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Epowell
AnthonyS wrote:
I am so sorry for your loss. Today I lost my Ragnar to what seems to be the same thing, although he went in his sleep. He was only 2.



I'm so sad to read your note about your Ragnar, Anthony. I know all too well how it feels and wish you some peace in your heart. I don't understand why our little ones sometimes pass away so young, but I have to believe God placed us in each other's lives for a reason even if for a short time.

You are in the right place coming to this forum. It will help. Losing a pet at any age is difficult, but I think losing one so young and suddenly makes it even more difficult to process and accept.
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Epowell
Dear Joey,

It's been a long while since I have posted, but not a day passes where I don't think about and miss you. So much has happened this year. Your brother, Jake, passed away on April 6th. I pray you are together. I know you love each other very much. It was Jakey's 12th birthday and your dad came from work and couldn't find him. He looked everywhere in the house and called me to see if I had brought him to the vet for an appointment. I had not and told him to look harder and find him. He called me a few minutes later in a panic and said he found Jakey in the closet and that he was making horrible sounds like he was in pain. He rushed him to the vet as they were closing and I got there a few minutes later. The vet did all they could with the equipment they had, but I wound up rushing him to the emergency vet to see if they could save him. The vets think he had a stroke, but we will never know. He died on his own about 5 hours later and we miss him terribly. Like you, he was healthy and current on vet work, shots, etc... You and he just died suddenly with no warnings and your dad and I still can't believe that you are both gone. There is a terrible void in our hearts.

To make life worse, your oldest brother, Colby, is very sick and the vets have done all they could to help him. He has lost a tremendous amount of weight in the past year and, up until this week, he has been a happy little guy despite all his health issues. Despite what my heart wants, I called the vet this morning to make an appointment to have Colby put to sleep tomorrow morning at 11 am. I have been dreading this day for months, but it is time. He is sleeping upstairs right now. We have less than 12 hours and I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight. After he passes, I am going to bring his body to the crematory which is something I have never had to do, but I don't want his little body in a freezer all weekend. The few times we have had to say goodbye to our pets, the vet offices always had the crematory come the same day, but our vet will be closed after our appointment with Colby. I dread that drive to be honest, but I will do anything for Colby (as I would and did for you and all our other pet's over the years.).

Please you and Jakey, Mardi Lou and Nayla be there for Colby tomorrow. Please meet him at Rainbow Bridge and help him transition to his new life. He will be so happy to see you, but I know he will miss us and his sister as much as we will miss him and each of you.

Thank you for the signs that you and Jakey have been sending me periodically. Sometimes. I don't always know who is sending the message, but I do know when you are "oversouling" through Callie and Colby. You have each come through them several times since you passed and they did things that only you both had done here when you were with us. That's how I know it's you and it makes me feel so special when you do that. Even your dad has recognized it.

I love you both and, of course, all your siblings who have passed in years prior who are with you. I really can't believe all three of our sons will have passed within one year. It is heart-wrenching. Please take care of each other and know how much you are loved. Someday we will all be together again.

Your mom.

Erin
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shantismom
Erin, I read your post and I am so sorry for all the heartache you are experiencing.  Losing one furbaby is difficult enough but when you have several in a short time it can just seem like too much.  My cat Shanti died about 2 1/2 years ago, I still miss him.  Prior to that I have had 6 cats that I loved who I have had to say goodbye to.  These were over  period of years and I miss them all.  Like you I would like to think they are all together comparing notes and having fun.  As you say goodbye to Colby remember he is not going to be feeling sick anymore, no weakness, no stress, no problems, just as your other babies who have gone before.  I pray that you will find some comfort in that fact. 

Marlene Wagner
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Epowell
shantismom wrote:
Erin, I read your post and I am so sorry for all the heartache you are experiencing.  Losing one furbaby is difficult enough but when you have several in a short time it can just seem like too much.  My cat Shanti died about 2 1/2 years ago, I still miss him.  Prior to that I have had 6 cats that I loved who I have had to say goodbye to.  These were over  period of years and I miss them all.  Like you I would like to think they are all together comparing notes and having fun.  As you say goodbye to Colby remember he is not going to be feeling sick anymore, no weakness, no stress, no problems, just as your other babies who have gone before.  I pray that you will find some comfort in that fact. 

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Epowell
Dear Marlene,

Thank you so much for taking time to write such a heartfelt note. It means a lot especially knowing you have experienced the same heartache. Our home feels so quiet and lonely now. Callie is our only kitty left.

