at the house to eliminate the stress she always experience being in her carrier and at the first appointment.  The X-ray at her first appointment showed that she had a large stone in her bladder which was removed.  I remember hoping with everything I had that this was the answer, that she would finally be rid of these infections once and for all.  But within a matter of  month, maybe two, she was battling yet another bladder infection.  All these infections were taking such a toll on her but she always seemed to bounce back.  She began to dribble urine which I would clean at least two times a day as she was not able to clean herself well (Goody was always a little on the chubby side).  This meant that she started to always seem a little uncomfortable, the vet compared it to a constant diaper rash.  The vet tried antibiotics, herbal supplements, steroids and anti-inflammatory medication, all of which worked, but only for a short bit of time.

I took her to another vet for an additional opinion and he recomended that she be seen by a specialist to determine what was causing these years of infections.  By this point, her infections seemed to be coming back to back and she had begun to be incontinent, sometimes making it to her litter box.  She was with me as I moved away from my hometown for the first time in my life, and had been my companion through failed relationships and loss, including the loss of my mother.  The specialist was wonderful and after an ultrasound, told me that her bladder had become so hard from years of infections that he wasn't sure what else could be tried that hadn't already been.  There really as no way to know why the infections even started; this was likely just something that Goody was born with.  And that is when the question came into my mind if it was time to think about saying goodbye.  I transferred to a new vet, one that was only five minutes from home and didn't realize that this would be the place where I would say goodbye.  After reviewing her records and examining Goody, the vet shared her concerns that Goody's bladder couldn't be fixed, that surgery might help but there was no guarantee.  The strong likelihood was that Goody would battle bladder infections and need to be on strong medications for the rest of her life.  Her vet told me I had done more than many others would have for her, and had given her a wonderful life - now I can't help but wonder if I should have tried something else.   Maybe that one more thing would have ended those infections once and for all and my precious Goody would still be with me.

And so I am here in my apartment, so acutely aware that I have not fed Goody as I would normally do so when I got home, that she is not sitting beside me on the couch as I watch tv.  My heart breaks and I cry and wonder if I should have seen one more vet, tried one more medication, prayed just a little harder.  My heart broke to think of Goody having to live the rest of her life with so many infections but I am just lost in the what if's today. 

Wow, that was even longer than I imagined.  Thank you to all who read through my post. 

To my sweet Goody, I miss you so very much.  Thank you for the love and joy you brought into my life.  I wish there was something more I could have done, I would have done it in a heartbeat. 

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Chel, the what if's can eat you alive, try and stay away from it if you can. there are no solutions for what if's. I know, I've been there.
My maddie was sick right from the time I brought her home at 8 weeks. it took almost 6 months to find food that didn't give her the runs.
Sometimes some animals are just not healthy like people, no matter what we do. But my view on that was, as well as the vets....thank goodnes it was me that had Maddie, as not many people would have let her live. You gave Goody a good home, love, and did the best you could, just like I did. There is nothing more we could have done...if there was.....we would have done it!!
So Goody had a good home and love.
I so know about the emptyness. It's extremely difficult. I plan to do specific things, so I am not quite so lonely, especially at night.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Judy
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I am so sorry how empty everything feels without your Goody.  It is odd getting back into the routine today, because it is anything but routine:(

I have t say - in all honesty, Chells (I don't work in the animal profession, but I do in the people medical profession) the amount of care you provided for your dear Goody..and the number of vets you went to...just amazes me.  I don't see people caring for their parents like that...I especially love that you found a mobile vet to come to your home.  You tried absolutely everything.  If her bladder was rigid, I am not a doctor or a vet, but I believe no vet could fix that- no surgery...nothing.  I truly in my heart feel you did the very best for your Goody, and you made the best decision..a very selfless decision.

I remember taking a course on Kegels and incontinence.  Women are more prone to UTI's than men because our urethras are shorter.  Anatomically, we are more prone.  Then some women have shorter urethras than the norm, and more prone.

There are some things that we cannot help:(  Goody was likely born with this, and you made her as comfortable as possible, cared for her, loved her and was so kind to her.  You have been an amazing owner to your sweet Goody.  I so hope each day the pain eases.  I am glad you wrote here...Many blessings...

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Judy, thank you.  Today is a bit better and the what if's have become much more a whisper than the shouts they were last night.  I'm so thankful that Maddie had you as well; you gave her a wonderful life filled with so much love.

Thank you so much for your very kind words as well tearsfortoby.  Tonight wasn't as hard as last night but still felt so very strange.  Everything else is happening as it normally would - the traffic going into work, the busy pace of the day but the morning and evenings still just feel so wrong.  My mind knows it's only been 5 days, that the new routine will start to feel less strange but my heart struggles every day with accepting that Goody is gone.  All I ever wanted was for my sweet Goody to be happy, healthy and to feel loved.  We did everything we could to keep her as healthy as possible but I do believe she felt, and still feels, loved.  Her gifts to me were so many; I can only hope that I gave her half as much.

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Hi Chells,
I am also finding the hardest of times is the routine..and with a huge presence missing.  I do think a chuck of our heart gets taken.  At least it feels that way.  It sounds to me like you gave her so much love, it is so clear the caring, compassion and kindness you gave.  I do feel like they can feel our love...I don't know why but I sense that. 

May each day be less painful,

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I wish the same for you Cathy. It does feel like a part of my heart is missing without Goody but I hope that in time it that part will fill and in some way make my heart bigger and my ability to love stronger. 

I spoke with a wonderful counselor on the phone today and she helped to ease the guilt I have been feeling over the past few days. We spoke a lot about the spiritual connection that we all build with our furbabies as their caregivers and to try and focus on knowing that that connection, that love, never dies. 

Tomorrow will be one week since Goody went to Rainbow Bridge; in some ways it feels like so much longer and yet it doesn't seem possible that a week has gone by already. 

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