Goodbye, Friend

 

We lost a very dear friend last week.  I needed a few days to process things before I wanted to talk about it.  Ivan passed away on August 9th, 2012.  We had just celebrated his 3rd birthday last month.

I am devastated.  He seemed perfectly healthy when I fed him his dinner and said goodnight on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning he looked so terrible, we rushed to the vet.  She took him in the back, ran some tests, did x-rays, and everything was normal, save for him being very dehydrated.  I thought that was good news, that he would be fine. I set him up in his carrier, said “see you later”, and went about my day.

Later, she called to tell us that he was looking better, but they wanted to keep him overnight just in case.

Thursday morning I had a missed call from her, and called back right away; thrilled that he got come home so soon.  But the news I received was the exact opposite.  Physically, Ivan would never be coming home.

The shock, complete and utter shock, has worn off, but not the sadness. My furry friends hold such a respected place in my family, and a tender place in my heart.

It is particularly breaking my heart that I didn’t get to say goodbye.  I had no idea he was going to leave this world.  He barely got an extra head pat because I was running around after Simon.

Speaking of the munchkin, I never imagined having to go through this.  Not being able to explain to my son where his friend is.  Ivan was obviously around since the day Simon came home from the hospital.  When he was younger, he just let Simon play on or around him.  Now that Simon is older, they played out in our mudroom together, daily.  To the point where Ivan was almost a live-in babysitter.  Simon’s second word (second only to dada) was cat.  When we leave the house, he still calls out “Bye cats!”.  He goes to Ivan’s room, and points in there and says “Cat?”.  He wants to know where his friend is.

I want to thank everyone who has shown support, and who will once they read this.  Also, thank you for all the love and prayers that were shared when he was sick in the past.  This was unrelated to his urinary issues.  In fact, I really don’t have any answer as to why he passed away; something else that will forever haunt me on sad days, I’m sure.

Our house feels empty. My heart feels heavy.

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Ivan,
My dear sweet friend.  I miss you so much.  As I sit here writing this, I miss you trying to fit yourself between my belly and the computer.  I miss you when we come home and you aren’t in your favorite sun spot by the door, and I miss the sound of your expectant “meow” for your breakfast.  I miss you trying to eat our food, and breaking into the groceries.  I miss you following me everywhere I go.  I am sorry for all the times I yelled at you, squirted you with water, and pushed you aside (because you really did follow me everywhere), but I am sure you know that I love you.  And I know you love me.  No one, feline or otherwise, will ever replace you, be certain of that.  You were truly a one of a kind, a wonderful cat.  So sweet, so loving, so mischievous, and full of energy and life.  I am so sorry that our time together had to end so soon, I will forever wish that we had more. You will always be fondly remembered, and dearly missed.
– Mom

His first day home.

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I am not sure how long it takes for it to stop hurting every day, but I’m not there yet.  I know it is different for everyone, so if it hard to understand that I’m still upset, I’m sorry.  We have been keeping busy and it is easier when we are out of the house, but…we always come home.

I am doing a few things to memorialize him/help make me feel better:

1.  I am going to put up a standalone bird feeder and plant a flower garden outside our big dining room window.  I had wanted to put one up for him since we moved in, but our trees are too tall to hang one.  I had thought of it the day he was at the vet, that he would be able to see great from that window, and it didn’t have to hang from a tree.  I might sprinkle some of his ashes in the garden, I haven’t decided yet.

2.  I bought a nice frame to print out a 8×10 of our favorite photo of him to keep with us.  It is a semi-shadow box, so I will put his collar and his favorite toy in there as well, along with one of our address labels that has pictures of all of us on them.

3.  I  love the symbology of the tree of life.  I have a few necklaces already, but I found a plain pendant that I really like, and I am going to add a paw print charm and a tiger’s eye charm to it.  Such a thing doesn’t exist, I’m trying impatiently to find a way to get it done.

We are not getting another cat yet.  I know it is a popular suggestion, and I considered it, but I just can’t.  As I said above, no cat could ever replace him, so it isn’t that.  We need the chance to mourn him as a family, and that hasn’t been completed yet.

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Thank you for reading.  This has really been especially hard for us.

“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)”

Goodbye, friend.

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3 thoughts on “Goodbye, Friend

  1. Know that I am truly and deeply saddened by the amount of pain you are experiencing right now. Ivan was such a good cat and we will miss him running about when we visit. I probably will always remember him breaking into the Almond milk and trying to steal my avocados; that little stinker.

  2. Gina – so sorry to hear about Ivan. He clearly was very loved and I know once you get past the sadness you’ll have great memories.

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