Next Wednesday will be one year from when Joey died of a heart attack in front of me and it's been 9+ weeks since Jakey died. I feel calm and somewhat at peace with our decision to let Colby go, but I had prayed God would make that decision for us so we wouldn't need to do so. I have never felt right making that decision, but know that it is the most kind thing we can do when our pets are suffering and all medical options have been exhausted. Keeping him alive for much longer would have been selfish on our part because he was wasting away with his TMJ and had a difficult time eating. His other medical issues were secondary to that and those were actually manageable. The TMJ started slowly back in November when he started losing weight and got progressively worse with the more weight he lost.

I have had this vision of our five kitties (that my husband and I have had pass away since 2005) that they were all together in Heaven laying in the sun on a dock overlooking a large pond with beautiful flowers and scenery all around. They were all together, happy and healthy. I don't feel them around me right now nor have I all day, so I think they must be helping Colby adjust to his new home in Heaven. A few months ago, I started really wondering what Heaven is like and just can't grasp the concept that it is somewhere high above us. I really feel like Heaven is another planet. Sounds a little crazy, but is it? Makes more sense to me than the latter.

Anyway, thank you again for your kindness and I wish you peace in your heart with your sweet Shanti.

Erin
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Epowell
Dear Joey, Jake and Colby,

It's been two weeks this morning that we had to say goodbye to our sweet Colby. The hole left in our hearts and home this past year have been at times unbearable. I miss you each every day and know you come to visit which makes me feel better. I received a very thoughtful card from our vet two days ago with a note that Colby's paw print and clip of fur are ready to be picked up. How could I have forgotten to do that? I will go later this morning to get them and the feeling is just bittersweet. You are all so woven into my heart that no matter what happened, I know God placed us in each other's lives for many reasons and that we will be together in spirit again someday.

One month ago today when I was at work, I received a call from a friend who works on the street behind my office. She does independent animal rescue and we have been friends for years. She said she got a call from a lady at the bank across from me who saw a very pregnant kitten living in the shrubs at the office across from mine. She said someone put a small box out for her because it was pouring sheets of rain. She asked if I was the one caring for the kitten and I told her I didn't know she was there, but that I would go over and check on her when it stopped raining. It rained all day so after everyone left the office, I went over after work and pulled up in front of the building which was next to a very busy road. I got a bowl of canned food ready and got out of my car and walked to the area of shrubs and saw her immediately. She was soaking wet and so pregnant. She was a tiny little thing and couldn't be more than 9-10 months old herself. She came right up to me and let me pet her and I gave her some food. It was still raining and there was no way I could leave her there like that. There was NO box as that lady said nor was there any evidence anyone had cared enough to feed her or even give her water. I found out the next day that she had, apparently, been living in those shrubs for 7-10 days. How can people literally walk by an animal in need and not help? There was a big window behind the shrub where she was living and there is no way whomever worked in that office didn't see her. Shame on them.

Thankfully, I had a carrier in my car and got it out and put the food bowl in the back. She went in easily which amazed me. It was around 6:20 pm at that point and I called a vet around the corner to see if they were open and they were so we went straight away and I got her examined, confirmed she was pregnant and got her tested for FelV/FIV. I didn't know how your dad would react if I brought her home, but I knew in my heart that we would keep her. My biggest worry was Colby because he had been getting so frail and his favorite room was the room I would need to foster her in. My second worry was that she would have her babies when I wasn't home and something bad would happen because she was so young. I reached out to a few rescue friends to see if I could find a temp foster home so she could have someone with her for when she had the babies. I got a call later that night and my friend (who I had not even contacted) said she would love to foster her. That was God's Divine Intervention at work, I could not have hand picked a better person to help. I didn't call her earlier that day because I knew she already had a litter she was fostering, but she was able to move them to a new foster home since they were a little older. She told me she had always wanted to foster a pregnant cat and that she felt so blessed to be able to help. I was so relieved.

I spent the night with the kitten in that room and laid on the floor with her. There is something so special about her and she reminded me of both Joey and Jake. She wasn't nervous at all and acted like she always lived here. I felt like I had known her for a long time. She was that comfortable.

