Tuesday, April 23, 2024
black catscatsDaily Featuredaily photomewsetteMewsette's Journeypet lossPet Loss in the First Person

I Would Not Have Missed a Moment

black cat on green wicker loveseat
Mewsette invites me to join her in her favorite spot.

…not for all the pain I knew I’d feel as I was losing you. I loved you every moment in life, and always will.

Mewsette’s time has come to leave us, to my great surprise after such improvement, as I’d mentioned last Wednesday and Thursday when she was more active and mobile, and more and more of her sweet purrsonality began to reemerge. Up to this morning at about 10:00 I was planning a happy update blog post that she was feeling and acting much better and seemed to have turned a corner, and plans for moving forward, reconnecting with friends, even what I’d have for dinner. In fact, if I had been able to stay awake after events yesterday I would have published it last night. But if her end had to come today, without days of decline and pain and worry, it’s what both of us wanted in the end, for this end.

Mewsette had a great week, and by yesterday was walking up and down stairs, slowly, but happily. Earlier last week she could only make six to ten steps on the walk in the garden before she had to stop and rest, but here she is on Thursday June 8, having walked all the way from the garden to the bottom of the steps, then started up with Mimi encouraging her up the steps to the deck.

The next day, June 9, just two days ago, she made it all the way up the steps in the morning. Later she was in the basement while I was working down there. I turned around upstairs at the stove to see which cat was in the corner of my eye and it was her, sitting up with big eyes to see what I might feed her—she knew where I’d gone and made it all the way up the steps with energy to spare. She had also used the litterbox, passing stool without any help from me. She was doing so well, even exceeding what I’d hoped in the previous two days, purring, talking, following me around the kitchen and coming over to look into the refrigerator when I opened it. Yesterday, Saturday, Dr. Elgersma gave me loads of fluids and supplements and B12 to help her continue to recover and I told her that up to now was just kind of reversing her decline, but wasn’t really healing, but I finally felt her vibe again.

two black cats napping
Mimi and Mewsette sleeping on the job as I worked in the basement studio Friday.

I had a vendor event Saturday morning and afternoon that I was preparing for the past few days, and the annual benefit at the library to photograph Saturday night. Mewsette greeted me at the bathroom door when I came back both times and ate well all day. I was so relieved because I’d be away so much Saturday but I could focus on my work and planned that blog post update on her recovery. I had also received her DNA test kit on Thursday or Friday and was planning to do both her and Mimi today and take a little video of it.

This morning she was feeling good but needed to pass stool, which has been a daily issue for a few weeks. I gave her fluids and cerenia and her intestinal supplements and a dose of gabapentin for any pain and she tolerated them all well. I helped her with two 1mL enemas of soapy water after she tried twice in the litterbox as we’ve been doing for the past two weeks and everything came out as usual. I messaged Dr. Elgersma about an idea for possibly changing the way I did the enemas, told her how responsive and active with a great appetite last night Mewsette had been and commented to her, “Really, for the first time I feel that we’re not just rolling things back a little bit, but she might actually go into remission.”

But even then everything changed. Normally Mewsette rested for a few minutes after passing stool, but was back up on her feet and especially hungry within 15 minutes. This time she continued long past that. I actually held breakfast for everyone until 3:00 to focus on her and see if she would recover enough to eat. I moved her to a comfortable spot in the kitchen and fed the others, her spot empty on the cabinet. I held onto her dish of food, just in case.

dish of cat food
Mewsette’s dish, still waiting.

Likely passing that stool pushed aside the masses in her intestines and she may have been bleeding internally, but she may have been for some days. She was diagnosed with non-regenerative anemia at the beginning of May. Her gums and tongue have been a little pale, but she was very pale today. Her respiration and heart rate were strong and regular but I knew I’d be checking them through this process. Mr. Sunshine cuddled her and gave her some comforting energy for a while, and I decided to do her DNA test right then so that I had her DNA regardless of what the next hours might bring.

Then I gave her a dose of prednisolone hoping it might bring her around, or at least bring her relief, and talked to Dr. Elgersma about coming tomorrow to put her to sleep, if she made it that long. I have seen the dying process in enough cats that I recognized the increasing detachment and lack of response, and I know that those last hours can be very uncomfortable, no matter how peaceful they may appear. I kissed her and told her I loved her repeatedly. I checked her respiration and heart rate and if she had shown any signs of stress or suffering, like when Peaches was lying still and prone with her eyes closed, but the tip of her tail started slapping the floor, I would have immediately called the emergency hospitals to find who had the time for her, and taken her right off. I am relieved we didn’t need to do that.

