Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Good-Bye Sweet Friend


This is, without a doubt, going to be the hardest post I've ever had to write, but I have to just go ahead and get it over with.  Ya'll know Grendal had been sick lately, with what the vet said was asthma, but it turned out to be a bit more serious than that and she passed away at 2:30 a.m. on the first day of this new year.  After I had taken her to the doctor back in December she did seem to improve somewhat but I noticed that by Christmas her breathing was somewhat labored again but she was still eating and all, just sleeping a lot.  I was giving her some natural asthma meds and tried a little Benedryl too, which did seem to help some.  She got a bit of an appetite after taking that.  By Sunday though, she was refusing most food and water and wouldn't get up much.  I gave her a tad more Benedryl and a little respiratory antibiotic I had and early Monday she was up and moving around, so I thought perhaps it was bronchitis or pneumonia, something that could be cured.  I had to take her to another vet because the one I had been using was still closed for remodeling but they were very kind and saw her immediately.  The look on the doctor's face when I told him how she was acting did not indicate good news however.  A couple of X-rays later and it was confirmed to him that she probably had FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) which there is no cure for.  There is no real test for it either, nor a vaccine but he said if he could draw some of the fluid off her chest it would help him diagnose it further and help her breathe, so I said okay.  They drew off a fair amount and it did seem to help her.  It also confirmed his diagnosis.  He was very kind and honest and I appreciated that.  He gave her a shot that he said would help make her more comfortable and he seemed to think she might have some time, maybe a few weeks.  So, I went from thinking it was maybe an infection from asthma to being told she only had a short time to live.
I took her home and she did seem to feel a little better, even eating and drinking a good bit right away but in a couple of hours her breathing was very hard again.  By this time the vet was closed again and wouldn't reopen until today.  We tried to make her as comfortable as we could and she didn't seem to be in pain, just breathing hard.  But I know that in itself is uncomfortable.  Around midnight she didn't want to lay in her bed anymore but wanted to be on the floor, so I got a pillow and laid on the floor with her.  She always seemed to enjoy that.  I talked to her and assured her if she felt it was time to go that I would be okay.  I told her she had done a good job of looking after me those many years I was single but I had Jack now and she didn't need to worry.  She could go rest if she wanted to.  I don't feel I gave up on her but was simply willing to trade her discomfort for mine.  About 2 hours later she was gone.


I know many people don't care for cats or understand how people can get very attached to pets but she was something else.  She was not really a pet but really like a friend.  Never a time that I was sick and in bed that she was not right there beside me the whole time. 


I guess in a lot of ways, she was much like me too.  She could be a grumpy ol' turd if you got too close to her tail and she did not care for other animals at all.  But she was a better person than a lot of humans I know, and though never a pushy or demanding cat, she welcomed everybody that came into the house.


She was never a great hunter cat and had gotten kinda pudgy over the years but she always kept her manners.  She was a southern cat after all, you know.  She always amazed the people at the vet clinics, the few times she had to go, because she never freaked out or got upset being in a place like that.  They were always delighted at how she would just sit calmly on the exam table and "chat" with the doctor when he talked to her.  She was better at taking shots than me even!


Even with me, she would always "ask" to get on the couch with me.  She would wait patiently on the floor until I noticed her and asked her to come sit with me.  Or she might poke me gently with her paw to get my attention.


We buried her behind the house, under the dogwoods and ferns.  It's a cool, peaceful place and in the spring I'll plant some catnip beside her grave.  She loved her some catnip.




So, good-bye sweet friend.  I miss you terribly but I am glad you can rest now.

35 comments:

Gin said...

From one cat lover to another, I am SO, SO sorry. :( I know how much you loved your friend, and she most certainly was a friend, maybe more than any human could be. Just know I understand and send comforting hugs.

Hayley said...

I am sorry for your loss. Loosing a pet can be incredibly difficult. Time does heal.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so sorry! I had a beloved dog that was with me from my 20's into my 40's (single person).... I was very sad to lose him, and it was like losing whole sections of my life in a way.

Thanks for sharing Grendel with us, and one thing I know is that she had a wonderful life with you. She was very lucky in that :)

Thinking of you and Grendel,
Anon-R.

ignatz said...

OH, Annie,
Words escape me.....I am sooooooooooooooo sorry. hugsandtears,

Rita said...

We have a couple of cats that are so much a part of us. We hug them and they in their way hug back. I use to only think I could feel this way about a dog but it is not true. One rescue is over 2 and I hope he lives a long time. I think of him as an "ole soul." When I come in the house he comes looking for me and wants to sit on my lap. Many prayers for you and many tears for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Ohmigosh I see I spelled Grendal wrong. I'm so sorry!

Thanks for posting all the wonderful photos of her, and if you want to post more, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to see them.

Anon-R.

ErinFromIowa said...

I am partial to grey cats. She was a good old girl and will be missed.

JO said...

Sorry for your lose our pets are our best friends.

woodysrockyridge said...

So sorry Annie. We too lost one of our pets Christmas day. They become very large parts of our lives and wonderful teachers of how to distribute unconditional love.

pamit said...

What a loving memorial to Grendal you've written, Annie. She was a beautiful animal! The pictures (thanks for posting so many) show her serenity, grace and playfulness. So wonderful that she's laid to rest on your farm.

Sissy said...

As I read the title, I feared it was your Grendal. Suffering for a pet is heartrending for us animal lovers. I'm sorry for you loss, Annie. So many losses I've had over the years; it never gets easier. I miss having a purring cat, yet the mice enjoy the lack of one.

JMD said...

So sorry, I have wept over many pets, all who stole my heart.

Floridacracker said...

