RE: [feline-heart] Thanks - Very Long
- Dear Melinda,
God bless you for being the wonderful catmom you are and god bless Pongo for
having come into your life....he's at the bridge now and i know that Bear
Cat and Biggger are enjoying meeting the Pongster....he will bring new joy
and cheer to them knowing we are all connected!
Thank you for all the words you wrote about Pongo bbec they are the so many
things that I think of too but couldn't ever articulate them the way you
do.....thank you, thank you for sharing.
White lites shining for you and yours,
Linda & the boys
From: brunobaby [mailto:brunobaby@...]
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 8:14 PM
Subject: [feline-heart] Thanks - Very Long
Thank you for all your condolences for Pongo and for your support during
his long battle.
They say that no matter how you prepare yourself, you're never ready for
how you feel when they go. They're right. And the emotion that's surprised
me the most is gratitude.
We're thankful that we had so many great years with Pongo. We're glad that
we had no other calamities going on during his illness. We're glad that we
caught his disease early enough to prolong the quality and quantity of his
life for over a year and a half.
I thank God that I didn't have to go through this alone and had a
supportive spouse who cared about him as much as I did, even though Pongo
was a one-woman cat. And that there was nobody close to us who didn't
understand, who said, "It's just a cat." I shudder to think of what shape I
would be in now without this support system -- and there was a time when it
would not have been there.
I'm comforted in knowing that financial considerations did not stop us from
obtaining whatever care he needed. There was a time when that may well have
been the case.
Vets you can trust are so important, and we had the Cat Practice and the
Animal Medical Center, whose expertise and compassion were always available
to us. The information available online was also invaluable.
And I'm thankful for a place like feline_heart.
All this gratitude doesn't mean we don't miss the Pong. We do. Terribly.
I'm sitting here at the computer half-expecting to see him out of the
corner of my eye, putting his head on my lap, jabbing me in the leg, or,
his all-time surefire attention-getter, staple-gunning his front paws into
Whenever we open the refrigerator, wash a dish or open a can, we can still
hear his thundering hooves and shrill demand. He could speak in complete
sentences when he wanted something.
When we lie on the bed, it's strange not to see him climb up a few seconds
later and start marching back and forth across our chests and pulling books
out of the bookcase before settling down for a cuddle.
We miss every annoying thing you love about your cat, and we miss his long
sweet face and big loving eyes, one yellow and one blue.
And everything is just a little out of step in a home where my reflexes
were bound with his for sixteen years.
Phoebe misses him, too. She creeps cautiously past the places where he used
to hide when they played "ambush." When we put her food in front of her,
she looks around confused, wondering where her lifelong dinner companion
is. She was so withdrawn last Friday, feeling his absence and our grief.
She's perked up somewhat now, enjoying all the attention and affection for
which she now has no competition.
I brought out the tin of catnip toys for her last night and realized we
hadn't opened it since Pongo's first attack in January. We'd been so
careful not to get him overstimulated in those final weeks, and that meant
curtailing a lot of exercise for Phoebe, too. I feel badly about how we
were short-changing her in ways that we hadn't even noticed. She's free to
play again at an energy level that's amazing for a cat over 16 years old.
She looks so much like her brother, but is beautiful and charming in her
own right, and we still have an opportunity to ensure that she lives to be
a very old and very healthy animal.
We're very thankful to have her, too.
We spent Sunday afternoon clearing away all of Pongo's "stuff." I know some
people would want to keep it around for a while so that they could feel
that their loved one is still there, but I knew there was no way we could
kid ourseles and say Pongo was visiting relatives in Cleveland.
We took the sticky note with his next vet's appointment off the
refrigerator. We put his dish on the highest shelf of a kitchen cabinet.
We threw out the cardboard box he'd claimed for a bed. We're keeping the
little towel that was in it.
We changed the "Firemen, Save My Pets" sticker on the front door to read,
We've changed our cat food delivery from two cases a month to just one.
We're donating his unused meds to a rescue group for homeless dogs and cats.
We're donating his heart to science.
A big piece of mine is gone.
On Saturday afternoon, we went to a Pet Loss Support Group at the Animal
Medical Center. It turned out to be a great catharsis, with a half-dozen of
us sharing our stories of the ordeal of caring for a terminally ill pet,
and dealing with the choice to end the suffering. I had always hoped that
the Pong would go peacefully in his sleep. But he never did anything
peacefully, or he wouldn't have been who he was. And I know we were right
to let him go before the agony robbed him of his beauty and his dignity.
I dreamed about him last night, as I knew I would eventually. In my dream,
he was young and strong and healthy, with a muscular body and a plushy
coat. I woke up missing him, and then I consoled myself by remembering that
I had been missing *that* Pongo while Pongo was still alive.
When I first brought him home sixteen years ago this month, I promised that
no matter what, I would take care of him the rest of his life.
and Jim, Phoebe, Pongo (RB)
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