This change came on so suddenly and after such recent hope that truly I was disbelieving as it was happening, it just did not seem real. As the hours went by I moved her and myself to my desk so that I could keep myself just busy enough to take the edge off of how I felt, so that I wouldn’t keep crowding her and make her feel uncomfortable, looking through photos, letting close friends know so that I could release some of my feelings, and planning the new blog post.

Mimi was sleeping in a basket right behind Mewsette, and for a while Mewsette had her head in Mimi’s basket so Mimi cuddled around her. Giuseppe hopped up on the desk and walked around her, licked her face and nuzzled her, then went to his basket on the desk. Jelly Bean sat on my lap and looked at her. Mr. Sunshine came up at about 7:45 and settled down next to Mewsette’s belly and put his paws over her front legs. He has the accuracy of Oscar the cat in the nursing home at predicting death, usually about 15 minutes prior to the actual time even if the death is a euthanasia, and he was right on time. Just before 8:00 her respiration and heart rate were gone.

Sometimes when our pets (and our people too) develop a critical condition, so minimized by the exhaustion of fighting an illness and possibly pain of the condition that it suppresses their physical abilities, they lose the familiar personality we love. I learned from giving care to my family members that they are still in there, animal or human, they just don’t have the energy for anything but getting to the next moment. That’s where Mewsette was for a good bit of the last 10 days. I’m so glad to have had those few moments in the past few days when Mewsette was my silly, happy, purring Mewsette once again.

damselfly
The damselfly that greeted us in the garden when we came outside on June 8.

I knew even weeks ago that all the signs I’d seen, the feather and butterflies, the flicker (woodpecker species) and the juvenile robin who showed up outside the dining room window as I gave her fluids the other morning, and the damselfly this past Thursday, were not only symbolic of protection and strength in adversity, they were also symbolic of transition and transformation, and only time would tell how that would work itself out. I chose the more promising interpretation, and perhaps all of them did help her reach the level of wellness that she did. I had also thought in that time that they might be there to lead her home. I had been seeing the ghost kitty in the kitchen off and on for the past few months, and I hope it was Lucy come to greet her with purrs. I have lost hospice fosters, but I haven’t lost a member of my longtime feline family in 11 years. I guess it’s time.

We know we love all our cats, and we love many things in our lives, but we don’t love them all the same. Each relationship is individual and how we feel about them doesn’t always seem to be a choice but a part of the magic that connects us to each other. Mewsette was innocent, guileless, silly, where her brothers are a little more manipulative, so I always had a special feeling for her because she just loved with her whole heart with no ulterior motives. She was completely honest and had no ego standing between herself and the world. Of all the kittens in this litter, I always had a special feeling for her, from the very beginning, and now that is eternal.

I had been planning a cat painting for June from my archives of film photos, of Sally in the garden in June some time in the 90s. But as my peonies bloomed and the girls walked around them I changed my mind to a painting of the two of them and the peonies on a lovely June morning. I actually still hope to do that. My art helps heal me, especially if I can focus on a beautiful scene of Mewsette looking well and happy as she looked on June 8, below, in one of the many photos I took of Mewsette for that painting.

black cat in garden
Mewsette with peonies.

If you’d like to help us with the costs…

I had an appointment prescheduled for Jelly Bean to have his workup at our veterinarian tomorrow, June 12. I can’t postpone it, and I’d rather know what I’m in for with him. As always, if you would like to help me with veterinary costs, which will also help me pay off Giuseppe’s emergency bill. Morty’s prescription food is pretty expensive until I can get him back to the veterinarian for some blood tests so we can find out more about his particular condition, and all of them need to eat. I want to keep them all comfortable in whatever way is best for each cat.

  • Consider a Custom Pet Memorial Votive for yourself or a family member or friend. Remember that they don’t actually have to be memorials—a votive with someone’s pet on it while they are very much alive is also a nice custom gift!
  • Visit www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net. I just uploaded all my new keepsake boxes and votive lamps. I will give you a coupon to shop with when you donate.
  • I am building a “One of a Kind Shop” on my website so that it’s easier to see exactly what handmade goods are available, like those keepsake boxes up at the top and all new votive lamps. I had hoped to have it set up by now, but things are taking a little longer than expected.
  • And consider even a small portrait of one or more of your fine felines.

If you have any questions, please let me know! And thanks for any help.

 


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pastel sketch of black cat in sunshine
“Mewsette in Sun”, pastel on Fabriano Tiziani paper, 7″ x 9″ © B.E. Kazmarski

Mewsette lets the warm sun wash her back while she sits and simply looks lovely. Read more and purchase.



