Devastated Over The Loss Of My Pet - I Am Sorry But I Will Take A Small Break

Devastated Over The Loss Of My Pet - I Am Sorry But I Will Take A Small Break

Sometimes we choose our pets and sometimes they choose us. And in the case of our pet cat it certainly was the latter a little over ten years ago. We had gone to a pet shop to take a look around and in the back there were two beautiful kittens vying for our affection, but when a particular Maine Coon Mix let me cradle him like a baby on its back - I immediately knew that this kitten was real special.

This cat had won all our hearts, but especially mine. I must admit, it was quite strange for me since I had never been much of a cat person before then. Yet, this one had worked some magic on me. It wasn't hard coming up with a name for this little guy - he was so cuddly and would look you straight in the eye as he bonded with each one of us - we decided on Schmoozie!

Schmoozie, who was 12 weeks old when we bought him, would be forever by our sides from that day forward. Less than a month after bringing him home we even drove down to Florida with the kitten in tow for a months vacation. Luckily we had rented a nice big house in Kissimmee. He adapted so well that is almost appeared as if Schmooze would even learn to swim in the enclosed pool. What a character he was and that trip just reinforced why we felt he would be right for us. Let me tell you - this was one loving cat.

So loving that when I underwent my quadruple bypass surgery, my wife told me of Schmoozie's nightly vigil at the front door awaiting my return. But it was after I came home, feeling as if I had been run over by a truck, that Schmoozie also somehow knew that his adopted dad was unable to play with him or even get up. Never-the-less, the cat kept me constant company often sleeping between my legs or even on my repaired chest until I was strong enough again. I have to say this too, Schmoozie knew exactly where or where not to lay without adding to my discomfort (and Maine Coon's are not a light breed). Through it all, though, he brightened up my spirits.

After we bought our home in Plainfield we decided to add another pet, however, it was going to be a puppy and we had to wonder how the two animals would get along. After all, Schmoozie was still the king of his realm. After whacking the playful pup on her snout a few times - the two became good companions although Schmoozie was still the boss. What a cat! Life was normal around here and even though the cat was slowing down due to some arthritis he was otherwise healthy.

Yesterday, though, we noticed that the cat's ear was drooping strangely while we were in the yard. After taking a closer look we discovered he had a fluid sac built up on the inner flap of his left ear. Naturally we called the vet immediately and she later lanced it to remove the fluid. We were told that it looked like a hematoma and that it was a fairly normal occurrence in cats and dogs. We were told to keep an eye on him and in the event any more fluid built up - we were supplied with some extra needles. After Schmoozie got back home he was his usual lovable self and rubbed up against my leg to tell me he was okay. Later on he ate and we thought all was good.

At about 3AM we were awoken by a loud cry and found Schmoozie by his favorite spot under the bedroom window. He had a glazed faraway look and was gasping for air. I saw more fluid coming from his ear, but, there was also fluid coming from his mouth and nose so I knew this wasn't good. I tried to comfort him the best I could while my wife was calling the vet, but his tiny tongue had now begun to show. As I stroked him gently he gave me one last look, stretched his body and died in my arms.

Although our veterinarian did not get back to us fast enough, there really wasn't anything we could do but give comfort to our beloved cat in his last hour. Once the vet called back she was bewildered at the suddenness of the event since these hematoma's are not fatal according to her.  All we could surmise is that our cat had suffered a stroke or a heart attack.

The reason I write this is twofold; first we need to always remember that our animals cannot talk and that we should pay attention to any changes or sudden conditions. Although we reacted properly, I suppose the stress and/or an underlying condition could not prevent our loss. So please, keep paying attention to your pets just the same. Second and equally as important - the sudden passing of ones pet is very traumatic and can leave you in absolute and utter shock. So it is really important for us get that off our chests in some way. The need to talk it out and reflect on what a pet meant to you is absolutely essential for your sanity.

And yes it is okay to cry because they are a part of your immediate family. I must admit that I too have cried today and am not ashamed of saying so. Hopefully you will understand it if I take a few days off from posting to my blog.

I just feel spent. Sorry.

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  • Michael-I'm sorry to you and your family for your loss. Thank you for sharing this touching story-and for the lessons it provides. Be Good Friend-I look forward to your return.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Thank you Steve it very much appreciated. I just need a few days to clear my head. This was truly my Buddy Cat.

  • Ok, I have to admit I don't read your blog but I stumbled across this posting. As a pet owner myself (2 dogs who are family members) I am so sorry for your loss. I'm sure Schmoozie was comforted by being in your arms when he passed.

  • In reply to SuperK:

    SuperK Thank You for your kind words. Even though I felt helpless, it is my hope that Schmooze was comforted as he let go. It is the worst feeling for any of us pet owners and I do sincerely hope others will look at their pets a little differently after reading this. They do become an integral part of the family and am glad you referred to your dogs as family members. Again thank you for your kindness and hope you visit again even if you may not agree with my views - this is always an open forum and all opinions are welcome and respected.

  • So sorry for your loss. Great story!

  • In reply to siblingless:

    Thank you so much!

  • This was a tough read because it reminded me of suddenly losing our cat a few years ago and how difficult it was. Our cat Watson even looked very similar to yours, right down to the bushy tail and furry paws. Sorry for your loss, and this was a heartfelt way to express it.

  • In reply to PatStack:

    Thank you Pat. I am sorry it brought back a painful reminder for you. The last time I had to deal with the death of a pet was when I was a young adult and had to put down my German Shepard. I just don't know what it is about this profound grief I am feeling right now except that maybe Smoozie and I were so connected. I would lay on the floor with an aching back and he would appear out of nowhere and just put his head on my hand. Our dog is wonderful and loving - but way different when it comes to being close. She is always near me but not like the cat was. I just hope people will look at their pets a little different after reading this and appreciate them for what they give us unconditionally. Again thank you, and all the others, who have commented - it has helped me deal with it and restored my faith in humanity.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    There's no reason to question the grief - we cried for days after Watson died, and I say that as someone who didn't even like cats until we got one and I saw how affectionate they can be. Pets really do become family members. Sorry again for your loss, and I hope you can look back fondly on all the unique things Smoozie used to do.

  • In reply to PatStack:

    Still crying myself - but yes this a cat that won't be forgotten. Like you said they do become family and each are as unique as our children so far as personality. Again thanks.

  • I never miss a blog posting of yours...this will remain one of my favorites~

  • In reply to JenLenks:

    Oh thank you so much Jen - you have no idea what that just meant.

  • Stumbled upon this on Facebook. I am SO Sorry for your loss. I've lost more than one pet myself and am devasted each time, although some are a little worse than others. You're grieving a family member, take as long as it takes. God Bless.

  • In reply to ccboy:

    True Indeed - Tried to keep busy today in the garden and trim the hedges Schmooze used to shade under still thinking I needed to get the lower branches so not to scratch himself. Funny - it seems everything done today reminded me of something - but good memories all. When I was done I even took time out at his final resting spot in the garden. Our dog is still searching and feel bad for her because Schmooze was a part of her entire life thus far. Gave her good walks and played - hopefully it helps her too. Thanks for you kindness CC.

  • I love animals too. My family has two German Shorthaired Pointers, a cockatiel, and an iguana under our roof. My first GSP was my best hunting partner ever. When she passed away I hung up my shotgun for over 10 years. I know how you feel and offer you my condolences. This is a difficult time, but please realize that the fond memories of your pet will make you feel better.

    The following is not by me. It's actually is by an unknown author. You may have seen this before but it always seems to help read it when things like this come about.

    Here is... The Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    Author unknown...

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    That is so sweet. I can honestly say I have never read that before and it was very touching.

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    Don. Thank you so much for your kindness; GSP's are a wonderful breed and understand you totally on putting down the shotgun. I had a Vizsla many years ago and I also put down my hunting rifles afterwards. It just didn't seem right without him and didn't want to go through the process of retraining another one. As for the Rainbow Bridge - funny timing you have - our Vet sent a condolence card today with the poem. I had never heard it before - but it is beautiful and will cherish it always and think of it often. Thank You Again.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. I have been through a similar loss when I was just out of high school and my kitty Winter was having issues and I had a terrible vet at the time that wanted to do all sorts of expensive tests that I could not afford since I was only 18, working part time and going to school. Later I traced it back to a Gallbladder stone by all the symptoms she had using my high school human physiology book since a few diseases are similar in humans as in animals. I was torn up about it and still remember how I found her and wished I was there for her. Your story was very touching and I did cry thinking about your loss, my loss and the current furkid situation with Nibbles the bunny, had a strange white spot on her left eyeball. Rushed her to the vet as soon as I could get in to see him and found it was just a scratch on her eye that could have been caused by the hay they eat. I was in tears freaking out when I noticed it while trimming her claws. I was very relieved when the vet dabbed a little solution on her eye and then turned on the black light and saw a tiny little scratch. I love my furkids and will do what it takes to keep them healthy and happy. Grieve as you must, just think of the good times you had with him and how much you loved one another.

  • In reply to Brandi Wall:

    Brandi your story touched me. Thank You! I understand the frustration of losing a pet and when vets want to do all sorts of tests and treatments. I was about your age when I put down my Shepard due to hip dysplasia and even though I treated her initially, she relapsed. I was in agony after that and swore I wouldn't get another pet. But after getting out of the military I did anyway. When we got the Schmooze though, there was a tremendous bond and trust I had with him - even though I tend to attract all animals. They sense me for some reason. But this was cat was one of those extra special (although they are all special). Happy to hear about Nibble being okay. Keep Loving - It is a good thing.

    Thanks to you and others commenting I am grieving easier. I never expected the outpouring I have received thus far, but I am so proud of people and their love of animals. It restores me.

