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RE: [feline-heart] Thanks - Very Long

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  • Mike & Linda Irrgang
    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
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 22, 2001
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      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

      -----Original Message-----
      From: brunobaby [mailto:brunobaby@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 8:14 PM
      To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
      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
      my back.

      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,
      "One Cat."

      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.

      Mission accomplished.

      --Melinda
      and Jim, Phoebe, Pongo (RB)




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