The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz

Off Topic => Memorials => Topic started by: Elkhound on June 20, 2013, 12:31:53 am

Title: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 20, 2013, 12:31:53 am
This is to let you know that at around midnight tonight, my cat Zane was committed to the care of St. Francis for his trip to Rainbow Bridge.

There was no sign that he was in any way ill.  He was his old self--not the feisty cat of his younger days, but pretty much normal for the big, fat lazy lumpcat he has been the last couple of years.  He was affectionate and playful, was eating (he scarfed down the chicken I gave him from my dinner.)  However, just before I was about to go to bed I found him on the floor of the bathroom.  When I spoke his name he didn't move, and when I touched him he yowled; his tongue was lolling out, and presently reddish fluid came out of his mouth.  I called my friend and Masonic brother Vaughn Shafer and he drove us to the 24-hour emergency veterenary clinic.  They put Zane into the oxygen chamber, and diagnosed him as having his lungs full of fluid, most likely from conjestive heart failure.  The vet told me that there was nothing they could do and that any pallatives would simply prolong his suffering; accordingly, I performed a responsible pet owner's last duty.

He is to be cremated; I haven't yet decided what to do with his ashes.

Please keep me in your prayers; I am going to be needing a great deal of help and support over the next few weeks, and will probably be emotionally quite fragile.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: DesertRose on June 20, 2013, 01:28:05 am
I am so sorry to hear that.  Losing a beloved furry family member is never easy.

You and yours are in my thoughts.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Laurna on June 20, 2013, 03:25:17 am
Oh, Elkhound, that is terribly sad news.  I am so sorry for your lose. I know that for those of us who are animal lovers, our pets are our children. Keep fond memories close to your heart and know that your big "lumpcat"  had a good life with you as his roommate.
My thoughts are with you.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Jerusha on June 20, 2013, 06:01:55 am
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear, furry friend Zane.  You and he will be in my thoughts.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Evie on June 20, 2013, 07:44:18 am
I'm so sorry, Elkhound.  I know how deeply it to hurts to lose a fur-friend.  You'll be in my prayers.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 20, 2013, 11:40:48 am
Thank you.  I can't stand to be in my apartment, with all the reminders of him--but I can't stand to be outside among other people, either.

No warm, fuzzy lump against my chest at night.  No yowling to get me up and play at 6:30 am.  I'm just crying and crying.

I went to my vet this morning and we reviewed his medical records, and she assures me that she is as sure as she can be without a necropsy that there was no way this could have been either predicted or prevented.  She also explained that at almost 15, Zane was like a 93-year-old man, and therefore had been on 'borrowed time' for a long period.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Shiral on June 20, 2013, 03:46:38 pm
(((Elkhound))) I'm so sorry, Zane sounds like he was a great cat and companion. You did the best and kindest thing you could for him in the circumstances. But it's still hard to come home and know he won't be there to greet you. I lost my dear Nina from congestive heart failure three years ago.  Been there and felt that! I know it's too soon right now, but I recommend finding yourself a new cat friend when you can stand it.  Zane can't be replaced, but he can have worthy successors.

Melissa
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: lenni on June 20, 2013, 03:57:10 pm
Elkhound, I'm so sorry. I will keep you and Zane in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathleen/Lenni
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: derynifanatic64 on June 20, 2013, 07:35:52 pm
So sorry to hear about Zane.  May he rest in peace.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 20, 2013, 07:52:34 pm
Been there and felt that! I know it's too soon right now, but I recommend finding yourself a new cat friend when you can stand it.  Zane can't be replaced, but he can have worthy successors.

Melissa

Thank you.  I've already decided to get another cat.  But not yet.  Not for a while.  I don't know how long. 

Zany Zane.  Zane the Insane.  The Cat of Small Brain. 

But actually, he was a very smart cat.  I would say,  "Zane, do you want supper?"  He'd run to the cabinet where his food was kept and start pounding on it. 

