In a Fog

This has been such a difficult three months for me. On the one hand, I am blessed that I am not recently mourning any of my human relatives or close friends. But two of our long-time kitties and one of our kitty grandkits have passed away–one in July, one in August, one in September. Isabella Rose, or Izzie, was my daughter’s cat, only 11 years old, and I used to babysit her alllll the time. I loved babysitting her. She would walk in as though she owned the place. She had the other cats convinced of just that. We had Felix for fifteen years, and he was such a gentle, sweet soul. He endured chronic GI problems for years, but we set up a camera over his litter box and monitored his “schedule” for two years. I didn’t mind at all because I loved him so much.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that the latest loss is my closest friend, my heart, Pear Blossom. She was 21 1/2, but that only makes it harder because we were together for so long. So many of my people have known her over the years. And with her kind and helpful personality, she touched so many lives. Pear and Felix were from my first group of three cats. They were very good friends–the three mousketeers. Macavity passed away in 2015. If you would like to read the story of how Mac, our first cat, came to be a part of our family–and how the gardener changed from a self-avowed cat hater–you can read this story: My Own Cat Hero or a Loss Upon a Loss

Why do kitties always take a turn for the worse on the weekend when one is least likely to find one’s vet available? Izzie passed on a Sunday, and both Felix and Pear on Saturdays. And yesterday, on Saturday, Tiger got sick!!!!! I took her to the ER after calling them and making sure. But when we were getting checked in, the vet called in sick. They sent me to another ER across town. At that one, the vet was just going into surgery and the wait would be hours. I was concerned that Tiger could have a urinary blockage as she had been running in and out of the litter box, unable to pee. By this time my vet was open (only open mornings on Saturdays) and although they were completely booked up, she let me drop off Tiger so she could be examined between patients. Luckily, Tiger turned out to have a UTI, not a blockage.

Being there at the euthanasia of three cats in three months has made me feel like the Angel of Death. I’m a benign zombie, not fully in the moment. The couch is soooo lonely without Pear next to me, even if another cat comes to me. I can only sleep at night with the little blanket Pear used in the last few weeks of her life.

Of course, life keeps on happening, right in the face of grief. But I’m trying to go easy and not push myself right now.

I had posted the following pic on Instagram in September 2019, while I was babysitting Izzie. I felt like Snow White with the 7 little cats–so happy to have them all together in my home. But now it’s easy to see the devastation.

Don’t worry: Tiger and Kana still make me work hard with all their needs. And Perry needs lots of attention because he’s grieving more than the other cats. He is at loose ends much of the time, with a sad look on his face.

68 Comments

Filed under #amreading, #writerlife, #writerslife, #writingcommunity, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction

68 responses to “In a Fog

  1. I am so very sorry for your loss of three beloved pets. Unimaginable…

  2. Amy

    Knowing how devastated I am by losing one pet, I cannot imagine what it’s like to lose three in such a short period. My heart aches for you. I know that empty feeling when you put your hand down expecting to feel a cat there and she or he isn’t there. I hope your other kitties can help mend your broken heart.

    • Our family room and kitchen are so EMPTY! Even with four cats still in the house their absence is huge. Perry is really broken up. Yesterday I had to leave Tiger at the vet for a few hours (this was AFTER going to and leaving two ERs), Perry was beside himself thinking Tiger also wasn’t coming back home.

  3. I am so, so sorry, Luanne–especially for the loss of Pear. I was thinking about our Mickey the other day. . .these losses hit hard. Sending hugs and good thoughts.

  4. I’m sorry for your loss. I lost Mollie and Hazel within a year and I thought that was bad. It takes a long time to get over. This past week as I was making an appointment for Gus with the vet, I kept saying Jake instead of Gus. The staff said there was no Jake on my records. Jake died in 2015 and he still has his presence here. I know Pear was special. Mollie was special too. Still miss her. Miss them all!

    • You know what it’s like! Just awful. I know what you mean about the names. I called Tiger Pear the other day. That has NEVER happened before. Thanks, Kate.

  5. I’m so sorry you’re hurting, Luanne. The loss of one beloved pet is so hard, much less three.

  6. The losses are the unbearable part that we have to bear. Living with them and the memories are the reasons our duty is clear. To do what you have done. Give them the best life possible. Hugs, Luanne.

  7. I’m so sorry about the loss of your beloved cats. I’ve not been reading or blogging for a while. I wish you all the best.🙏

  8. Grief like you’ve experienced in the past few months has a way of settling in a fog over us. I don’t know of a way “through” it actually – You will get through because you are strong and others depend on you which forces you to get up to take care of them. Thank goodness.
    Bless your heart.

    • Sheila, thank you so much. I have to “be there” for the others, you are right. This fog is thick, and I make mistakes because of it, so I need to proceed with care! Thank you so much for that lovely letter. XO

  9. How terrible. 😦 It’s very hard to comprehend, much less deal with, all that loss. I’m saying a prayer for all of you.

  10. My heart goes out to you, Luanne.

  11. We still talk about our two special cats who died over 30 years ago. The actual pain of losing them is gone, but we still miss them a lot and often talk about their funny habits or some endearing trait they had. The pain of their loss took a long while to fade, but we’re so glad we had the cats as long as we did. I hope you’ll soon be able to think of yours without feeling the loss so acutely.

    • Think of how people who don’t really understand them miss out on the wonderful memories of our cats and dogs. Thank you for understanding, Anneli. I think you must be right about getting to the point where I can remember them without feeling the loss quite so vividly.

