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My cat, Tabitha, is sick and dying - Update

(April 14, 2009)

Tabitha's Page
Memorial Poetry

Unloading some pain...

I was thinking about it today and it's a funny thing the way that we can bond with animals. Anyone that has never owned an animal/pet or even likes them cannot imagine what it feels like to bond with an animal in the way we can. Tabitha is sleeping most of the day at this point, only licks some tuna juice in the morning, maybe night--a lick or two and then she's done, she has no interest in eating. She drinks water okay and now has been wanting use the bathroom slightly more. Same amount, just more frequent. If anyone were to walk inside the house right now and look at her, you would never even think anything was wrong with her. At this moment in time, she is lying in the living room next to my mom's Shih-Tzu Chewbacca. The dogs and new kitten, Dakota, still check on her and Dakota tries to pick at her to play, but not in the same way that she's been. She's slow and delicate about it, but I still threaten her when she has that "look" in her eyes so she leaves Tabitha alone.

I wonder how I'm not balling my eyes out when I look at her. I am content when I look at her, knowing that she is in a good place. My mom wants me to take her to the vet for "the shot" as she puts it. I told her "no vet! I promised Tabitha no vets unless she tells me, or she's in obvious pain" so she hasn't called and made the appointment yet. I told her Tabitha is happy and content where she's at so leave her alone. And she is. She walks around and tries rubbing herself against things when she manages to get herself up, otherwise she just sleeps most of the day and purrs when you pick her up and lay her wherever to snuggle. Because she is my typical fastidious little cat, she makes sure that she uses all her strength to go to the bathroom, rather than soil herself because she is not like most cats.

I wonder how she has even lasted this long. It's been nearly two weeks (or more?) since she last ate her full meal for the day. She barely eats any food and as I said, she doesn't want me force-feed anymore. My mother tells me that cats don't want you give medicine either, but I had to explain to her it was different. I don't think she truly understands that I know my pets. I can understand what they want and I think she just (she even said it) can't handle looking at Tabitha the way she is. She doesn't seem to get that it isn't about HER. I think she believes this is easy for me. She doesn't seem to understand that I know my cat. I know my pets. Tabitha is happy and content where she's at and wants this. If I took her to the vet right now it would be for ME, not her. So even though my mom can't handle seeing her this way, she needs to get over it and realize that it isn't any easier for me either, but I am doing what my cat wants.

It does get hard to look at Tabitha and not be able to do anything. I tell her at least once a day that it is okay to let go. That she should be with grandpa (my dad) and Katie (mom's dog that passed away last year), but at the same time I was thinking about it and maybe I'm just not really ready to let her go. Maybe that is why she still hangs on. Because the thought of taking her to the vet kills me and I couldn't do it right now. So I have to wonder if she knows I'm not truly ready yet so she hangs on? She is strong that is for sure. I know of no other cat that had hung on for so long with not eating. But Tabitha does. She's not ready to leave and she doesn't even look like she's dying which makes this all that much harder to take sometimes. I check on her constantly to make sure she is still breathing and my heart stops when I don't see her breathing, but then she always is still. She just gets to the point where she sleeps so soundly now that she's not roused unless you come close to her, otherwise she's always in this half there, half not, way. Her eyes are open and she's watching you--she'll talk to you (as she always has) if you come near, but it's a softer cry now--but at the same time, she's in her own little world. They say that animals can see the spirit world so maybe she is seeing it, but not yet ready for it.

I remember reading something a few days ago where the woman thought maybe some animals are scared of letting go so you should help them. I think maybe she just hasn't reached the point where she WANTS go. I love her so much and I keep wondering how I'm able to hold myself together so well. My mom's convinced herself that it's something simple like a bladder infection; obviously she needs to accept what's happening. But then again, as you know, I don't care what she thinks, I am doing what's right by my cat. I keep asking myself if I am, or what's right for me. The moment I don't know for sure that what I do is for my cat, then I will know that it's time, but until then, I do what she wants and it's not time yet. Even though it's hard for me, it's what Tabitha wants. Only about what Tabitha wants. People need to understand that if you can listen, animals will talk to you. Sounds crazy, but then again, I don't care. I always put my pets wishes above mine. It's a fine line between what they want, and what someone might just think that they want, but I know the difference. If they fight because they don't want medicine, yet they need it, clearly that's not what they want, but it's what they need. Granted, I've never had problems with pets refusing my medical care when they've needed it so that's a bad example anyway. But I do know the difference and when you end up with more food on you then in a supposed to be dying animal that is weak? You now that they are saying, Enough!

Maybe the other reason why I'm not having a harder time is writing it out. It helps me sort things out since I'm not really writing this for an audience, as much as simply getting my thoughts down on paper. Which I am. I am heart-broken because my cat is dying. I got her when I was 15 years old. I am 28. That's some change in your life. When you're 15 yrs old you're a lot different than 28 and Tabitha has been through all that with me. It's a sad time in my life. That's for sure. Not knowing the time that it will come makes it hard. It's one thing to know exactly when it's going to happen, but it's an entirely different matter when you don't know when the death is coming. And that is in regards to death period. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place when you know it's soon, but not exactly when. Because when it happens you grieve and move on. When you're in the midst of the passing, you are in this middle zone of grief that can't quit because you don't know the official moment. Yes, I'm being reflective here. It's what happens when you stare at a dying animal all day :) And what goes through your mind when you go in the living room and lay your head down on your cat to listen to her heartbeat. You become all reflective and melancholy. The whole house feels it. There's this quiet that's settled over every one lately. The animals still play and all that, but there is this silence as well. They sense it. Everyone loves Tabitha so it's tough. I love my animals a lot and I'm connected to them a lot so that's also why I write this. Because when it comes to animals, that is when I am myself. Still hard to accept that she's dying. It's tough. Click to go back


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