When my back went out, he'd curl up against me right where it hurt the most--probably because the inflamed tissue was warmer, but still--and purred.  Like a live vibrating heating pad.  I called it 'taking Feline Therapy.'  My apartment tends to be cold in the winter, and he loved to snuggle up to me, like a furry hot water bottle. 

I will miss him SO much.  I cry and cry and cry, and as soon as I think I'm cried out, something will happen to set me off again.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: DesertRose on June 21, 2013, 11:07:22 pm
I agree with Shiral about finding another cat when you can stand it.  I can think of no more fitting testimony to Zane's memory than to go to the shelter and rescue a cat.

When my family lost Catarina and Roxanne within months of each other (at the venerable ages of 20 and 18, respectively), we didn't want another cat right away, but a rescue landed in our laps (almost literally) a year to the day after we lost Roxie.  PJ adopted us.  Merlin, the newest feline family member, was intentionally adopted from a stray's litter.

Zane does sound like he was an awesome kitty companion, and I'm glad you had the time you had with him.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 22, 2013, 07:50:39 am
Zane does sound like he was an awesome kitty companion, and I'm glad you had the time you had with him.

Oh, he was. 

Every time I walk past one of his sleeping places--he had many favorites--I still look as though I expected to see him there. 

Mornings are hardest, as he always wanted some snuggle time then.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 22, 2013, 08:34:34 pm
Saturday is my normal cleaning day.  It almost felt like a betrayal--sweeping up the cat hair, the spilled kibble, etc.  Like I was erasing him.  Silly, I know, but there it is.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 23, 2013, 08:24:07 pm
Normally on Sunday after church I take a nap.  With a furry sleep aid. Not today.   :'(

Zane will go into the niche with father on Tuesday.  The Scripture for the service will be Gen. 9: 8-17.

(Here's a trivia question: How many times are cats mentioned in the Bible?)
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 24, 2013, 07:52:11 am
I'm glad he's not suffering; it must have been horrible, essentially to be drowning in your own body fluids.  And I'm glad I didn't have to deal with an old cat going into a long, slow decline--going deaf and/or blind, forgetting how to use the litter box, loosing all his teeth, getting such bad arthritis that he could hardly move, turning into a walking skeleton, etc.

But the apartment is so empty without him.  When I look where his litterbox or his food/water bowls used to be, and there's nothing there, or look in one of his favorite sleeping spots and he's not there, or wake up without a furry little lump curled up beside me, the "faucets open."
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: DesertRose on June 24, 2013, 06:01:14 pm
You did the right thing, Elkhound, even though you miss him terribly.

It'll be a while, maybe a year or more, before it stops hurting so badly.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 24, 2013, 07:59:06 pm
He's going into the same columbarium niche as my father's ashes, given that he was father's cat first.  We're having a memorial service tomorrow; the Scripture will be from Gen. 9, the story of the Rainbow.

Bless Fr. Jupin for allowing it!

Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Shiral on June 25, 2013, 01:18:31 am
Zane does sound like he was an awesome kitty companion, and I'm glad you had the time you had with him.

Oh, he was. 

Every time I walk past one of his sleeping places--he had many favorites--I still look as though I expected to see him there. 

Mornings are hardest, as he always wanted some snuggle time then.

I understand completely, Elkhound.  It's a definite loss--he was your beloved companion for a long time.  Amazing how an animal as small as a cat can make a home so much more than just rooms full of your things.  You keep looking around, thinking you'll see them come trotting in.  My two also like the morning snuggle hour. But I think MAYBE they're also thinking  "Breakfast time. Get up and feed us, you fool!"

Melissa
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 25, 2013, 12:25:47 pm
We had the memorial service, and it is amazing how much better it makes me feel.

