And we are thankful

And we are thankful

No matter how much time you have with someone you love it is never enough.  You always long for one more day, one more hour, or one more minute.  That is exactly how my husband, Marc, and I felt this summer when we had to make the difficult call to our vet and tell him it was time to help our sweet little Alex rest.


If Marc and I were honest with ourselves, we would have expected it.  We would have been prepared to make the call.  After all, Alex was about seventeen years old, and his health was rapidly deteriorating.  But we watched him bounce back from health scares before, most recently having his tail amputated the past summer due to Cancer, so we thought he would pull through this time too.  But he didn’t.  The heartbreak we felt was intense.  Alex was more than a pet to both of us.  He was our child, our friend, our soul kitty.  We thought our heart was going to break as we petted him while waiting for the vet to arrive. As he wiggled his little stumpy in response, we knew we made the right choice, and rest was what he wanted and needed.


Still it didn’t ease the pain.  Marc and I were devastated and our tears wouldn’t stop flowing.  We knew saying goodbye to Alex would be hard, but I don’t think we ever expected it to be this hard… We also didn’t expect to one day be thankful….


A week and a half after Hurricane Sandy slammed our home and our lives; a Nor’easter (with snow) was expected.  Between the freezing temperatures, lack of heat and hot water, risk of flying debris from all that we and our neighbors had to throw away, Marc and I weren’t comfortable staying home.  We evacuated yet again – this time to my cousin’s home where we stayed the year before when Hurricane Irene arrived.


Hurricane Irene hit a few months after Alex’s tail amputation.  We were nervous how Alex was going to handle the evacuation especially since my cousins have two dogs.  But he handled everything like the trouper he was…. But then again, Hurricane Irene was just a dress rehearsal compared to Sandy.


As Marc and I walked around my cousin’s home, we paused at the room we stayed in the year before.  We both looked in.  We didn’t see anything that was there. Instead, thanks to our mind’s eye, we saw a scene from the past… Alex resting comfortably on his favorite blanket on the air mattress we brought from home.

“Alex’s room,” Marc announced as we stood there, both growing misty eyed.


And then in unison, we both said, “Thank God he isn’t here.”


Marc and I are so thankful that Alex didn’t have to experience the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  At his age, and at his health, he never would have been able to endure the past three weeks.  The mess, the cold, the darkness, the constant stream of people in and out of this home trying to get it livable, the shuttling from family to friends when staying home was impossible would have been so difficult for him to handle. It would have killed Marc and me to see him spend his final time with us suffering.


Instead, we said goodbye to our friend on a beautiful sunny day.  He found his final rest right in his very own home, in his favorite spot surrounded by a vet that cared for him and his parents that loved him.  And we are thankful….


Happy Thanksgiving!  What are you thankful for….

52 thoughts on “And we are thankful

  1. This makes absolute total sense. Hilary, I am so wishing you are having a nice Thanksgiving,at least one day away from your troubles or at least part of a day. You are still in the absolute thick of it and I am hoping you have some moments of joy through this very difficult time.

    1. Lucy – thanks… It took us a while to admit our feelings to each other, but… We had a nice dinner with family. Sadly everyone was hit hard by Sandy so it was bittersweet. The day was spend as all others are, lugging & cleaning….

  2. Sometimes timing, although incredibly painful in the moment, is perfect.
    Thankful today that both of you are okay, and wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving in the midst of all the clean up. <3

    1. Leslie – thank you so much… The timing was perfect… Just long enough for us to get over the real raw emotion and realize that Alex was so lucky to avoid this… Love ya!

  3. I’m so glad you found a bit of comfort in knowing your precious Alex didn’t have to suffer through Sandy with you. Over the past year, I came to know how much he meant to you and my heart broke for you when you lost him. I’m grateful with you that you didn’t have to watch him endure the hardships after Sandy. My thoughts go to you when I hear anything about the aftermath of the storm. I hope you have a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving despite your circumstances. Just know, you always bring a bit of cheer into my life whenever I read one of your posts. Happy Thanksgiving, dear blogger friend!

    1. Brian – And I am thankful for your friendship too…. I know Alex was so honored to have Gracie as his girl…. Love ya all!

  4. I just have no words to say to you….your expression of love for Alex just pours out of every word in your post today. You and Marc are truly wonderful pet parents to put Alex’s comfort above your own grief. Alex will always be with you in spirit. Thank you for this post today.

    We all wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Amber – thanks so much…. We loved Alex so much… he was an amazing cat and we tried to be good to him because he deserved it. I know that Alex’s spirit will always be with us, and I am thankful for that….just as I am thankful that his last few weeks were peaceful and he didn’t have to live through the chaos that is now our lives…

  5. Ditto what Amber commented. That is such a perfect way to say it.
    We also wish you a Happy Thanksgiving to you. We know you have been through some especially hard times but we are thankful it isn’t any worse than it is.
    And we are thankful for having you for friends and for your great love for Alex. That is terrific.
    Take care and try to have a good day.

