WARNING – This Post is a Downer
2008 shall forever been known as the year that my heart keeps breaking. It seems so very long since I have walked without the weight of grief strapping its arms around my calves and sitting it’s cold butt on my feet. I have had moments of laughter and clear appreciation of a cool cinnamon scented breeze, but for the most part, my heart is filled with heavy, slippery, poisonous mercury.
My grief started with the sickness of Weasel. She threw-up, constantly. A small grey cat, she never weighed more than 6.5 lbs, but her weight went down to 4 lbs and we knew she was very sick. She stopped eating on a Tuesday in May, a visit to the vet and IV fluids didn’t help, and by Saturday, she was weak and shaking and throwing up regularly. The at-home vet came on Sunday and helped us to decide that it was time for our amazing friend of 16 years to rest. Her whole life she wanted attention, always greeting us at the door demanding to be picked up. Always tapping me on the shoulder when my alarm failed to go off, waking me in time for work. She was the cat who paced impatiently, waiting for me to sit and watch a movie so she could curl up on my lap. We still miss her tremendously.
Then in June, my Dad got sick. He got really sick, like take-care-of-your-affairs-sick. He has a rare blood disease called MDS (mydadhasMDS.blogspot.com) He just finished his second round of chemo and is still in the hospital 2 weeks later. All I want to do is be with him and Mom, but they live in CO and I live in CA, so I sit and worry from afar and hold any positive thoughts in my head and heart, which is still broken.
And just as we started to heal from losing Weasel, I found a kitten. It was a hurt grey kitten, just sitting in a very busy traffic lane where I stopped my car (and traffic), chased her as she tried to run with only 3 functioning legs, freed her from the web of branches on the median and drove her to the closest vet I could think of. “Do you accept financial responsibility” they said. What option did I have? To save this tiny creature from getting run over only to have a vet put her under? Of course I accepted financial responsibility (in a time when I have been berating my spouse about not spending any extra money because we have a balloon payment coming.) Of course I agreed to foster her until we find a home. Turned out she had a cracked jaw and a leg that didn’t work, maybe temporarily, maybe permanently. She came home with me the day after. She was so tired and hungry, she ate almost a whole can of food and passed out, but within 2 hours she woke up, yelling at me, running around the spare room that we had removed all dangerous furniture from and finally snuggling up next to me with a throaty purr whenever I touched her still dirty fur to move her useless leg into a better position.
I washed her with a warm cloth, and held her tiny body in a towel as she dried. But I could not take care of her. Her bad leg dragged behind her, she didn’t seem to know it was there, couldn’t control it at all from the shoulder down. Then she pooped. All down her hurt leg, all over her back leg, granted she used the litter box, but she was a mess, top to bottom. I realized I was in no position to care for her. We couldn’t leave her alone all day when we were at work. If I needed to go to CO to see my Dad, what would become of this injured kitten in a house with three other larger, crankier cats. We had to give her to someone who could help her more than we could. It broke my heart again, opened up the wound of losing Weasel,made me feel inadequate and selfish. We gave her to HappyStrays.org. They were very sweet and understanding (I spoke to a woman at Heaven on Earth cat rescue who made me feel guilty for trying to find her a better foster. That woman was a jerk.) Happy Strays is run by a friend of a co-worker and they couldn’t have been nicer. They took Grey Kitty’s medicine, paperwork, history and hugged me as I blubbered through the way I found her and why we couldn’t keep her.
So my heart is broken again, for the poor handicapped kitten, for my sick Father and my Mother who has to care for him so patiently, still for my lost Weasel.
2008, the year my heart keeps breaking.