I don’t know how often I’ll write here about Mouse, but I do know that writing has always made me feel better, and right now, boy do I need to feel better.
I was unprepared for how hard losing Mouse would hit me. I was talking to my husband about it last night. We both had a feeling she’d have to be put down, that there would be nothing more we could do for her. The vet, based on my description of her symptoms before she passed, said it was possible that kidney failure was the culprit. Likely, diabetes, since she was an overweight cat. But there’s no way to know now, since she’s gone. Had it been kidney failure, there is no way she’d still be here. We do not have the money for a kidney transplant. If it was diabetes that led to her death…well, that was my fault, wasn’t it? She was an overweight cat. I knew that. We often joked about our “big girl” kitty. I should have taken her to the vet sooner. I should have been more careful about her diet (even though she only ate kibble, and we were giving them the “senior cats” formula, I should have watched the amounts more!) I should have monitored how much water she was drinking, how often she was using the litter box. These would have given me a clue about what was happening with our cat. Maybe she’d still be here today, if not for my own stupidity.
Clearly, I am in the angry, blaming portion of the mourning process.
Driving home from the vet’s office yesterday, with an empty cat carrier on the seat beside me, I shouted a string of four letter curse words, all the while, tears coursed down my face. This morning, the tears threaten each time I look at one of Mouse’s “spots” in our house. I wonder how much she suffered at the end, as a result of my ignorance. I should have made her drink more water. I should have gotten her there sooner. I should have carried her to the weight scale at the vet’s office myself, rather than letting a stranger take my girl out of my arms.
These are the things that go through my head as I try to return to normal. There are work deadlines to meet. Children to feed, read to, teach, and cuddle. Amid putting on a “normal” front, I replay all of the things I should have done differently.
Part of me is almost embarrassed by the depth of my grief. “It was a pet, for crying out loud!” this jaded part of my psyche tries to tell me. But for the most part, I tell that part of me to shut up and sit down. Mouse was a member of my family. She was mine and I was hers. There is no shame in grieving that.
I am trying to find ways to move beyond it. While writing is part of my therapy, gardening is clearly another. I have an area in the back yard that I’m considering turning into a little memorial garden for Mouse. It’s something to distract me from the “I should haves” and remembering the empty look in my girl’s eyes.
Part of me wonders why I’m blogging about this. I could write it all down in a journal. But this is what I do. And maybe someone out there will relate. Maybe someone has a kitty who isn’t drinking water, or has a decreased appetite, and maybe they’ll read this and make that vet appointment for their cat. I don’t know. Right now, it feels like I don’t know much of anything, other than that I want my cat back.