How Lucky We Are To Have Had Something That Makes Saying Goodbye So Hard

As I have mentioned we kind of share two cats from next door.  Officially they live next door but they like our house better….and I mean who wouldn’t!  Lol!  Socks is known as Somi at their house and Snowball is Mijo.  Everyone knows that they come over and is ok with sharing custody.  20140126-182304.jpg

It was COLD on Friday.  Since it was so chilly all of the cats stayed in the house during the day and went out for just a breath of fresh air when we got home.  All evening everyone was happily napping away……Snowball was on the sofa with Edward.  All was normal…..at bedtime everyone moved to their night time spots with Snowball in his spot right in front of the closet door.

At some point during the night a bad dream woke me up.  You know the kind of bad dreams where you wake up with your heart beating a 100 beats a minute and deep sense of dread?  I don’t remember all of the details but it was about Mommacat, Spooky and Derrick and Amanda’s dog Snickers were up a tree and falling. Snickers fell and was hurt in a very graphic gory way.

About 3 am Snowball, Socks and Rascal all wanted to go outside.  Mommacat woke me up at 8 am and I opened the front door and Snowball was waiting just like he generally is resting on the front matt waiting for the breakfast bell to ring.    I dumped some food in the bowl (we don’t give wet food until we get up) and went back to the nice warm bed.  A few minutes later I heard what sounded like someone throwing up although not loudly.  I jumped out of bed to try to at least get the offender to the hardwood floors and found it was Snowball.  By the time I got around the edge of he was staggering and suddenly just collapsed on his side.

To say I was hysterical is kind of an understatement.  I picked him up and made sure he wasn’t choking on anything hoping against hope that it was anything other an what it looked like.  He was limp and unresponsive.  He was still breathing very shallow breaths but he wasn’t conscious and was just limp.  I screamed (at least according to Edward) for Edward to help me.  He told me to get him home as quickly as I could.  After a frantic process of trying to revive him and find clothes I ran him to his ‘official’ family who rushed him to the emergency vet.

(Picture me with no bra, shirt on inside out and backwards in a pair of Edward’s sweats with no shoes and bed hair ringing your doorbell hysterically a million times with a limp cat in my arms  and they didn’t have a great start to their day either)

Snowball didn’t make it.

I think I knew that he wouldn’t live in that first millisecond when I picked him up from the floor.  Whatever was happening was just too catastrophic, sudden and terrible.  He was clearly dying.  The vet’s aren’t sure what happened exactly…..most likely a heart condition.

Saturday wasn’t a good day and I couldn’t sleep at all that night.  There were lots of tears.  My brain refused to shut off.  I kept replaying and replaying what happened trying to make sense of it.  Trying to figure out what had happened.  Trying to determine if this was any kind of a threat to our other animals. Trying to understand something that wasn’t understandable.

And I suddenly remember that dream I had the night before and it seemed oddly prophetic in some way.

In the end I believe it must have been something major and spontaneous like  a heart condition or an aneurysm. .  The fact that he came to the house as usual, ate breakfast and had moved to his usual sleeping spot tells me that he wasn’t sick or hurt.  Most cats who think they are dying run away and hide someplace. He didn’t do that. He didn’t have any signs on his fur of trauma like he’d been hit by a car or attacked by a dog.  It was a normal day to him up until the instant he collapsed.  I did some reading and found out that heart disease is not a rare ocurance in cats.  Generally it is a genetic condition and often the first sign is sudden death.

And I am forever thankful that  (as awful of an experience it was) he was home with us in a place where he knew he was loved and safe.  And that we were here to be with him and at least try to save him. I hope he felt how loved he was.  And I hope he wasn’t scared.

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Snowball had the softest fur ever and the prettiest blue eyes!  He loved to play with toys like a crazy kid and slept in the bed with us from time to time.  He was my favorite to share the bed with because you could pick him up and move him and he wouldn’t care.  Nothing freaked Snowball out.  I could vacuum right up to him and he didn’t care.  I could step over him or move things and he would stay sound asleep.  He also had a very loud purr.    Edward used to always say that he looked like a big tough tom cat but he really was a sweetheart who just wanted to stay inside and snuggle.   He also didn’t like the ‘no cats on the counter’ rule.

I swear I keep seeing him out of the corner of my eye and the house sure feels empty.  I know that’s silly with four other cats but it does.

Goodbye Snowball.  You were loved and you are very missed.  Look for Danny, Cheeto, Sam and Smokey over the Rainbow Bridge……I’m sure they will show you the ropes.

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