There doesn't seem to be a "just general" category on here. I almost never post anything that isn't at least marginally diabetes related. But I feel as if you are all a part of my support community and I've written on here before about my amazing 18 year old survivor cat, so...
I've nearly lost Lula many times (both literally and figuratively many times over her life. Then she was diagnosed with chronic renal failure in September 2009 so I knew it wouldn't be much longer. Because of that I've spent every day appreciating her being a part of my life and letting her know it. She, of course, is a cat and so has taken full advantage of that fact! And I think when you live alone there is an added level to the bond with your cat friend.
I thought she would start to get sicker and then I would know the right time to put her to sleep. But it didn't happen that way. She had a heart attack last night and just like that she was gone. I was in shock and beside myself. But then I realized how much better that was then slowly getting worse and suffering. She was her normal self all day yesterday going in and out, sitting in her spot in the sun outside; jumping up on the hammock with me, getting her treat "tunie fish" I gave her twice a week in addition to her kidney diet. She sat in my lap while I typed around her on my laptop. Then it happened and she was gone. The vet said she didn't even know. So much better. When i worked with AIDS patients in SF during the height of the epidemic in the 80s people started talking about someone having "a good death". Lula had a good death....though right now it doesn't feel that way. I keep looking up at the sliding glass back door to see if she is waiting to be let in. I couldn't sleep last night because I'm used to her sleeping on my pillow (she always left me a corner!) Death - whether of a beloved pet, a friend or family member almost never makes any sense.
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So sorry to hear of your loss Zoe. I agree, it never really makes sense. Thinking of you. Joanne
As a closet cat person, I'm very sorry to hear this.
Thanks, Sam. Come out of that closet; it's so worth it!
Zoe, So sorry for your loss of Lula. She was family and it was a blessing her passing was quick. It is never easy to lose these wonderful souls. They are our hearts. Take care. (Hugs)
Thanks guys. That was her favorite "triangle" in my dome, especially during winter when it was directly above a heater!
Hi Zoe. The death of each of my companion animals (mostly cats and dogs) stays indelibly in my mind -- as of course does the deaths of family members and friends. Each and every death is terribly difficult for us. I'm so sorry that your Lula is gone.
Sorry to hear your sad news. I hope I die as good a death!
Thanks, AR. Yes, Trudy I know what you mean and I'm hoping that I can move over to thinking what a great crazy life we had together for 18 years (moving from California to Guatemala and back for instance!)and all the love she gave me, instead of thinking about the loss, but I know that takes time. I just wrote a poem about my friend Tami from high school that celebrated our bond and she died 2 1/2 years ago.
Zoe, time does help. So does writing. My son who died 20 years ago would have had a birthday tomorrow. Not long ago I wrote a poem in his honor: http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/poetryclub.
Oh my. Thanks for sharing that Trudy, I can't even imagine what that felt like. I hope you have a day of good remembering for your son tomorrow.
Take your time to grieve Zoe, you will miss Lula so much, our pets entwine themselves around our hearts.
That they do; other pet owners especially understand. Some (not all) non pet owners might think of me as a typical middle aged woman whose cat is the most important thing in her life. (I've never lived with a person for 18 years and doubt any person would follow me all over creation like Lula did!) Fortunately I started a couple months ago on changing that, poco a poco (bit by bit). But that's another topic.
Zoe - I've never had a cat or dog until two years ago when a yellow lab, Norm, started living with me. I now understand the depth of the bond that people develop with their animals. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope, with time, that most of your memories of Lula will be fond ones!
By the way, I think Lula's role in your life is definitely related to diabetes. As you well know, this is a tough disease to deal with. I'm sure that Lula helped you to maintain a positive outlook on things, no matter how bad things can sometimes seem. A close animal buddy is surely a warm living being "in our corner" in one of the toughest battles that we face in life.
Thank you, Terry, and I'm glad you and Norm found each other! I think it's such a privilege when an animal wants to share their life with their one special human.
Yes, that is so true. Today when I'm feeling so bad and can't seem to relax, I went to settle myself on the couch with a book and unconsciously was thinking Lula would climb into my lap
i am so sorry for your loss zoe, we have a beloved dog that we would be lost without, she is such a comfort to us all, i feel pets are special because the do not talk, with words anyways. and they usually don't have any baggage, like us. they just delight in all simple things and us, with no worries. i read a line recently something like i have met 4 true buddhas all of which cats! i am glad she did not suffer and hope you can find comfort in a possible reincarnate of lula? sending you some comfort from the other coast! amy
I like to offer you this, Animal Lover Friend !!...be sad with millions of memories.The poem has helped us through ; hope it works for you too !!
THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
THERE IS A BRIDGE CONNECTING HEAVEN AND EARTH. IT IS CALLED THE RAINBOW BRIDGE BECAUSE OF ITS MANY COLOURS. JUST THIS SIDE OF THE RAINBOW BRIDGE THERE IS A LAND OF MEADOWS, HILLS, AND VALLEY WITH LUSH GREEN GRASS.
WHEN A BELOVED PET DIES THE PET GOES TO THIS PLACE. THERE IS ALWAYS FOOD AND WATER AND WARM SPRING WEATHER. THE OLD AND FRAIL ANIMALS ARE YOUNG AGAIN. THOSE WHO ARE MAIMED ARE MADE WHOLE AGAIN. THEY PLAY ALL DAY WITH EACH OTHER.
THERE IS ONLY ONE THING MISSING. THEY ARE NOT WITH THEIR SPECIAL PERSON WHO LOVED THEM ON EARTH.
SO, EACH DAY THEY RUN AND PLAY UNTIL THE DAY COMES WHEN ONE SUDDENLY STOPS PLAYING AND LOOKS UP! THE NOSE TWITCHES! THE EARS ARE UP! THE EYES ARE STARING! AND THIS ONE SUDDENLY RUNS FROM THE GROUP!
YOU HAVE BEEN SEEN AND WHEN YOU AND YOUR SPECIAL FRIEND MEET YOU TAKE HIM OR HER IN YOUR ARMS AND EMBRACE. YOUR FACE IS KISSED AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND YOU LOOK ONCE MORE INTO THE EYES OF YOUR TRUSTING PET.
THEN YOU CROSS THE RAINBOW BRIDGE TOGETHER, NEVER AGAIN TO BE SEPARATED.
Thanks Sally, Amy and Nel! Last night when I brought her in to the vet she mentioned "the rainbow bridge" and I didn't know what she meant. Now I do. Lula moved multiple times in her life and I always apologized for moving her yet again. I felt like she said, "as long as you will be with me mama, it's ok". On the other hand when I traveled she didn't do well at all. So when she got sick and I knew her time was nearly done I promised I wouldn't travel while she was still here. One of my oldest friends (46 years!) asked me to come to his wedding in Tampa in August and I am planning to go for 4 days. I had planned to board Lula at our vet's so she could get her shots, but I knew she wouldn't be happy and wouldn't have gone for less than such an old friend. Now she doesn't have to be without me. Oddly enough I noticed in the last week or two that she was always gazing at me...like she was trying to memorize myface.
From a fellow northern CA cat person to another, my thoughts are with you. It's amazing the love and companionship that cats give us. As other have said, take your time to morn and adjust. You've told her story beautifully and know that she loved each moment with you.