I hate typing those words. I hate knowing this is now my new reality, that Roswell, our 14 or 15 year old cat is now dead.
This draft was started on July 11th, I was going to write an update on Roswell’s current condition but I never finished it and now it’s a good bye post. I do also want to say sorry for not posting about my training.
She had been sick since February. Our cat, Roswell, was diagnosed with mammary cancer, essentially breast cancer, in October 2005. She had a tumor removed that month and another one in July 2006. Her cancer returned this past February to her lungs and in March, we found out it had metastasized to her one of her feet and was given 6-12 weeks.
She had been slowing down more and more but did have a little time a couple of weeks ago where she seemed to bounce back a little, she was acting her regular self but during the last couple of weeks, she was getting worse.
This last week was pretty hard, she was not getting around very well and not eating much, if anything. On Friday night, she seemed to have a pretty hard time and on Saturday, we both knew what was coming and called our vet. She was very nice, as always, and offered to meet us the next day (even though the clinic is closed and Sunday would be the day before her vacation started) to put Roswell to sleep.
On Sunday, I was anxiously awaiting my brother’s arrival. He was coming to visit for a week, driving from Texas. We had made the decision, I think, while he was already on his way and didn’t want to stress him out by telling him over the phone. I told him of our decision when he arrived. He got to see Roswell for one last time. I’m so lucky to have a brother who loves my pets so much and I would say almost as much as we do. He used to be our regular petsitter before he moved to Houston to go to college. I could see the upset in his eyes to see Roswell in her condition.
I was really avoiding calling our vet to schedule a time, I clipped coupons and I even put leftovers in the oven to heat up. I was just avoiding calling her. Less than two hours after my brother arrived, Roswell came out from under the bed and right outside our bedroom, she collapsed and she passed away. My husband had a heard a noise and called to me from the bedroom, I rushed over and saw her. What I saw will be forever etched in my memory. I have to say this was a traumatic experience. He scooped her up into a blanket, I tried calling our vet and then yelled over to my brother that we needed to leave.
We took her to the emergency vet but we knew in our hearts, she was already gone. We needed to take her to make sure she was gone and no longer in pain. On the way, our vet returned my call and agreed it was a good idea to take her there. I don’t remember the conversation, it was a complete blur. I just remember conveying my guilt that maybe we waited too long? She told me not to beat myself up and that she at least was surrounded by everyone who loved her. This is true, she was surrounded by everyone who loved her, even my brother.
A technician at the emergency vet clinic took her in the back to what I assume was the vet on duty and came back out to announce to us that she was, in fact, gone. They were very nice there. They gave us some time in a room with her and told us about our options. Of course, we both completely lost it. We chose a private cremation and for the remains to be returned to us. Her remains, when they are returned to us, will go up on a shelf next to her buddy, our older dog, Cinder’s remains.
On that shelf, we have a picture of Cinder and Roswell together and when I looked at it yesterday, I lost it again.
This just plain sucks…I’m not very articulate right now. I hope I’m even making some sense in writing this post. We have gone through this before but nothing prepares you for something like this. I just know that I feel a huge emptiness in my heart. I also feel guilt that we may have waited too long and caused her more unneeded suffering. And I also play the scene over and over again in my head of what happened yesterday.
I feel horrible because my brother and his girlfriend are here visiting and I just have this cloud of grief over me. Yesterday, after coming back from the emergency vet, Curtis and I tried to take a nap but it didn’t work. We got out of the house, went grocery shopping and did a training walk. I think it was the hardest training walk so far for me. When I tried to go to bed last night, all I could do was cry. I was able to hold it together during the day when we were out and about but now couldn’t.
I also feel horrible for Clone, our 5 year old orange tabby, all day yesterday, he was going around to her usual spots looking for her.
I know in my mind that Roswell is no longer in any pain but my heart breaks because I miss her so much. To me, it’s an end of an era. The two pets (Cinder and Roswell) that have always been a constant in our relationship have now passed on, leaving an empty hole. I know we will be fine and as time goes on it will be easier but right now, but right now it feels so raw. I hope with time, I will be able to write more about Roswell…who was one tough cat. We loved her so much and gave her so much, she gave us so much in return.
My sister told me yesterday on the phone that we gave her a good life, I know she felt so bad for me and didn’t know what to say. I don’t remember exactly what I told her but I think I said something like, right now that doesn’t even matter to me, it just hurts so much.
Curtis used to say that he wished they would go on their own and we wouldn’t have to make the decision to put them to sleep but I had a feeling he would be eating his words. There are some people in our lives who have said to us how peaceful it is when they go naturally at home. I disagree completely, it was traumatic and awful. Death is not pretty and no matter how our pets go, I think it’s hard and there is no preferred way to go.
Thank you for the kindness and kind thoughts everyone has shared with us. We really appreciate it and I hope if you have pets of your own, you’ll give them a hug and a kiss from us.