Prepare for a lot of pictures of my sweet boy & a lot of sadness, because I don’t remember the last time I felt this way.
I usually blog like every day, but I haven’t even touched my laptop since last Wednesday. If you follow my Instagram or know me personally, you know we had to put our kitty down last week and we were just devastated. Devastated. My heart is broken in a way that I can’t even articulate. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless, and so sad.
I can compare this to several different situations, but nothing is quite the same. Nothing hurts like this does. His innocence, he didn’t know what was happening or why we left him in that place. All he knew was his pain, and our faces when we walked through the doors. My heart sits in my throat every time I think about it, which makes this hard to write. But I’d rather get it all out and feel some closure.
We adopted Spicoli around this time last year because I was having a hard time with just having moved out of my parent’s house and not knowing anyone. Kyle’s work schedule left me alone at home for 24 hours+ and I was just really missing the companionship of family and pets. We talked about it and I even wrote a letter to our landlord practically begging for permission to get a cat. When he gave us the “go ahead” I was in tears. I was so excited and we immediately went to the pet store for toys and treats. I was so excited, I can’t even describe it to you. I had a cats in my house all my life, so having a pet was just routine and part of my daily life. Not having one when I moved out was harder that you would think it would be.
Kyle and I went to New York and when we got back, we went to my parent’s house and visited a friend near by that was fostering a litter of kitten for the local animal shelter. They were found at 3 weeks old in a sewer without their mom, so you know I wanted to take all of them. There was one in particular that stuck out to Kyle and he bonded quickly with him, so that’s who we chose. We renamed him Spicoli after the character from “Fast Times as Ridgemont High” and we fell in love instantly. My days were brighter, I always looked forward to going home or having days where I could chill out with him all day and not do anything. I got so attached to him so quickly. He was my baby, my “sweet boy”, my “titten” and our “Spicoli Culkins” (Like Macaulay Culkin LOL). Every time we got home, he ran to the door, or was sitting in the window waiting for us. He followed me around everywhere. Every time I walked into the bathroom, he was right there in the sink waiting for me to turn it on. Every time I got out of the shower, he was laying there on the bathroom mat (inconveniently, but I loved it anyways). Every time I took a bath, he sat of the edge of the tub with me. When I was sick, he stayed with me in the bathroom or sat on my lap while I slept on the couch. He had his little quirks that just made us love him so much more. He was the sweetest boy and I didn’t ever imagine that things would have ended the way that they did.
A few weeks ago he started peeing outside his litter box. I took him to the vet and they said he had a UTI but no crystals according to the urine analysis. We did two weeks on antibiotics for him and he took them like a champ. He was eating, sleeping, playing, totally normal. Saturday morning was his last dose and then I left for the weekend with my mom. I wasn’t worried a bit, and he was seemingly normal when I left, and all weekend according to Kyle.
When we got back Sunday night, I noticed he wouldn’t come out from under the bed. He cried when I held him, and cried while he ate. He cried when I put any pressure on him bottom while holding him, and I knew something was up. We insisted it was because my mom was there, and she always smells like other cats since she has two of her own, and he always acts weird when she’s around.
Monday morning I woke up and realized he hadn’t been in our room all night, and he wasn’t waiting to be fed. (Which was really weird because you would think he was practically starving by the way he acts in the morning before I feed him.) I found him in our second bedroom, struggling to sit comfortably, and crying nonstop. He was using his back legs to prop his backside up and I could tell he had been doing it a while because he was shaking a little like he was really tired. I called the vet and got them to agree to see him that morning. I got ready and got his carrier together to bring him.
When we got there, we went back and you could tell he was in so much pain. My heart was breaking and my anxiety was rising. They weighed him and he cried and squealed. Kyle got up and headed to the vet we were at to take my place because I couldn’t handle being there anymore.
I left and it was a good thing I did because apparently it got a lot worse. Kyle said it tore him ‘out the frame’ to see him that way. The vet immediately sedated him and used a catheter to unblock his urethra. Poor thing couldn’t pee.
I went to visit the next day and they warned me that he was in a horrible mood and was not happy at all. But when I walked in, he picked up his head, meowed, and tried to roll over on his back and stretch his paws out at me. He had a little cone on, a catheter in, and an IV hooked into him to flush fluids through his system. He was so sweet and my heart was on fire seeing how happy he was to see me. They were all shocked at how he changed when I walked in. You could just tell I was his person and he was my baby!
I stayed a while before heading to work and went back the next morning to see him.
Before I left the house Wednesday morning, the vet called and said he was fine and peeing on his own when they removed the catheter but then that morning, he was struggling to pee again. He “reblocked” and they needed to sedate and catheter him again. I went in to see him, and he had gotten a bath and was doing okay, but was having pain again because he couldn’t go to the bathroom. Kyle and I hung out a while and pet him, and talked to him and then we left.
At lunch that day, the vet called me to tell me they couldn’t unblock him with 2 different catheters and they tried to flush it back into his bladder but that didn’t work either. They said he was severely bruised from all the pushing and trying they were doing to unblock him and said he was in a world of pain.
Our options were: Take him to Raleigh to have a $3,000-$5,000 surgery done where they amputate his penis to rid the most narrow part of his urethra or we put him down. I was willing to do the surgery despite our already high & climbing vet bill, but she wanted me to know the downsides if we did go this route. Those included the scar tissue creating a stricture, the skin healing over the hole altogether, infection, reaction to anesthesia, and despite all of those things, since he just turned one this was more than likely something in his genes that he was just predisposed to dealing with. It wasn’t a one time episode gone awry, this is something he’d have to deal with for the rest of his life.