Do I still miss him?  Of course.  Am I still sad about it?  Of course.  But I don't feel like bursting into tears every time I think about him, and when I look at his favorite napping spots, or where the litter box was, or where his food was, it doesn't feel like I'm being kicked in the gut---more like a poke with a blunt knitting needle.   
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: DesertRose on June 25, 2013, 12:43:02 pm
Then the memorial service did what it was supposed to do, help you deal with your grief.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Evie on June 25, 2013, 04:36:53 pm
I'm glad the memorial service helped to give you some sense of closure.   Sometimes a sudden loss makes the resulting grief harder to deal with because the loss is unexpected, therefore giving the mourner little to no time to prepare beforehand for its impact.

Fr Jupin sounds like a compassionate sort.   I'm glad you had someone to help make this time of transition easier for you.   :)
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on June 25, 2013, 07:54:46 pm
He's a wonderful priest.  He's leaving in November, alas.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on July 22, 2013, 08:22:22 am
I thought I had found closure, but it is all back.  I can't stop crying. 

Zane was my father's cat, as I may have mentioned, and having him around was like having a little bit of father, and that was also like having a bit of mother.  And now they're all three gone.

I want my mommy, I want my daddy, and I want my kitty!

I never married or had kids, and I have no siblings.  Please don't misunderstand, I would never, EVER do so wicked a thing as to commit suicide, but sometimes I wonder if it would make a particle of difference to the world if I were, some night, fall asleep and just not wake up.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Evie on July 22, 2013, 12:28:09 pm
Even though grief, and the depression that often goes hand in hand with it, can tend to sap one's energy levels, it sounds like what might be an important part of self-care for you right now might be to spend some time hanging out with friends, as much as you feel able to.  Not necessarily a large group of people (for some, that can be more energy-sapping than re-energizing), but it sounds to me like that social interaction would be a healthy way of re-establishing a feeling of connection with others right now, and hopefully others who know you well enough to understand what you are going through right now and who care enough about you to want to help you through that pain.  Friendships won't be able to replace your parents or Zane, obviously, but they can help give vital support and keep you going through some of those moments when you're feeling empty and really missing your lost loved ones. 

And it's perfectly OK to cry.  You've experienced great losses, after all.  Everyone goes through the grieving process in their own way, and in their own time.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: derynifanatic64 on July 22, 2013, 08:10:36 pm
We're here for you!!
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Jerusha on July 22, 2013, 08:16:44 pm
It would very much matter to us, Elkhound. We are here for you.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Laurna on July 23, 2013, 04:16:21 am
Elkhound, I've not known you for very long but I have come to appreciate your whit, candor, and support.("sunsetty sunrise" that still makes me smile). You followed me through my trials of writing and you have no idea what that meant to me. Loss is hard when you don't think anyone else cares. But I care and I see many others here who care. In my eyes, you are a part of this surprisingly open and supportive group of people.

I am a pet person too.  Pets fill our home with warmth: a meow, a purr, or a bark, they are true companions. If you let them, they will willingly become a part of your heart and your soul.  The only downfall is that their lives are far shorter than our own.  Three years ago I experienced a horrid loss of my four adult dogs to the ravage of a swarm of bees.  Only Rexxar survived. For weeks, I was devastated. In the house, we had a litter of five week old puppies. At the time those puppies were the only thing that gave me hope. I could not sell those puppies and now Sugar, Ivan and Arty are my new children and they own my heart.

I know you think it is too soon, but the one thing I have learned is that I can never, ever, be without my pets.  No matter how much trouble they appear to be on the surface, they are so worth letting into your heart. You do not need to actively search for a new pet, just keep your thoughts open for that kitten being given away in front of the store, or maybe the pet store where the shelter takes adoptable pets on the weekends. This new pet won't replace what you had in the past but a new puppy or kitten can bring renewed purpose and a motivation for looking forward.

They may even wake you up very early to see that "dusky new dawn" ;)
Take care of yourself, Elkhound.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on July 23, 2013, 08:10:20 am
Thank you.  I will get another cat soon, but I'm not ready now.  Aside from anything else, as I am currently unemployed and my benefits are about to run out, I'm not sure how I'm going to care for myself, much less another living creature.  When I do, I've decided to go to the shelter.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on July 23, 2013, 05:40:20 pm
I went to the church garden and sat by the Columbarium and had a good long cry.  I'm kind of cried out now.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: AnnieUK on July 25, 2013, 03:29:25 am
Sorry you're having such a tough time at the moment.