  12. I’m sure I mentioned that when I lost my cat, I saw her around the house for ages. They remain close to us. It is so hard to let them go and I feel for you.

    • My pet sitter was over here to see the other kitties, and we talked about that. She lost one of her cats last December and has been “tripping” over her. Thank you, Gwen XO

  13. Worst. Summer. (Into Fall). Ever. How very painful for you and your family and your feline brood (poor Perry!). You know I feel your pain, although we’ve had a good run for 7 1/2 years without any kitties going over the Rainbow Bridge. Now we’re settling in for a long goodbye with Max. And still we reminisce about our other long-gone cats, each one so special, so individual in his/her own way.

    And it does feel that the longer they are with you, the harder it is. But in any case, it’s never easy, it’s never not painful. You’ll come out of the fog eventually, but don’t rush yourself. Grieve until you think you can’t grieve any more and then grieve some more. There’s always more.

    Love you, Luanne, and sending you armfuls of warm hugs.

  14. So thankful that the wonderful cats had you guys for parents/guardians. They had the best cat lives ever, no doubt. Let’s say some prayers for Perry and the others; I’m sure God knows their pet language and what will help them to process their precious cat feelings. Sending love and hugs.

    • Oh, I love that, Carla. Thank you so much. I feel comforted thinking that God is helping us all, even Perry. And I smile whenever I see my kitty dish towels as I have them hanging in the kitchen and won’t let anyone use them hah.

  15. 😢 So sorry to hear of all these losses! I can understand what a void each one leaves, it’s like a hole in our heart. All we can do is carry their memory forward forever, hard as it may be… Hugs to you, Luanne. You did your very best for them, that’s for sure. xoxoxo

    • Thank you, Ellie. I really tried. I do second guess some decisions, but thinking back, I don’t know that other choices would have been better or even as good, you know? This med or that? That kind of stuff. So many holes in my heart right now! xoxo

  16. That’s a lot of heartache for one summer! Hugs to you. Kisses for the kitties still with you.

  17. I know you are going through a hard time and the other cat family members are too. Some don’t realize how deeply animals grieve.I hope time will be kind to all of you and ease your pain.

    • Yes, it’s a very hard time, Marlene. Thank you for recognizing that. I don’t remember if I ever told you this or not, but when our dog Muffin died our dog Oliver used to sit on the chair at the front window and look out for him for a YEAR. Then once the year was up he was done. Perry is at loose ends, and that leads him to bothering the girls.

  18. Luanne~How lucky you and Pear Blossom were to have had over two decades together. I can imagine the hollow spot in your heart from the loss of her and the other kitties. I was devastated at the loss of Thomas Cromwell, the last of my orange fellows. There is nothing quite like feline companionship. Our pets teach us about mortality. I loved the kitty collage. Here’s to healing…My thoughts are with you.
    Elaine

    • Thank you for your kind and wise words, Elaine. I really appreciate it. I’m sorry that you have gone through this with the kitties, too, and I understand that Thomas Cromwell was such a special boy.

  19. Keeping you all in my prayers. Hugs and purrs to you guys.

  20. I am so very sorry for the loss you are suffering. We love our pets so very much. I don’t know if it would help for you to create photo/journal scrapbooks for each of the three cats… a lot of work. Sometimes, our creative energies help us with painful things. Each cat would be part of a work of art and a labor of love. (Or maybe, all three cats together in one collection.) I don’t know. It is just an idea. I think about that Bobcat sometimes that was roaming about your house… Anyway, I am so very sorry. Praying for you and hoping you get some good sleep. Sleep is so important when we are hurting….

    • Linda, thank you so much for your idea about the scrapbooks. I actually did a similar project. I posted it today on this blog. It’s a little shadowbox that when I walk into my playroom each day I will see it immediately :).
      The bobcat still visits btw!!!
      Yes, I need better sleep. The sleep I am getting isn’t good.
      Sending hugs to you!! xoxo

  21. Luanne, for a supreme cat lover and owner like you, the past few months must have been so painful. Please know (and I’m sure I’m right about this) that you gave them all the love there is to give. xx

  22. This is such a string of losses, Luanne, the kind that sometimes really hits when you look back and see what you have endured. I am so sorry. I lost a little 19 yr old dog earlier in my life, and I connect with how that only makes it worse—they have been in your life so long, carried you through so much. My heart is with you.

  23. This hurts me just to read of your recent losses. As my kitties age, this also hits a little too close to home. I have thought of you all so much. I’m glad you still have good feline company, but I know it hurts the same. ❤️

    • Yes, it’s so hard to watch them age and get more frail! Tiger is getting frail now, and we are both worrying about her. She’s not a little love like Pear or Felix (haha), but she’s our little grumpy girl, if you know what I mean. She had a rocky childhood, and I think that affected her :/. Thanks for your understanding, Cheryl. xoxo

  24. Luanne, I feel for you so much and your emtional turmoil must be immense. I can’t imagine being there for the passing of one cat let alone three in close succession. I hope you can be very kind and gentle with yourself, giving cuddles to Perry et al. hugs winging thier way to you. xx

    • Turmoil is a very good word for this–emotional turmoil. That is how I feel. it’s like I’m on a very choppy sea, in a way. Perry is so helpful. He hugs and hugs. Then he’s naughty with the girls because he’s grieving and lonely so he annoys them. And then he comes back for more hugs. Thank you for yours!!! xoxo

  25. My sincerest condolences .

  26. I know how you feel. My heart goes out to you Luanne. 🌈🐾 ❤️

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