Friday, July 22, 2005

After Lunar came Holly. . .

Lunar was our cat for seven years. He loved to play and run. He had a small cat bed near the fireplace that he liked to curl up in. He was graceful, agile, and the world's worst hunter. Oh, he tried to hunt this moth or that foot but it never quite worked out for him. The fact that he sounded like an elephant might have had something to do with his lack of predatory skills. Lunar was an Emperor within his home and ruler of all he could see. He was also a very sick cat, but he loved us.

Lunar had Megacolon almost all his life. This meant many things for our family: Many visits to the Vet, adapted schedules to care for Lunar, moments of anger, costly treatments that never seemed to help, medications that only seemed to do more damage, and all the medical bills. Then there was all the destruction done to our home because of fecal accidents. Resentment was mounting in all camps. When Lunar didn't feel well, he'd pull away from us. He HATED the vet's office. He'd cry when we left him for overnight treatments, then avoid us like the plague when he came home. I spent so much time cleaning carpets and scrubbing tile that I really didn't want to come home. J, my husband of 5 years, would come home only to find his business' paper work was now a litterbox. The other members of our household would choose not to come home. Bedroom doors had to remain closed at all times to prevent the soiling of the beds. We were all feeling guilty, angry, and resentful. We were all unhappy. This is no life for a family. Families, in which I include pets, should enjoy each other. However, families also do not give up on each other. So we mustered on. It went on for almost 5 years like this.

This June our vet told us we had to make a decision. The enemas were killing Lunar slowly, robbing him of all vitamins. There was a surgery that showed some success when dealing with Megacolon. We could let Lunar have the surgery which would consist of the removal of the extended part of his intestines or we could put him down.

Problems were as follows:

  • This surgery could kill him.
  • He would have little control of his bathroom habits, if the surgery was successful.
  • The surgery would not cure the Megacolon. The problem would come back. There was no way of knowing when. 1 month to 10 years. Time frames were unknown. The only definite is that it would come back.
  • It might not be successful.
  • The surgery costs between $3,000 - $5,000.

There was little choice we could make. We took him home for a week. We played with him, feed him his favorite foods, and just spent time with him. Then we all went back to the vet and let him go. I decided then and there I couldn't go through with this again. No more cats, no more pets. Funny how no one listens to me!

Just one week ago, our new puppy entered our home. A puppy?! A type of pet I have NEVER wanted. J is a dog kind of guy. I would rather have sea monkeys, maybe a nice fish. So enter our lives this adorable mound of white fluff known as an American Eskimo Dog. We named her Holly. She loves to play and run. She has a little bed by the fireplace that she likes to curl up in. She is a little clumsy on her quickly growing puppy feet but she is agile. She's not much in to hunting, besides her prey would hear her clomping paws a mile away. She is a princess in this house but she does not rule the kingdom. She loves us.

This is my first dog. I expected to teach her a lot. It seems I'll learn a lot. Lunar taught me caring and nurturing. He helped teach me loss. He helped teach me that sometimes doing what's best is not what feels best. Holly has helped me learn to grieve for my shared life with Lunar. So far she has taught me how to celebrate my shared life with her.


Marinade Dave said...

It's really tough to lose a pet. When I lost my cat, Babette, after 14 years, one thing that helped me through it was something that George Carlin once said.

"You know, people are really funny. They get a pet. It lives 15 years. They know it going into it. The pet dies. They mourn. They get another one. 15 years later it dies. They mourn. They get another one..."

Your cat looked really nice. Good luck with your new dog.

Casper said...

oh, what a cutie!