Ironically, I found her exactly in between the two different locations where I had found Jake 12 years prior and Joey 6 years prior. I know she was put in my path by them. Three and a half weeks ago, she had four babies and she is doing well. I went to visit her twice and will go again this weekend. She will be coming home to us in 4-5 weeks. Thankfully, my friend was fostering because she had to help the kitten open three of the four birth sacs because momma wasn't doing it fast enough and the babies would have suffocated. Had my friend not been able to foster, I would have come home to three dead babies and that would have been so devastating. She is so young that I don't think her instincts kicked in during the birthing process,

I'm a little nervous about how she and Callie will get along, but we will take it slow. Callie is so lonely without her three big brothers and she misses you terribly.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that Pippa (what my friend and I named the kitten) will be very much loved as you are and I thank you for sending her to us. I didn't want you to think that your gift to us was forgotten or that we would not adopt her. I just needed her to be safe while having the babies and to be with a rescue so her kittens could be found wonderful homes when they are ready to be adopted.

I love you with all my heart ❤️.

Your mom, Erin
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Epowell
As I sit here in the parking lot of the vet office exactly two weeks ago from the time your soul crossed over, tears stream down my face. I miss you so much Colby. I have your paw print and lock of fur and it is of some comfort.

I'm listening to my favorite song by MercyMe "I Can Only Imagine" and thinking of you. It was the same song I played several times when I was driving your little body to the crematory two weeks ago. I know you were with me in the car in spirit and that song it seems was so perfect for that sad day.

Today as I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed the time was 11:11 am which is a very important sign of angels. I remember two weeks ago when I was holding you in the vet room and we were looking out the window around 11:11 am. As sad as I was and am, I was at peace knowing I was doing what was best for you. I couldn't let you wither away and it was time..... I love and miss you.

p.s. Colby - Your best friend, Dottie, comes by every morning and every evening to wait for you on the front porch. He spends hours out there and it makes me and your dad so sad. I go out and hold him and tell him you are with him in spirit. Dottie misses you terribly. You are his best buddy and he is so lonely not to have your companionship while lounging on our front porch. I would love to adopt him because I don't like that his family lets him outside all day long. There are coyotes in the area and the neighbor's cat across the street was killed several weeks ago by one. You were always so good about just staying on the porch the past year and a half when we let you out for a half hour twice a day to see Dottie.. All those years after I found you, I worried every day I would come home and you wouldn't be here. Finding you as a feral so long ago and watching you transform into such a loving boy makes me so proud to be your mom. You worked so hard to learn to trust and everyone who met you loved you...except the neighbor's dogs whom you pretended to befriend and then attacked if they came in your yard (when you were younger). You were the cat police chief of Country Oaks and proudly took on the role to protect our yard and us for so long, but I was so grateful when you started enjoying being inside more and were safe. All our other kitties have always been inside, and I always felt guilty that we used to let you outside unsupervised when you were younger. You used to have such severe panic attacks for years if I tried to force you to stay inside. I finally realized that I just needed to love you and let you be who God made you to be. You were happiest being able to protect our yard and you took such pride in knowing everything that was going on on our street. You "worked" so hard at what you took on as your job and we were so blessed to have you for 14 of your 15-1/2 years. I would do it all over again if it meant having you back with us.
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Dealing_With_Loss
Dear Erin
I love how devoted you are to your pets and reading all your letters to them always makes me smile. My cat Wussywat (I know it's funny, but she was named by my dad unofficialy) had to be put down because of multiple illnesses yesterday and I've been reading the stories on this site and it's actually making me feel a little better.
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Epowell
Dear Joey, Jake and Colby,

It's a quiet Sunday morning and you have all been on my mind constantly. I miss you so much and tears well up in my eyes throughout the day. Quite a lot has happened since Joey passed in June 2016. Having all three of our boys pass away in a year in just too much to bear some days. I thought for a while that maybe God was preparing me to die so that your dad wouldn't have four kitties to take care of by himself. I still sometimes think that. I'm not ready to die nor do I want to. God still has many things left for me to do to fulfill his plan for my life. I want to be able to honor Him. That said, something very strange happened two nights ago, but I have to tell you about Pippa first.

Last weekend, we brought Pippa home. She is the kitten I found hiding in shrubs by my office on May 24th. She was soaking wet from the thunderstorms all day and very pregnant. I was afraid something would happen to her or her babies if she went into labor when I was at work so, thankfully, my friend, Kim, who is with a rescue, offered to foster her and once the babies were weaned then we would adopt her. A week later, Pippa did go into labor and it is a good thing Kim was fostering her because Pippa was so young that she didn't know what to do. KIm had to open three of the four birth sacs so the kittens wouldn't suffocate. All four are healthy and gorgeous, but Pippa was a young and restless mom and didn't have much interest in caring for them after 4-5 weeks which is why we wound up bringing her home last weekend. The babies were eating on their own, but still should have been nursing a bit until they were 7 weeks. Two were adopted together by a nice couple and they are spoiled and very much loved. The last two I am hoping will be adopted together as well.

Of all surprises, your dad asked me last weekend what would happen if only one baby was left. I told him he or she would stay in foster care until a good home was found. He said that wasn't fair to the kitten and that it would be lonely. THEN he said we should adopt the last one if they don't get adopted together. My jaw dropped because over the past 16 years, he has made my life very difficult every time I found a stray or caught a feral to get it fixed. He has loved our own cats (all found me) every bit as much as I do, but it was the in and out short term care I was giving to the strays so they could be vetted and rehomed if the owner couldn't be found and ferals so that they could safely recover from surgery before I put them back with their colony. Just very odd he would say that, but maybe his going to church over the past 5 months has made a change in his heart. He is a good man and loves each of you with all his heart. He just didn't understand why I did what I did to help so many animals over the years. I think maybe now he understands that God has given all of us gifts and a life purpose, I am only doing my best to honor what God asks of me and I know that when a stray or feral is placed in my path that they are not there by mistake.

Anyway, back to Pippa. It's been a long week having to keep she and the queen of our house, Callie, separated, but it's never a smart thing to put new animals together without slowly integrating them first. Pippa's milk has not dried up yet so we may have to postpone her spay until the week after next unless they swelling goes down before her appt this Friday. She is adjusting rather well and it's like she has lived her longer than she has. We have her rotating between our bedroom and the spare bedroom and I bring her on the screened porch a couple times a day as well. She loves that.

Callie has been much better than I thought she would be. They both growled at each other quite a few times when I would bring Pippa down to go on the screened porch and I held her so they could see each other or cracked the door so they could sniff each other. Growling and hissing is normal and has let up the past couple days. I held Pippa yesterday and they touched noses without any hissing. Progress is slow but going ok. It just wears me out.

I am scared to let them loose together just yet so we will continue to take it slowly.

As to what happened the other night, it was late and your dad was sleeping in the spare bedroom so I could be with Pippa in our room. I went to bed late and was laying in my side with the bedspread pulled up over my shoulder. A few minutes later, I felt a solid tug twice on the bedspread by by shoulder. I turned to see if Pippa was behind me wanting to be petted. She wasn't there. I turned my phone flashlight on to see where she was and couldn't see her and freaked me out a bit because I immediately thought there is a spirit tugging on the bedspread.

I laid back down and a minute later, the same thing happened. Two or three more solid tugs. The blanket and bed moved each time. I laid as still as I could because now I was really freaked out. I worked up my courage and sat up again and shined the flashlight around the room before seeing Pippa curled up sleeping soundly in the corner of the room by the door. I laid down again.

WTH was tugging on my blanket? I kept thinking and praying it was one of you (Joey, Jake or Colby) or even Mardi or Nayla who passed away years ago. Then I was thinking maybe it is my Guardian Angel. Those thoughts calmed me down, but where two more tugs happened, I a worried there was some other entity in my room. It really scared me so I asked, "Who are you? This is scaring me." No more tugs happened and I fell asleep a while later.

The next day when I was at work, I texted your dad to tell him what happened and he told me the day before he was with Callie downstairs and went to put her on her stand by the window. Just as he went to pet her, he heard something fall over on the shelf in our TV armoire. He hadn't even bumped it or came close to it, but when he looked it was two photo frames of Mardi that had fallen over. She was our first kitten we adopted back in 1998, and she passed away in 2004, because she had an inoperable cancerous tumor.

I don't know if the tugging was Mardi, but maybe it was. I do think and hope it was a good spirit coming to visit me. I wish I knew who.....

I love and miss you every day.

Your mom,

Erin





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Eileennellie
I'm so sorry for your loss. Please don't blame yourself for anything, you handled everything very well and no small change would have changed the outcome. My 15 1/2 year old cat Puffy died last September, he was eating (he was such a piggy!) and he walked down the hall and I heard him let out a weird yowl and he was just laying there with his pupils totally dilated. I yellled for my mom in law and I grabbed him and we drove to the vet in under 5 minutes, but I knew he was gone before we got there. I held him and felt him leave me. The vet thought it may have been a stroke. I miss him all the time, but it helps knowing that I was with him and that he went quickly and didn't suffer. I know that's how I want to go, with my loved ones and no suffering. I just lost my dog, Dobie, on July 10th of a fatal heart arrhythmia, and it was a complete shock, but I was with him and he didn't suffer and that gives me some comfort in this tragedy. You gave him a great life and he knew that and loved you. Remembering the time we had together is what helps me, because I know my babies were happy and loved. That is what matters, the loves.❤️
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