Of course, we decided to put him down. It was hard on our hearts, but it was an easy decision to make when we looked at the facts and how much pain he was in. We didn’t want him in pain. We didn’t want him to not be able to pee over and over and him have to deal with these invasive procedures and vet visits to fix it. We didn’t want to pay a thousand dollars every time we had to bring him in. And we certainly couldn’t afford to pay that much for the surgery.. even though we would have if it seemed like it would do him any good at all.
We went to visit him again and to sign the papers. My heart felt like it had shattered inside of me and I couldn’t breathe. I have never had to put a pet down before, and it’s not an experience I thought I would have so soon into owning my first fur baby. The vet was closed but she opened the doors for us so we could see our baby one last time.
I held him and he cried. I cried. We all cried. He was hurting and so bruised but I tried to avoid touching the places I knew were painful. We were supposed to take him home that day and instead we left him there. I cried all day. All day. Constantly. I’m crying now. I can’t really help it. It just spills out of me. My heart hurts. I can’t stop thinking about him and I miss him more than I can explain.
When I got home, I was hysterical. Sobbing, hyperventilating, snot bubbles, tears, mascara, all of it. I immediately grabbed all of his toys, beds and food dishes, and I threw them in a garbage bag. I packed up my things and I went to my parent’s house. I couldn’t stay there without him. It felt weird, I was emotional, and I just didn’t want to be there. And Kyle preferred to be alone anyway, so it just worked out. When I got home, I just cried some more. And my mom, being the cat person that she is, cried with me. I cried all day. All night. Uncontrollably babbling through the day, just wishing it would end.
I feel guilty for going away with my mom that weekend instead of staying home. I feel guilty for feeding him an all dry food diet and not working harder to get him to drink more water. I feel guilty for not doing more. I don’t know what more I could’ve done for him, but I wish there was, and I wish I knew about it. I feel sad for how much pain he was in, and I felt so helpless. He was my baby and I couldn’t save him. He was only one! He was so young and so little and just a baby. Ugh. They say animals are good for the soul, but what do you do when they’re gone? Because my soul feels so broken.
That night, we went to Milissa’s house. Milissa is the woman we adopted Spicoli from last year. She is fostering a new litter and my head space was totally overcome by the thought of getting a new cat as soon as humanly possible. I felt half guilty at this thought, and half like this is just what we needed to help get past this total and complete heart break.
I met “Howard” at her house and I didn’t “fall in love” with him like I did when I met Spicoli, but that’s because my heart just wasn’t there like it was before. I wasn’t excited. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t looking forward to bringing him home or having him around. But being there was the first time all day that I wasn’t crying my eyes out.
I took “Howard” home so I could “try before I buy” (LOL) I honestly just wasn’t sure how I’d feel about having a cat around if it wasn’t Spicoli. I didn’t want a new cat, I wanted my cat. The first couple days I was… I mean, I liked him, everyone likes kittens. But I wasn’t in love with him and wanting to keep him in my pocket at all times like I was when we got Spicoli. And I know it’s because my heart was hurting, but I felt so guilty. I felt like he would never been as good as Spicoli was. He would never fill my heart like Spicoli did. I didn’t think he’d like me because he’d sense my hesitation or something. I don’t know. Yeah, he’s cool but I want my baby back. He’s not my baby.
We did the paperwork and adopted him. We named him “Maverick”.
We went to Target to buy some new stuff for Maverick since I threw all of Spicoli’s stuff away. We got new toys, a new bed, new food dishes, new couch throws and blankets since they all reminded me of Spicoli. I might sound ridiculous but I was honestly ready to just move. The house was just as much ours as it was his, and it feels weird to be there without him. I realize that notion is crazy, and I never honestly thought about doing it but it did cross my mind once or twice.
I came back home with our new baby on Saturday and the closer we got to the house, the tighter the knot in my stomach got. I knew it would be weird to pull up to the house and not see my baby in the window or at the door, or running toward me as I walked in. And it absolutely was. The second I pulled in and walked through the house, I cried. Hyperventilated. Couldn’t deal. I got in the shower, and he didn’t follow me in. He wasn’t there when I got out. He wasn’t waiting at his food bowl for me. It was really hard to be in our space and not have him there.
That night, we introduced Mav to his new home, his litter box, and his food bowls. He adjusted wonderfully, making it his space so quickly. I cried myself to sleep and woke up ready to go to the fair with Kyle. I fed Mav, loved on him, and we left. While we were out, we got some stuff for the house so we could change it up a little. We change our shower curtain, got a corner rack for the bathroom, and then we turned our entire living room around. I think we both needed a change.
Maverick is super sweet, all black except for a handful of white hairs on his chest, and he loves to purr. He squeals a lot too which is really cute! He has no caution about anything – he jumps on and off things we didn’t think he’d be able to reach, and he loves to snuggle (on his terms) if he’s feeling energetic, he needs to run. He won’t sit still! This morning I woke up and he was purring and walking all over me. Nudging little crevasses like he wanted to see what was under the blanket or pillow, or my arm. He’s so nosy! I can definitely tell I’m getting less sad about things and he’s slowly becoming my new “baby”. But I try not to think about it too much because my heart is definitely still hurting so much over losing Spicoli. I know time will take care of this pain like it always does, but God, is it hard. He was the best. I’m trying to just feel lucky that Kyle and I were the ones who got to be with him the year he was here, because we were… But I think I’m just going through the phases. Right now, I’m angry at the universe and I’m sad. I know we gave him what he needed. I know he gave us what we needed. But I can’t just accept that yet. I’m still upset. I’m still crying all the time. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to think about him and smile, but.. not yet.
If you’ve ever lost a pet, how did you cope? Did you get a new pet right away or did you wait?