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.

 

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Chattanooga, Where Heroes Fell

On Monday I said I would update my blog later in the week. This is not the update I planned on. Thursday morning at 10:45, I was encouraging my son to get his shoes on because we had errands to run. Thirty minutes to the South, a man in a silver convertible was firing shots and killing people.

flag at half mastYesterday in Chattanooga a 24 year old man, named Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, killed four Marines and injured three others in what is being called an act domestic terror. This young man grew up in Chattanooga. He went to school in Chattanooga from primary school through University. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga just three years ago with a degree in electrical engineering.

My errands kept me local but this is still right in my back yard. As I was buckling my son’s seat belt, this man was driving down the road in his ford mustang and firing shots into a recruitment center. As I was waiting for a red light to change and laughing at something my son said, four United States Marines lost their lives at the Naval Reserve Center.

Right now a Marine Recruiter has a bullet wound in his leg while four of his brothers lie in marinesbody bags. A Chattanooga Police officer is recovering from surgery and a Navy Sailor is fighting for his life. This happened on American soil. This happened in the heart of the South.

I am deeply saddened and my own heart is broken for the families of these brave people. When you sign up for military service, you are essentially writing a blank check to your government. You never expect that check to be cashed at home. I have cousins who are Marines. I have Navy Sailors as relatives and friends. My grandfather and my Uncle served in the Army. My ex-husband was in the Air Force and so were his parents.

Americans died and Americans were wounded here on American soil. These are People who stood up when the questions were asked: “Who will defend our country? Who will give their all for their fellow Americans? Who will serve? Who will protect?”

Brothers, Fathers, Sons,….Americans. These are members of our extended family even though we may never have met them. These are our Heroes. Today I mourn our fallen heroes.

Another Hero Gone

Yesterday on Facebook, I saw that a friend posted about the death of Sir Terry Pratchett. I was on my phone waiting in line for school to let out so I didn’t investigate. I simply posted a question back and then made a mental note to look it up later, because surely it was some kind of mistake.

There are websites out there who go around posting fake celebrity deaths, so I thought she must have fallen for one of those.  We just lost Leonard Nimoy, surely Death wouldn’t take Sir Terry from us on the heels of losing Spock.  It turns out I was wrong.

This morning I found that mental note, among the rest of the detritus in my head, and investigated. We did indeed lose Sir Terry Pratchett and another piece of my heart has traveled to the other side with him.

I never met Sir Terry, but I read his books. I loved them. I still do.

If someone came to me with a magic pen and said: “This will let you write in your own voice but with the genius of another writer, but you can only pick one…”   I wouldn’t have used the pen because there is always a catch with those things; but if I had been foolish enough to give it a go, Sir Terry would have been the writer I picked.  His talent is something I will always look up to.

Another one of my heroes has passed and left me with only memories. Funny how that works. Robin Williams, Leonard Nimoy, Sir Terry Pratchett…I never met any of them but some how my world has been brighter with an extra dose of hope and magic in it because they lived.terrypratchett1