The loss of a ‘fur’ soulmate.

Yesterday, I lost my  ‘fur’ soulmate, Nala. I am in shock, I an numb and saddened at the loss of my 10 year companion, the most charismatic, loving, devoted kitty there ever was. Yesterday was a surreal, out of body experience with my worst fear coming to fruition: having to decide to end her suffering and say goodbye.

Backing up…two days ago, I took her to the vet as she was not herself, lethargic and noticeably skinny…again. It was happening again. Several years ago, the same thing happened. And every year or so it would happen. She would lose weight, yet eat like a horse, yet every possible ailment was ruled out. Blood work clear. No thyroid issues. No parasites. Nothing explainable. Steroids and antibiotic and lots of extra food usually did the trick.  But not this time. This time she was 5.75 lbs, the smallest she had ever gotten. Losing two lbs in two months, yet eating constantly. After an IV of fluids, blood and urine samples, we were sent home to await the results. Nala slept most of the day, eating little. I knew she was not improving, yet kept trying to find hopeful signs of improvement. She was not hiding. She *was* eating (even if just a little). But she was not very alert. She was weak and bony. She could barely lift her head. My stomach was in knots. My heart was breaking to see her this way. The blood and urine samples came back clear, no signs of anything.

Yet, I knew. I knew she was not recovering, but she was dying. I didn’t want to admit it or say it out loud, but in hindsight, deep down, I knew. Yesterday, she laid curled in my bed, barely moving. I checked on her hourly. I checked on her around 12:30 and discovered she had peed all over the bed. I started to tear up as I hated to think she was peeing because she had no strength to get up. Little did I know that it was early signs of her body failing her. I carried her in a blanket down to my office and laid her down next to me so I could watch her. I gave her some tuna juice, willing her to drink it, giving her some sustenance. She drank about half, as I held the bowl to her lips because she couldn’t lift herself enough to drink it herself.

I went into the kitchen to prepare my lunch, trying to be hopeful that her eating was a good sign. I came back to find her somehow ambling her way into my office chair, as she often did, ‘sharing’ it with me (more like hogging it, and I would sit in the very edge, to give her room). I put the chair to my side and put another chair next to her, so she would be right next to me. She kept ambling closer to me, just laying there. And then suddenly, she cried out in pain. My heart dropped. I knew. She was failing and quickly. I called the vet at 1:45, and she was in at 2 pm. The vet was visibly concerned and working quickly to stabilize her. They took her away, put her on oxygen, an IV and medication. The vet came in and talked with me and we decided to see if she stabilized in a few hours and then come to a decision. I went in to give her a kiss and tell her I loved her. And the sight of her in incubation, so frail and not very responsive, was incredibly painful. I left, and 5 minutes later, my phone rang. She had gotten progressively worse, and I turned around and flew back to the vet, hoping I would not lose my chance to say goodbye. I bawled as I walked back in, legs shaking. I went in, and there she was, twitching, shaking and…dying. The vet looked at me, sadly, and said, “I think it is time.” And I, crying, agreed. turned and signed the euthanasia paperwork, in a fog. I turned to Nala, I looked at her, put my hand on her side, kissed her gently and told her I loved her. The vet injected her and with one final breathe in…she was gone.

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My companion, my heart, my little feisty furball was gone. In an instant. I have never cried more. I have never hurt more. I have never wanted to flee and wake up from a nightmare more. It was in that moment I realized just how much she meant to me, how much I had grown to love her. How much she had filled a void in my life the day my then-husband walked out the door. She became the light of my life, my comic relief, my solace when I was scared and alone, my fur soulmate. And in those final moments, I was protecting and saving her, just as she saved and loved me for all of those years.

To my beautiful girl, Nala, I love you more than I thought possible. Your spirit will forever live on, in me, and in your sister Kayla, who is lost without you, but carries your soul, your beautiful face, and your spirit, forever. 8-26-03 – 9-25-13

(to be continued…)

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31 thoughts on “The loss of a ‘fur’ soulmate.