  • I miss Max. He was almost 16, my cute beagle mutt. I put him down 3 months ago. He was my best friend and you just knew that he KNEW. Just like Schmoozie over your heart. He had your heart. He has mine. We will love our pets forever here and in the ever after.

  • I am so sorry. It is still fresh for the both of us. You were fortunate to have Max for 16 years and it sounds as if he had all the love he needed from you. Thank you so much!

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Since I had to put Gypsy to sleep it was difficult to get back in the field. Yes it was a long time. I've since bought another GSP for my daughter right after she graudated from U of I. (Winnie). Tried goin out with her a couple times but ended up going home, never taking the gun out of the case.

    Then Lisa bred Winnie and we kept one make, Gambol (like trotting). Dad's name was something Two Bits von Five. ???? so Gambol's legal name was Gambol Two Bits on a Whisper.

    My daughter is into training and showing her dogs. Gambol evolved into being a champion in obedience, agility and some other things. He ended up being one of the top 10 GSPs in the country.

    Gambol is now 15 yoa. His legs are going on him. To keep him company, Lisa got another GSP, Wager.

    Wage is another champion. In conformation he's taken Best of Show, way too many other titles, titles in Agility, Rally (which I don't know what it is) and graduated through hunt tests. I've hunter over Wager. Great hunter, locks on solid.

    How I got back into hunting is a long story. But when I am in the field now, memories are always there about my hunts with Gypsy. Every time I go down I-55 and pass the DesPlaines Conservation Area I have to point out and tell who ever is in the car about Gypsys first point on a pheasant as a pup. We were in the area that runs along the expressway.

    I'll be crossing the Rainbow Bridge some day. It will be good to see Gypsy again.

    (Sorry for the ramplin')

  • In reply to Don Dziedzina:

    Ramplin' is good. By the way, We read you all the time. You are the wife's first read in the Tribune every week. Thank you for your commitment to the outdoors.

    German Short Hairs are so remarkable - sturdy breed and smart. We have a Chesapeake Retriever we bought from a breeder in Utica. Can't find too many here - but our gal's parents bloodlines are good and championship stock. She had a few flaws for showing so we got her for a good price and a promise not to breed her. But she is AKC registered and has been a good pet and companion.

    She hates to go in the car though, nervous stomach! But all in all we wanted a gentle dog because of the cat and the two got on famously. She is so lost right now and I suspect it will take awhile. Particularly hard in the evening since they slept together.

    My Vizsla was a good hunter - great nose and flushed well. Extremely gentle on the return. I am getting too old now for hunting but I enjoy watching the dogs go through their routines that it would almost be worth it just for the fresh air. But the hunt days are over.

    Great story about Gypsy, Wager and Gambol. Thanks.

  • Mike...my heart goes out to you and your wife....I had a Maine Coon Cat that suddenly passed, too--aneurysm on the heart. It was agonizing. Marcus was the most loving animal ever, and I'd had him since he was six weeks old and I was 12. He passed when I was 27, Later on, though--a miracle--our dog Duke has the same personality and coloring as Marcus. We live to love again....and the memory of Marcus is that much sweeter. I hope the same for you. Blessings to you in the meantime.

  • In reply to alisonmoran:

    Alison Thank You ever so much. Your recollections of your own loss and restoration are inspiring. Yes we live to love again and with so many animals out there I am compelled to give one a happy loving home. Right now we are dealing with our Chessie - she is sooooo lost without the only animal companion she has ever known. We feel so bad for her as nothing seems to cheer her up.

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    My heart goes to you and your wife on the passing of your Schmoozie. I too had been adopted by a sweet orange tabby years ago after he wandered into my garden, followed me into the house for a break from the sun, hopped into my lap and took his first of many naps. Years later he went blind, but we learned to adapt and he enjoyed many more years as part of my household. Shortly after moving to Chicago, I returned home from work one evening to find his 'sister cat' sitting watch near a cabinet where he had crawled under after suffering a stroke. Remembering those moments - Taking him to the vet and holding him as he also took his last breath bring tears to my eyes again. But not for the pain, for now with time, tears of joy for having been chosen his pet parent. I wish you healing thoughts and joyous memories with Schmoozie in the coming days.

  • Malissa thank you for your kind words, but most importantly for reminding me that Schmoozie picked us. He was faithful and uncompromising with his love. Memories abound of all the good things, as well as the quirks that made him the character he was. Death of a loved one, whether human or animal, takes a part of us with. Hopefully, wherever the Rainbow Bridge is - that piece keeps Schmoozie and my other departed pets company until I can rejoin them. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

  • Oh gosh, Michael, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you are doing better.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Thanks Jackie - I am doing better but still not over it. Constant reminders and memories - especially the Schmooze walking up to me every morning to say good morning. My dog is still lost looking for his pal.

    Life is not the same that's for sure.

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