Copyright

All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

34 thoughts on “I Would Not Have Missed a Moment

  • I am reading this belatedly, and with deepest sorrow. You have returned my thoughts to things in life that actually matter, after a morning of fretting over nonsense. My heart weeps for you, Bernadette. Sending love and good energy to you and all your precious four-leggeds. For now, I have no more words, alas.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Meg. It’s just a month and my heart is still broken, but I’m beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Life will never be the same.

      Reply
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  • So many possible words or platitudes, but none truly describe or ease the loss you feel. I am sure Mewsette’s essence will have moved to another form, maybe one where you two will meet again and get to share more wonderful times together. Time spent with other beings, in good times and bad, is never wasted.
    Sending lots of supportive purrs
    ERin

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your words, Erin. There will never be another cat like Mewsette, but I am glad to have experienced almost 16 years, and have the memories.

      Reply
  • I’m so sorry, Bernadette. Yes, we love all our companions, but some do touch our heart differently and Mewsette will forever be one of those special, kindred spirits. How beautiful her loving, feline family was by her side, too. It always amazes me how intuitive animals can be during times like this. My heart goes out to you with love and purrs.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Deb. It’s been a little over a week and I am finally lightening up enough to start existing again. Mewsette’s mom and siblings have been feeling her loss, as well as their part in comforting and supporting her, especially in her last month. We may come to the surface soon. We appreciate all the love and purrs to help us get there.

      Reply
  • 15andmeowing

    Such sad news. I am so sorry for the loss of beautiful Mewsette. XO

    Reply
    • Thank you, Ellen. I loved all the siblings, but she was the best.

      Reply
  • mary mcneil

    We are so sorry to hear of Mewsette’s passing…When Buddy, my 19 year old calico, was failing with CKD I asked an animal communicator to reach out to her. She told him she was ready to go on to her next adventure. Mewsette is now pain free and reunited with so many of her friends, who were waiting…

    Reply
    • I spoke with an animal communicator a couple of weeks ago who let me know that Mewsette felt she could kick this and was willing to keep fighting it. I was so glad to hear that.

      Reply
  • Bernette,
    I am so very sorry about Mewsette! I feel like I lost a friend!
    Cindy

    Reply
    • I know, you’ve been following for quite some time! Thank you.

      Reply
  • Lynda S Guckert

    I am so sorry, Bernadette. We’ve all had that special cat whose passing leaves a huge hole in our hearts. Thank you for sharing her with us all these years.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Lynda. Hearing from someone who enjoyed her makes me happy that she’ll be remembered.

      Reply
  • smseattle

    I’m so sorry, Bernadette. Thank you for your loving care of dear Mewsette. And thank you for all you do for kitties.

    Reply
    • Thank you. They inspire it in me. And Mewsette was a real muse.

      Reply
  • Sending gentle purrs and hugs on your loss of beautiful Mewsette. We’d like to honor her with a Forever image, and have sent an email to you about this. Thank you … Ann Adamus, Zoolatry

    Reply
    • Thank you, Ann. I did finally see your email and I’ll be in touch.

      Reply
  • Samantha (SV Designs)

    I’m so sorry about this.. I’ve enjoyed reading about Mewsette on here and seeing her photos on Instagram. I know how painful this type of loss is; love and thoughts to you and the rest of the cats..

    Reply
    • Thank so much, Samantha. You had also commented on IG and I didn’t see you’d also commented here. Thanks so much for visiting. All the good wishes have helped my feline family and me.

      Reply
  • da tabbies o trout towne

    Mewsette, we are truly saddened to learn this. We know our friend and hero,
    St Francis, stayed by your side so that you had no pain, suffering, fear, or
    sadness along your journey to heaven, and Lucy did indeed meet you at
    heaven’s gate. A beautiful girl you are and always will be. We also know if
    you spoke “human”, you would say to mom B, thank you for everything, I love
    you too. We are truly sorry. With hugs and love from all of us, daisy, mackerull,
    and dude, boomer, tuna and sauce. ❤️❤️

    Reply
    • I’m so sorry, Bernadette. I know how hard it is to lose animal friends and I wish you peace and comfort in good memories. Hugs, and purrs from our kitties.

      Reply
      • Thanks, Leah, I’ll get there someday. My felines are much more practical.

        Reply
    • Mewsette was one of those blessed spirits who the angels loved. I know she went to gentle arms. Thank you, and I’ll spread those hugs and love around here.

      Reply
  • I am so very sorry to hear about your sweetie, really sorry, and we send tons of love and hugs your way.

    Reply

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