  1. Sis. I know you know this but I have to say it again — I would lay down my LIFE to take this pain away from you, to shield you from such heartache, to take your pain onto me so you wouldn’t have to suffer. I would do ANYTHING to make that happen….just like I wanted to when you were in the darkest throes of divorce, that moment in the kitchen (you know it so well, that sad, hard, heartbreaking memory) where I hugged you as tightly as I could because I wanted nothing more than to hug the hurt away, to steal it from you and take it onto myself. Just like I want to right now. And I can’t. And that breaks my heart, leaving my heart so heavy and so…sad. But on the other hand? I am full of joy that you had 10 beautiful years with Nals, and am grateful that she was your comfort and joy even when you were in those dark, sad moments. She was one of the only constants you had in life at that point, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I am also so grateful that the Nalcium is no longer suffering. I know you never EVER wanted her to suffer. And you stuck by your word. Just like you stick by your word with all that you do in life. I love you sis and will help you get through this, whatever you need. I’m there. Always. xoxo Rest peacefully pretty girl.

    1. I miss her so much, it truly hurts. I know it will take time, and I know I did the right thing, but it doesn’t change the fact that she isn’t here and I just so wish that she was. I don’t want you to feel like you should have been there or to try to take it all away…I know you want to, and as I would for you, but you are doing the best you can, and that is support. love you sis. xoxox

  2. Oh Jolene. I am so sorry. This brought tears to my eyes. I am sorry you have lost such a good friend, but I am grateful for the friendship you had…and the ways she loved you when you needed it most. I will be praying for you, my friend.

    1. I should have put a warning…not to be read at work :/ every time I read these words, I cry. Every time I think of her, I cry. Every time those last images of her pop into my brain as much as I don’t want them to, I cry. Thank you for your support…xoxo

  3. I put off reading this as long as I could today… I even did my timesheet to avoid reading it! My heart is in pieces and I am in tears… losing a furry is no different than losing a human, the hurt is real and raw and vicious. Find solace in the wonderful things you did for each other Jo… surround your self with them… you should get her pic on one of those big fancy canvases 🙂 then you can see and talk with her everyday… at first it may be hard… but as with any loss, the hurt will fade (unbelievably)… and the memories of all the joy will shine through… I promise xoxoxo

    1. You are so right…the hurt is raw and viscious and comes in waves and just feels so constant right now. I know it’ll get easier, I know I’ll start to just remember the good, but right now, it is so so hard to. I miss her face so much. XOXO

  4. I’m so very sorry. I too have been through this when I lost my cat of 19 years. It’s unbearably hard and there is nothing that anyone can say to make it right for you again. You made the best possible decision for her, take comfort in that. My thoughts are with you.

  5. I know how you feel. We’ve been there and our cat is not looking well now. Sorry for your loss. You don’t realize how big a part of your life they are untill they are gone and there is that gaping hole.

  6. my heart is breaking for you Jolene. You are one of the kindest, most loving people and I have seen how much love and care you’ve given your kitties from your stories and photos. I am so sorry you are going through this. You have so much love and thoughts and prayers from me right now.

  7. I am so, so, so sorry for you, Jolene. My heart breaks for you. Losing a pet is the hardest damn thing in the world. I had to put a kitty to sleep a few years ago, and I swear to God, I’ve never sobbed that hard in my life. Then, losing Cookie while I was in Vegas a couple years ago, well – that just about did me in. But the one thing I learned with both of these situations is that over time, the hurt dulls. It becomes less raw and you can better manage it. I still miss Mason and Cookie every single day, but I take comfort in knowing that they had a great life and home while they were on this Earth. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: sending you so much love. I wish I could hug you. XO

    1. It really is the hardest thing ever…and I too never cried and sobbed more in my life. Ever. It has been the hardest week and I still can’t believe she is gone. I just can’t. It is hard to wrap my mind around and not look for her around every corner, take out two bowls for dinner, not one, call just Kayla, not Nala and Kayla. All of it is a reminder. Every single minute of every single day. I know it will wane, but it will take a long long time. XOXO I can feel your hug from here

    1. It is hard to read, I know. Every time I do, I cry. Every time I think of her and her last moments, I cry and try to shake the images from my head. It is the fur parents worst and biggest nightmare ever. Firmly. XOXO.

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