Mourning Max

3This May I lost my cat Max to cancer. It was sudden and I wasn’t prepared. I took him to the vet because he wouldn’t eat; I thought I was being overprotective and they would tell me he had a cold or something. I thought “better safe than sorry”.  Turns out sorrow can creep up on you even if you are trying to be safe.

The doctor came back after doing some x-rays to let me know Max wasn’t going to get better. She had felt a mass in his abdominal region and wanted to get a better look. The mass showed up as several tumors that were pushing down on his digestive system. He couldn’t eat or drink because he couldn’t go to the bathroom. There was nowhere for the waste to go and it would only get worse until he eventually died in great pain.

During this explanation, Max kept trying to crawl back into his carrier. He wanted to go home. He didn’t feel well and he wanted me to hold him or take him home. I shattered.

I had Max from the time he was a tiny kitten. I probably have other posts about him on this blog. He showed up on my porch three years ago with a bad eye infection. He 4eventually lost both his eyes, yet being blind never slowed him down.

He knew when it was time for me to come home from work and would wait near the door for my arrival. Then he would stand up on his hind paws and reach up, like a toddler, wanting to be picked up for cuddles. He very rarely meowed, we joked that it interfered with his sonar, but his purr was strong and deep.

So there I stood in the vet’s office facing the worst possible scenario. They advised that we put him to sleep. The cancer was too widespread for them to operate. They asked that I stay with him while they got him prepared, in order to keep him calm. I didn’t want my baby to suffer any more than he already was so I agreed. I stroked his soft black fur as the injected him with a tranquilizer. I eased him down to his side as it took effect.

7 Tears blinded me through the whole processes. Yet when the vet came in with the final shot I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t watch the life leave him, so I gathered my things and fled. I couldn’t tell you what the vet bill was. I just shoved my credit card at them, signed where the told me, and then left.

I could have taken the body home but I wasn’t strong enough at that point to deal with it. So the vet’s office took care of that as well. (They are a very well respected office in my city. A bit more pricey than some others but the way they treat the animal is worth it. They didn’t just dump him in the trash can out back.)

2So here I am. It’s two months later and my heart is still broken. I miss my Max terribly. We have two other cats and I love them, but I was Max’s person. The other cats have claimed my kids. Our chihuahua is without a doubt my son’s dog. All the animals have been giving me extra attention since Max passed away but there is still a hole…



This story has been more difficult to write than I thought it would be so I am going to have to cut it in half. This is the sad half. Like most serious events in life, this experience clings to me. However, there is a light of hope and happiness. Her name is Molly. I will tell that story in the next post.



Will you, Won’t you, Will you, Won’t you, Won’t you join the Dance?

taffy_pull_machineLately I feel pulled in so many directions that I imagine I must look like salt water taffy by now. (with a lot of lumps.)  There is a Convention at the end of the month that I had planned on attending.  I have my hotel and ticket paid for. But then some unexpected bills cropped up and I couldn’t afford to go.  Travel expenses and food during the trip just could not be squeezed into my budget, and a few things that did need to go in got dropped.

Then my brother had a problem which, in a way, works to my benefit.  He was also handshake2supposed to attend the same Con but had no transportation.  He has gas money but no car, and I have a car but no gas money.  You can see where this would be mutually beneficial.

instantcoffeeSo it has been tentatively decided that I will drive and he will pay for the travel.  I still have to come up with food money but that is a lot more doable.  A person can survive off of PB &J and instant coffee for a few days.

The other problem is that my costume is no where near complete and I have only one day pink elephantbetween getting off of work and leaving for the Convention.  Still, it isn’t an insurmountable issue.  It is just one of the little things I am stressing over because I want to avoid looking at the real thing I am worried about.  That big giant monster I am afraid to glance at or even really think about.

Next week is my dad’s birthday.  The day after his birthday he has to go in for surgery on his face.  He has a quarter sized sore that won’t heal on his cheek.  It’s skin cancer.  There is a big long name for it involving scary words like malignant and melanoma and something else that starts with a C.

This isn’t the first time it has been removed.  A few years ago they cut it out, did skin grafting, and said they got it all.  Then it came back and now he has to go through it all over Patient-Centered-Careagain.  He also has four or five other smaller spots that have to be taken care of as well.

He is worried.  He hates going to the doctor even for check ups and this is way more than that.  My mom is worried.  She sees that he is upset and she knows that there is nothing she can do.  The doctor even quoted statistics to them at the last appointment.  They were not pleasant statistics.  Apparently a lot of people die from what he has.  My dad joked: “Was that before or after the operation?”   It made us smile but the smile was just the band aide on top of the worry.  It is still there and I am feeling lost.


“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle – will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

“You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!”
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance —
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

“What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied.
“There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France —
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

– From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll