DebbieP
Yesterday, my beautiful lady had to be put to sleep.  I had not idea she was ill.  I never had a cat before, and she was left with me after her original owner died suddenly. Her husband was in a wheelchair and had to move out of state after his wife died.  These people were friends of my friend, and the husband asked my friend to please make sure Penelope found a home because his wife had her since she was a kitten and loved her very much.  So my friend tried to home her with two different relatives of his, and it did not work out.  Somehow at the end of 2008 Penelope ended up with me, with the promise from my friend he would take her back at any point. He would not.  I was not allowed to have an animal in the apartment, and I was always worried someone would find out.  Luckily, she was able to stay.

It was just the two of us since 2008.  We became very good pals, and I became very fond of her.  She was not the kind of cat I heard stories about.  She did not swipe at people, she never once scratched furniture (used her scratch every morning), she never jumped up on a table or counter to take food, never did anything wrong.  She was the sweetest creature.  She was a totally indoor cat, and I was told she never went outside. So I would pick her up and hold her and stand in the doorway so she could get fresh air and see the wind blow the trees and see the birds out here in the birdbath.  I didn't think it was right for a cat to never be outside.  Whenever there would be a snowfall, I would open the door and take her out and tell her all about snow.  I taught her a lot of words, and she seemed to understand, and I even taught her a few tricks.  In other words, she was an absolute angel.  When I got her I was told she was 3-4 years old.

There had never been one thing wrong with her, or as far as I knew.  The only thing I started to notice was she was getting thinner, but I thought that was normal with age. Everything was totally fine, and she acted totally normal.  Then, a little while back I noticed when she was breathing that I could see the action of the inhale and exhale.  I took that to be because she was thinner and that I noticed it before because she was a bit chunky.  This all happened so fast...a few days back I noticed she was going to the spare room a lot.  Then, on Thursday she only drank water, but she did not eat. When I woke up Friday morning, she did not come when called, and I found her lying on her side with her chest really heaving up and down, and I knew she was dying.  She would not take a treat out of my hand.  She smelled it an put her head down.

So she was taken to a clinic, and they said she was "really tired" and her lungs were filling with fluid, and she could not breathe well.  She could not get any blood or oxygen to her tissues.  They advised she go to the animal hospital right away because she did not have long.  The vet said it was a fast moving cancer or a kidney issue and nothing could be done.  I wanted to take her home and bring her back the next day, but they said she probably would not make it through the night, so she was put to sleep.

It was just the two of us all these years, and it is empty and cold in here and void of any love.  I have been crying since Thursday, and have not slept very much.  I miss her, and I am sick.  I picked up her food bowls and her toys and threw them away because I can not look at them.  Her litter box and scratch pad are still here and next to go.

I am not sure I will get another cat because I can not get attached to another living thing like this and have it die, and I will miss Penelope forever.  All I can say is she was pure love.  I am so sorry she was having trouble breathing, and I did not know.  I told her what an important job she had of taking care of me all these years, and I always told her she was the most beautiful lady ever.  I treated her like a princess, and she never went without anything her. This is all very sad, and I find comfort in knowing I am not the only one sad and missing their pets.  I would give anything to have her back right now.  She is not replaceable, and her life here on earth really served a purpose - she gave me someone to love and take care of.  


. rsz_penelope (1).jpg 


Debbie
Quote 0 0
Beaglemomma
What a BEAUTIFUL girl you had for such a short time.  I had  calico for 20 years and they sound like they could have been twins.  My girl never ever used the furniture either, but her scratching post, don't think she ever walked past it without using it and it was in SHREDS but I was afraid to get another one for fear she wouldn't use it. 

I have had several vets assure me that indoor cats live longer and are healthier than outdoor ones.  My Patches never tried to get outside and she too was an "illegal" in my apartment but it worked for us.  I lost her several years ago but she trained my little Beagle quite well with that "regal" look that only a cat can have. 

I am sorry you didn't have more time with your beautiful lady.  That is a truly beautiful picture of her.  I know you are hurting as all of us here are, but please know you are not alone in how you are feeling.  The loss is indescribable. Take care and I am sending you lots of hugs.
Patches.JPG 
janice
Quote 0 0
JerseyNonna
Debbie, sorry to read of the loss of your Penelope.  please know that Penelope has not left you and her spirit is still around you where it was loved and is loved so much.  you treated her like the princess she looks like in the picture and she gave you someone to love and care for...I have to believe that because of that she will nudge you to help another as you took her in and cared for her unselfishly.  we all know how you are feeling and I like to believe the saying that "God never gives us more than he knows we can handle" but as for our losses enough is enough and most times the loss of our fur-babies is hard on us for quite some time.  I hope there is a lesson in such grief and loss and perhaps it is the knowing that there are so many unwanted rescue dogs and cats out there that in the scheme of things we're needed to continue to love one of God's creatures in need who can't speak for themselves.  talk to Penelope as you normally would and perhaps if you could salvage one of her toys (or two) and the bowls just put them away in a closet for now.  actually I still have my roxie's bowl in the stand next to the water bowl (food bowl is clean and empty but water bowl is still used for the pet pomapoo tae.  roxie's toys are on top of the wood chest containing her ashes as is her collar with her Steeler bandana on it as it always was, and the chew chips she had hidden I've placed inside the wood chest so she has them with her.  you just never know when you will get those pangs of remorse - just a thought hon.  we all know how you're feeling and you probably feel like a zombie in a fog, just going through meaningless daily motions right now.  it does pass and the grief and crying will come and go but you are in a good place here and we're all here for you.  many many hugs
JerseyNonna
Quote 0 0
DebbieP
Almost nine years was pretty long, but I did not know much about cats and thought she would be around another five years or so.  Still crying today, as I continue to pick up her things.  it was hard to sleep without her "on watch" all night while I slept.  Still looking at the doorway here where should would sprawl out and I had to climb over her to get into the next room.  I a lot of pictures of her, she was my model!  Thank you for your concern!
Debbie
Quote 0 0
DebbieP
Thank you, Jersey Nonna.  I know every day won't feel like this, I just didn't see it coming, not that it would have been any easier at any time or knowing it was coming.  She was just reduced to skin and bones, and it was so very sad to see.
Debbie
Quote 0 0
JerseyNonna
oh hon I do know how you feel and even if you're prepared for the passing of a fur-baby I don't think it's any easier with the exception that when it happens so suddenly as it did with your Penelope and my roxie then we also seem to go into a state of shock because we didn't know it was coming...or see it coming.  I know I didn't since Christmas day and night roxie was fine - the only thing was she stayed belly up on the sofa when I turned out the living room light to go to bed whereas she would always run into the bedroom just a wee bit ahead of me to get into her spot before I got into bed.  really felt like I had been kicked in the face leaving the vet's office that night with only her collar and leash and a huge bill and crying as hard as I was I still have no idea how I made the drive home except when God called roxie home he sent an angel to help me home.  I couldn't sleep and really didn't have an appetite (much less doing anything much) for almost a full week.  now Penelope, roxie and the rest of the passed fur-babies here are at the bridge playing, are young healthy and whole again and waiting for the day when they catch our scent as we cross the same bridge they have to join them forever.  many many hugs to you
JerseyNonna
Quote 0 0
Sadiesmom061308
Hello Debbie. Sorry to hear that your Penelope passed away. It is so terribly hard to live without them. I just had to put my dog Sadie down due to renal failure. The house is empty without her. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe. I know how hard it is to put their things away. There are a lot of wonderful people out there who will help you. It is good to talk. Know you are not alone. Sending you a hug
Quote 0 0
DebbieP
Yes, she is all I had, and I think it makes it harder.  It certainly is eerie in here without her.  Very quiet and dead is how it feels.  Last night was my first night sleeping without her in here keeping guard on everything while I slept.  I did not sleep, of course.  I woke up and burst into tears this AM.  Nobody to feed and no chin to rub, etc.  It was a whole routine we had going.  This will take quite a long while to recover from.
Debbie
Quote 0 0
Sadiesmom061308
I know it is so hard to not have them to take care of. Feeding, cuddling, loving. I cry often as well. My friends who have lost beloved pets say to take it one day at a time. I have been going to the dog groomer that Sadie went to as the owner is my friend just to see some dogs. I am so lonely without her. Please take care and try and get some sleep.
Quote 0 0
DebbieP
Thank you, Sadiesmom.  
Debbie
Quote 0 0
DebbieP
Waking up, and before my eyes are even open the tears begin to fall. It's as if all the things loved and lost have turned to to tears that are stored in a little bucket in my heart waiting for the light of day to release. Then, I notice the time, and I realize it has not even been 48 hours yet, so I guess it's still okay to cry. I would give anything to have my cat back here, and it is not possible. I miss her so much.  I found her cat brush under the couch, and there was still some fur on it, and I am glad I was able to take it off the brush and have it to hold.  Not to be too weird, but it is nice to hold a clump of her actual fur in my hand.  So strange going into the bathroom and not having her sit at the threshold of the door waiting for me.  It was also very hard when making dinner last night to not have her come out when I was cooking some chicken and sit and look up at me.  You begin to realize there were so many little rituals and habits, so it's almost everything you do in the house has a memory of your pet tied to it.  I work from home, and when I work at my desk sometimes she would lay at my feet and put her two front paws on top of my foot and take a little nap.  I always thought that was so sweet.  She had a very nice gentle way about her for sure.  Beautiful soul.  
Debbie
Quote 0 0
JerseyNonna
Debbie, you're not alone about the fur as I asked the vet where roxie passed to clip a lock of her hair for me to keep (actually they clipped two locks - one of her black hair and one from her gorgeous white chest) and they are safe within a baggie locked and held to the box of her ashes by her collar.  the hair helped my pomapoo to realize her buddy wasn't with us any more too.  not one of us here would think it was a weird thing to do and perhaps it was your sweet Penelope leading you to find her brush under the couch.  many hugs to you today and it's ok to grieve as you feel you need to hon.
JerseyNonna
Quote 0 0
Sadiesmom061308
Debbie
I cut some of Sadies hair and have it in a baggie as well. I have the blanket she used to sleep on in her bed. I smell it everyday. Do whatever makes you try to feel better. A big hug for you today.
Quote 0 0
DebbieP
I have decided to change my way of thinking about the whole thing instead of being sad about it.  I took her in, I loved her, she wanted for nothing here ever.  Animals do not have the life expectancy that we have; they live a short time, comparatively speaking. She got real sick in a real short time. They get really bad diseases that pop up, and nobody knows when and if it will happen to their cat.  As soon as I noticed she was having a struggle, like she could not hide the illness any longer, I took her to a vet.  I miss her terribly, but I can't keep beating myself up over this. Sitting around weeping like this until I feel I will go crazy is not doing any good.  I will end up getting sick myself. There was nothing more I could have done. I am sure she did the best she could with her animal instincts at the end to stay alive as long as she could, but her little body could not get enough air, and I think she knew it was her time to go.  I will cry for a long time because I miss her presence, but some of the other thoughts can not be co-existing with the thoughts about missing her.  I have been reading a lot of things, and people say that we are all energy, and when we die we shed out "cocoon" that contains our energy, and the animals shed their "fur coat."  These were just containers for our souls were in while on earth, but the energy remains after the death of the earth form of a soul and the energy goes somewhere else.  I am not sure how much I believe of this or whatever.  They say the animals know two to three weeks before they will pass, and it's called an exit point.  So they usually take time to make a memory moment with us.  For instance, my brother's husky dog passed away, but that morning when they took him out in the fresh fallen snow that he loved so much, he ran and played and chased a ball and rolled in the snow.  He has been very sick.  My brother was so shocked.  It gave them hope he was okay.  When they went to work and came home that night, he had died.  So the theory is that they try to make a memory for us to say I'm okay.  I was trying to think if I noticed anything about Penelope.  I guess I did.  She was not a lap cat or anything, so on the couch where I sit at night and lean on the arm rest, she started gingerly climbing up there and sitting so we were face to face with about four inches between us.  I had no food or anything. and she would just sit there and stare at me.  So I would rub her chin and say are you just going to sit up here and stare at Debbie?  So she would stay five minutes or so, and I was wondering why she started doing that, maybe just wanted a few minutes of affection, or maybe it was one of the memory moment things because she knew she was not feeling well and would be leaving me soon. She did that maybe four times over the past three weeks.  So it is good to read all different things, and even if you don't believe in it all 100%, it is of some comfort.   Go to youtube and search for Brent Atwater.  Some of the information is very comforting in her videos, though I do not believe everything she says, but those are her beliefs.  This is Penelope about five months ago.  She loved to sit here and watch the birds and also the squirrels walk across the fence.  What a shame that she is gone so soon.


penelwindow.jpg 
Debbie
Quote 0 0