Annie,
I make no secret about being thoroughly in the dog camp over on PF, but I know the pain of losing a dear pet...and your post got me choked up. Grendal was a beauty with the coolest cat name ever.
Every puppy, every kitten, is a future heartbreak, but oh the time in between...priceless.
I'll be thinking of you and Grendal today.

edifice rex said...

Hey Gin; thank you very much. she was a wonderful friend.

Hey Hayley; thank you.

Hey R; thank you. yes, when they've been with you so long it is very hard. don't worry abut spelling her name wrong hon. it's okay. :) I may put up some more photos later on.

Hey Page; thank you.

Hey Rita; thank you. I have kinda always been partial to cats and she was special even more so.

Hey Erin; yes, she will be much missed.

Hey Jo; thank you. she certainly was that.

Hey Woody; thank you and I'm very sorry to hear about your dog too. I thought I had left a comment on your post but maybe I didn't. I've been a little distracted.

Hey Pam; thank you. yes, I was very glad she was able to pass here and not in some hospital and be buried near me.

Hey Sissy; thank you. yes, it's very hard. It may be quite a long time before I get another cat.

Hey JMD; thank you.

Hey FC; thank you hon. she was that! and since she was the coolest cat ever she needed an appropriate name. :)

HermitJim said...

I'll admit to having tears in my eyes as I read about Grendal's passing and your tribute to her.

As a cat lover I feel the partnership you had with her, and I know she was loved! Bet she knew that as well!

Coffeefreek53 said...

I am a cat person. I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets are more than pets as anyone who has a pet knows. My heart aches for you and I hope that peace will replace your sadness soon.

molly said...

Hugz ER, you gave her a wonderful life.

Tammy (grendal fan) said...

My sorrow is great.
My tears many.

edifice rex said...

Hey Jim; thanks; I think she knew too. :)

Hey Coffee; thank you very much.

Hey Molly; I sure hope so. I tried my best.

Hey Tammy; I hated to put this up in a way because I knew it would make you sad too but, there wasn't much gettin' around it. Couldn't really hide it. :(

Ed said...

My condolences. No matter what people say, it is never easy loosing a pet because they almost never are just pets. They are family.

Island Rider said...

Crying with you. I am so sorry.

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed; thank you. You are right about that and she was my family for such a long time.

Hey IR; thank you. I've cried so much at this point my eye lids are literally sore from being so swollen. I'll be okay though.

Vagabonde said...

I just found your blog and your sad news. I know how sad you must feel. I lost my little grey cat several months ago and it is still hard to talk about it. She was sick and I took her to the clinic where they gave me some pills to start her appetite – I gave her the pill and she choked on it and passed away. I still feel terrible to have given her the pill. She was 14 years old and so very sweet. It is so sad to lose a loving pet.

Swamp Dog said...

I am a cat person myself, it is always hard to let them go, but when the time comes it is the right thing to do. My warmest thoughts go out to you.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

As a cat lover myself and one who also lost a beloved feline (Sambuca) I can understand and empathize with you, Annie. Grendal was more than a beloved pet, she was a dear friend.

Anonymous said...

How old was your dear Grendal? Our four legged children are always dear to our hearts and make us better people. Sitting here with tears in my eyes, thinking of my sister's cat we lost @ age 21. Lots of sickness and eventually you have to let them go. It isn't fair for them to be in discomfort or pain, and pets can hide it so well. You were right to let her go. Fluid would have probably come right back.
Tammy in Lower Alabama.

Jenn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jenn said...

Ah, good night sweet Grendal. You were a Presence and you will be missed.

*Hugs* to you Annie. Always hard to lose our friends.

wolfek said...

So sorry for your loss.

edifice rex said...

Hey Vagabonde; Oh Lord I am SO sorry to hear about your kitty! Please don't blame yourself though; you were only trying to help her. I felt so bad about giving Grendal meds because it was hard for her to get them down etc. and then i found out they wouldn't have helped anyway. Made me feel worse for putting her through that but I didn't know. Hugs to you.

Hey Swampy; yeah, the doc told me he could give her a little more time by continuing to draw that fluid off but I wasn't going to put her through that over and over again. thank you.

Hey Bea; thank you. She was a dear friend indeed.

Hey Tammy; Grendal was 13. I imagine she would have lived quite a while longer had it not been for that virus.

Hey Jenn; thank you.

Hey Wolf; thank you.

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Sorry to hear about your cat Annie, Sounds like she was a very special part of your life. I know how one can get attached to their four legged friends, and ya they are usually the most loyal friends one can have.

Beverly said...

I clicked on your blog link on "From a Heavenly Land's" blog. I'm so sorry for your loss. Our cats do truly become our friends, and it is hard to let them go.

We got a kitten for my daughter the summer after she was in fourth grade. My children grew up and left the nest; I lost my husband in an accident, and I still had the cat. She was such a comfort and company for me after they were all gone.

I know how you will miss her. She was a beautiful cat, and your photos of her are wonderful.

edifice rex said...

Hey Mark; thanks hon; I appreciate your comment. yeah, if only people were as loyal as animals.

Hey Beverly; thank you very much. So sorry to hear about your husband but I do know what you mean about your cat being such a comfort to you. There were many, many nights that it was just me and Grendal and she was always there for me to hold and talk to.

Susan Humeston said...

I have four cats and one of them is like my baby. I have lost pets before and I know the awfulness of saying goodbye. I'm so sorry for your loss - pets are like our children.....

myamuhnative said...

Oh Annie, I am so sorry to hear about Grendal. I always loved when you would post pics of her and her absolute awesomeness.
With three elderly cats here at home and one of them just back from an emergency visit to the vet today,I am afraid that we too will be losing a beloved family member soon.
Sending big hugs your way...