    1. Marg – thank you so much.. I am thankful for your friendship as well. It has been a rough year, but things could have always been worse.. and besides, as the Joker said, “what doesn’t kill you simply makes you stranger”. At this rate, I will be one strange cookie!

  6. Beautiful post. It was a blessing that he wasn’t alive for this disaster. Older pets have a hard time adjusting to things. Pepper is 14 now. Not sure how she would handle it if I HAD to move anywhere for any reason at this point. She’s partially blind and deaf and having to learn new rooms and a yard would be taxing.

    1. Blue Eyes – I hope Pepper doesn’t have to ever experience anything.. it is hard enough for them when they get old… they don’t understand… Give her a big hug from me.

  7. Beautiful post, Hilary. I so know what you are going through. We just lost our handsome Socrates last week. First Geiger and now Socrates. Both of my big boys…one was 16 and the other 17. I’m still heartbroken. Many hugs to you and your husband.

    1. Yvvone thanks so much.. I am so sorry about Socrates. It is so hard to lose one beloved pet, but two.. my thoughts are with you…

    1. Judy -thanks.. Making the decision was very hard, but actually not as hard as we would have thought. He made it pretty clear to us that was what he wanted & needed….

  8. Alex was a tremendous cat… and you’re right… what’s gone on the last few weeks would have been too much for him.

    1. William – he was the best.. thank goodness he left us on a high note and didn’t have to live through this… It wouldn’t have been good…

    1. Florida Furkids – thanks guys! It is strange how life works… Never thought I would be thankful for having to say goodbye to my boy…

  9. How great that you could find some peace knowing that Alex didn’t have to try and manage through the past few weeks. I’m glad that you were able to say goodbye to him on a beautiful day.

    Here from ICLW (#38)

    1. Christine – thanks so much… It is pretty great that I found peace… and that his last day with us was a perfect, beautiful, warm sunny day… Happy ICLW!

  10. What a wonderful cat Alex was.

    I have tears in my eyes after reading your post. I thought the same thing as I I read your accounts of all that you and Marc have had to endure with Sandy.

    1. Meowmeowmans – He was the best…. Sorry about the tears…. It really was a blessing that he went to the bridge when he did… It was hard for Marc and I to vocalize at first, but we both felt it from the moment we had to evacuate Monday morning 10/29 and each day as our struggles grew, we felt it more… you are not alone – just like we felt it, so many of Alex’s best buddies were thankful too!

  11. stunningly beautiful. I am so happy to see these photos of precious Alex.
    You are so right…I am glad that you are able to find some kind of peace…it will never completely erase the heartache but to have found peace is so healing and beautiful.
    Thank God…Alex crossed the Bridge in Peace.
    Thank God for you and Marc
    I just adore you!

    1. Caren – and thank God for you.. I am so thankful for your support and friendship…. It is crazy how our feelings changed. The pain and hurt will never completely go away, but it is so much less now that we know he avoided living through this disaster. I would never want his final time with us to be spent this way….

      oh, and I adore you too!

  12. We are so very thankful, too, that you were able to say goodbye in peace. Our om’s struggling with words to express what’s in our hearts…so we’ll just take over and press close to you & Marc and let our purrs say it all….

    1. Maxwell, faraday & Allie – I am glad words failed you guys… holding close and hearing purrs said it best, and gave us just what we needed… It is amazing how time changes our thoughts… If you would have told me four months ago I would be thankful for the timing of Alex’s passing I would never believed you….

  13. How did I miss this one? I was thinking exactly this the whole time surrounding Hurricane Sandy. I think, I may have said something to Sweetheart to the effect of that it’s good Alex didn’t have to go through all that. Fate and luck….

    1. Susi – I think you missed it because I posted it on Thanksgiving… It really was such a blessing alex didn’t have to live through sandy, especially in his condition towards the end…

  14. Here from the future via Time Warp Tuesday and typing through my tears. What a beautiful post about your love for Alex and your ability to have perspective on the timing of the end of his life. I love that you and your husband shared such a deep love for your dear cat and am sorry for your loss. It does help to cope with loss sometimes when we can see those silver linings and/or imagine things differently and find peace in the way things are. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Kathy – thanks so much.. Alex was and always will be a huge part of our life… Since we don’t and are not having children, he was the closest we had to a son… and we treated him that way. There was such a huge hole in our hearts when he passed, but only Sandy made us realize it was for the best…. And now, with Lucy in our lives, we feel his love and presence even more…

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