A week ago today I woke up and was afraid to open my eyes….
A week ago today after much coaxing, I finally willed myself to look at Alex as I prayed for a miracle.
There was none…
A week ago today I saw what I was afraid I would see…. That the trip to the vet, the day before, didn’t help my sweet precious boy, and that his condition didn’t improve – in fact his condition worsened.
A week ago today I didn’t want Marc and I to have to make the difficult decision that I knew we had to make. I was afraid we wouldn’t have the strength. But we didn’t have to worry. Alex took the responsibility away from us. When he cried out we immediately knew what he wanted and needed.
We listened…… We helped…. And our little boy rested…..
And now he is at peace….
For those of you who have followed Alex and me for a while, you know that he was an amazing cat. He was tough, a fighter and a trouper. Two summers ago he had major stomach issues. We thought for sure we would lose him. But with help from Marc’s cousin, the most amazing vet in the world, and our local vet plus some cortisone shots, prescription A/D and C/D food, and some Pepcid’s we cured him. Then last summer Alex developed a tumor on his tail. Our local vet wasn’t totally supportive of the surgery, fearing that Alex’s age would make him a poor candidate for an operation. We took a chance and Alex not only pulled through the surgery he thrived.
Alex, better known as the tailless wonder, proved that tails are overrated! He had the best year of his life after his amputation. He was happy, playful and friendly. He enjoyed every second with us and us with him. He made it to his year’s anniversary of his surgery before his decline really became apparent.
I don’t think Marc and I wanted to let ourselves believe that this year’s health crisis would end any differently than the others. We wanted yet another miracle for our little man. We tried to ignore the fact that when Marc’s cousin, the vet, visited from out of town a few weeks ago that he looked at Alex differently. I know that he realized the end was near for our boy…. But I am thankful he didn’t share his feelings with us.
When we brought Alex to the vet last Sunday Marc joked that our miracle kitty finally found his kryptonite. Our vet laughed but the smile didn’t reach his eyes. He tried everything he could for Alex, but I think in his heart he knew that his attempts wouldn’t help. Marc and I were the only ones who still held hope.
Animals are beyond smart, and Alex was no exception. When he first started getting bad we found that he peed in all the floor air conditioning ducts. We couldn’t understand why. We thought perhaps that he wanted his smell to linger. But last Sunday night, as we watched Alex pee on the floor, unable to reach his litter box in time, I realized why he picked the vents…. When he made it to a vent his urine went down – acting as a urinal – preventing him from having to stand in a puddle.
But more amazing is where Alex wanted to spend his final days…. The recovery room….
Last year, when Alex had his surgery Marc and I huddled up with him in a spare bedroom, that has minimal furniture and doors that can close. Alex stayed in that room for weeks until he healed and his stiches were removed. As soon as Alex started to deteriorate he headed to the recovery room. He spent most of his days and nights there (we slept there with him). He barely wanted to leave the room. Also, during the last few days of his life Alex never closed his eyes. I think that he feared that if he did he may not be able to open them. I really that believe he felt that the room helped him last time he was so sick and that he hoped that it would help him again.
It did… when our vet came to the house to help Alex find peace; Alex was laying in the recovery room. With the vet’s help, and Marc and my love, Alex finally found rest. Alex finally found comfort. Alex finally found an existence with no more sad and no more hurt. Sure, it wasn’t the recovery that Marc and I hoped for, but it was the recovery that Alex needed. No more pain….
This week has been extremely difficult for both Marc and I. We are heartbroken and can’t stop our tears. We loved Alex so much, and will continue to love him always….
I can’t thank you all enough for all the support you gave us, especially after Alex’s passing. Each and every comment touched my heart and my soul, as did the Facebook messages and tweets. I received so many beautiful emails, where you shared your stories of loss and offering me compassion for mine. And the tributes that were posted online about Alex were amazing. I know that he would have loved them just as much as I did. I tried to add all of them to a linky on my post last Monday so that I can easily visit them often. If I missed any, please add or let me know.
I am still blown away that Alex’s fiancé and love of his life, Gracie, shut down their blog for a week to join me in mourning. As I told Gracie’s dad Terry in an email – they are family.
And you all are the best friends I could ever ask for. It doesn’t matter that I may have never met you in person or spoken to you on the phone. You are great friends, who have helped make a very sad and difficult time a little easier for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you…
So many of you wrote the same comment last week… “Run free Alex.”
Every time I read it, I cried…. First sad tears and then happy tears…. Because he deserves to run free and pain free…
Until we meet again Alex…
Run Free Alex…. Mommy and Daddy love you….