I lost two cats in quick succession a couple of years ago. While they never belonged to either of my parents, they came into my life shortly after my dad's death, and in some ways they helped more than humans did in getting over it. We got two new kittens last autumn, and on the day we went to pick them up I had a massive crying fit in the car park. It was like I had to grieve for my two old kittehs one last time before bringing the new ones home. So I understand something of what you are going through.

I hope the darkness fades and light starts to peek through for you very soon.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on July 27, 2013, 08:10:51 pm
I've been trying to think why Zane's death has prostrated me so, more than the deaths of the humans in my life.

When my grandmother died, I felt like I had to be strong for my parents.  When my mother died, I felt like I had to be strong for my father.  When my father died, as his reserve trustee/executor, there was so much to *do*, I couldn't break down (and besides, I still had Zane).

Zane's death was totally unexpected, and the "business" was concluded in less than a week.  I thought I was OK, that I was sad, but I could move on.  Then, just after my birthday, it hit me--I'm all alone now.  I never married, never had kids, have no brothers or sisters, and with Zane's passing my last connection to my parents was severed.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Evie on July 27, 2013, 09:48:25 pm
You're mourning for that lost connection, that sense of being part of the greater whole that was originally your family, and later shifted to that bond formed between you and Zane.  Now all of those connections have been severed, and you are finally left with both the fresh grief and the unresolved grief from the past.  Perfectly natural under the circumstances.  Of course, coming to grips with it intellectually and learning how to deal with this new stage of your life emotionally are two totally separate things. 

Learning to shift that focus to the more recent connections in your life--your friendships--might help to re-establish some feeling of connectedness to the rest of the world that can help you transition more smoothly through this time of grieving.  Both local friends and online friends can lend you a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on when you are feeling down.  Local friends have the advantage of being able to take you out for a quick bite to eat or a walk in the park from time to time so you'll feel less isolated.  It's kind of hard to do that online, though when there's a will, there's a way.  (I used to do the virtual equivalent of hanging out with a friend or two in a cafe when I was active in Second Life.  Though since sunshine and exercise can both help to offset depression, actually getting out would be a much better alternative than spending time in virtual reality.  And yes, that's coming from the one whose keyboard is practically grafted to the ends of her fingers....   :) )

At any rate, ((hugs)) for you.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Laurna on July 28, 2013, 11:33:17 am
Hi Elkhound,  I am glad you came on to talk to us.  I was starting to worry about you.  I can understand when grief is more about a number of things than just the one thing that set it off. It takes time to find your way again. Evie has the best idea= find a single person you can have coffee with. Go out to starbucks or some small cafe and talk to someone about anything.  Another person, face to face, can really help to move you forward. It's a nice day, go out into the air and sunshine.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Elkhound on October 12, 2013, 06:53:51 pm
I thought I was OK, then last week we had our St. Francis observance/Blessing of the Animals.  For the first time we included a pet necrology, and of course Zane's name was on it of course.

I cried and cried and cried.
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Aerlys on October 12, 2013, 11:15:48 pm
I have a relic of our dear St. Francis. Tonight I will pay him a visit, and ask him to comfort you and help you heal.   
Title: Re: Zane
Post by: Laurna on October 13, 2013, 03:29:01 pm
Elkhound, It is really OK to be reminded of loss. Grief has no time limited and it never leaves us entirely. I still morn for my bother who I lost 12 years ago. I'm currently taking a writing class and I am learning some things. Now I know you are an English teacher so I do not have to remind you that writing is about passion.  I can see you have a lot of passion. So break out the old word processor. Write something that underlines your passion. It can  be cryptic that only you understand.  You  don't even have to share it with anyone. but you can if you like. It is a really nice Sunday afternoon, you could just write about what you see though your window.