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A Little Bit of Sanity and A Lot of Chaos: That darn cat

Saturday, June 19, 2010

That darn cat

I've put off this post for several days for several reasons....Mainly being that I didn't want to offend anyone or have anyone think that I am in anyway insensitive. Is that strange? I put off a post about a cat because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and I wanted everyone to still like me.....but then, I realized, again, that this is MY blog, this is about MY family and I am documenting OUR life and our feelings and things that revolve around OUR lives. See how I make everything about me?

So like it or not here is an attempt at being sensitive about life and death in regards to a cat:

If you know me at all or have known me for any length of time you know several things: I am addicted to chocolate. I live on Diet Coke. I like to run and bike. I am obsessed with furniture and I read the Twilight books in 8 days. All 5 of them (that's right, I read the on-line Edward version that the author posted.)

You will also know that I am deathly allergic to cats. And, I think they are a little sneaky and well, creepy. There I said it. I'm sorry to all you cat-lovers. I'm a dog person. Don't go away mad. Just go away...NO, only kidding! (I think my Dad used to jokingly say that to us, pretty sure he was quoting a song, what song is that?) Don't go away...keep reading....you'll want to...

So, don't like cats. BUT, Tom's parents were going on a trip for a month. They have a cat that needed to be watched. I figured we could do it. I mean really, they've done so much for us...what can a little kitty-cat do?

About three days into Ripley's stay, we started liking her. I started liking her. She would come and visit. She would want to be pet...she actually enjoyed the boys...and the dogs left her alone. See, I told you all you'd want to keep reading....Now. For those of you that don't do well with cat heaven, stop reading.

Ripley is 18. Ripley has glaucoma. Ripley is deaf in one ear (What?). Ripley has dementia. Seriously. Dementia. I mean really - how many people/animals in my life will have dementia? I'm dementia-ed out. So, Ripley started urinating all over our house. A LOT. Then on Thursday morning I went downstairs and found Ripley on the counter and in our front room/office/craft room a big puddle of cat pee.

So I called the Vet and took her in. They found a heart murmur. She's lost another 1/2 pound. Her glaucoma is worse. . . It could be a thyroid problem, diabetes, urinary tract infection....probably not behavioral because she knows our house and our family...So I called Tom's parents and asked them what they wanted me to do...and they asked me to put her down.

So, here's where a little bit of sense of humor helps. Because seriously if you can't laugh at life, then all I would do is cry....ALL.THE.TIME. There's a fine line between humor and being sensitive to death....I'm sure at some point I will cross that fine line....but, like many, I use humor to deal with tough situations.

NOW. Some of you might not agree with putting an animal down, and I totally understand that. I'm sure most of you would agree that at 18 years old a cat has seen a lot, as much as she could with one working eye, and that it was time....(too soon for humor?)

We went back to the Vet, we being the three boys and I (Tom's out of town!), and they took us to this private room, brought Ripley in and we said our goodbyes. (Some of you may not agree with the boys being there too and that's okay.) Then we put her on this little table and while Gus and Jack played together, Porter and I pet Ripley and they gave her medicine. Porter was so absolutely fantastic. Talking to her, and petting her, and she was so relaxed and so calm. Then I leaned on the table and it made a really loud noise and I totally ruined the moment....so me.

After the Vet said there wasn't a heartbeat anymore, the boys immediately asked if we could go and get water shooty things now. Go figure.

And then we went on with our day. I hate that. I hate that when something happens to someone the world doesn't stop and time doesn't stand still to mourn that person's loss. Everyone else just keeps going. And time keeps going. And people live their lives.

It was actually a very surreal experience. The boys had lots of questions, and I did my best to explain what happened. Because my Mom died, it was a lot easier to explain to them where Ripley was going and what Heaven is to us.

We've decided that we can't shield our boys from the natural things that happen in life. (The natural things. I still don't let them watch the News!) So we do our best to encourage questions and try and explain what happens. We talk a lot about my Mom and we spent the entire day talking on and off about Ripley.

So, I like Ripley. I cried saying goodbye to Ripley. That darn cat.

And life just keeps going on...

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Blogger Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

I enjoy posts about your family and furniture. I am not much of a cat person either and my son is HIGHLY allergic, but it is so easy to get attached. I am sorry you had to take the cat to the vet.

June 19, 2010 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Anita@GoingALittleCoastal said...

I love reading your family stories since it reminds me of my boys being little.

RIP Ripley. I was so expecting a "believe it or not" joke! Kids are amazing and can handle things better than adults some times. When my father died my great nephew was almost 4. My niece had to explain to him about heaven and where his Nonno was. Then that same week their dog had a massive seizure and my niece had to put him down. She was quite upset the whole week and he came up to her and said it will be okay mommy, Nonno will walk Buster in heaven!

June 19, 2010 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Lanie said...

I am a cat person and I put 2 down within 11 days of each other at 14 and 15 years old in March 2009. Then my Grandmother, Father-in-law and Mother passed away in April, August and October. So I can relate to the cats and to losing your Mom and to letting the kids ask the questions. And I can relate to "And then we went on with our day. I hate that. I hate that when something happens to someone the world doesn't stop and time doesn't stand still to mourn that person's loss. Everyone else just keeps going. And time keeps going. And people live their lives." I think humor is a great way to deal with tough stuff. Sorry for the book here,and so, so sorry for your loss, but I wanted you to know I really liked your post! ~Lanie J.

June 19, 2010 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I think that every child should watch a pet be put down. I know that sounds morbid, but it really DOES teach compassion and humanity. Just as they should watch a pet be put down though, I also think that they should watch a pet give birth. Both events are vivid memories that have stuck with me.

June 19, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Sunshine and Shadows said...

What a week. I'm glad the cat had your loving family in her last days.

June 19, 2010 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Kristy - we are much alike (except the having kids part.. no kids for me yet). I think cats are OK, when they belong to other people and don't bite me. I am a dog person, I live on diet coke. I love you for declaring that as well. You look perfectly healthy, so you are now me example of being healthy on coke... diet coke that is.
I love your posts, from your aweseome DIY and GW steals, to your family to cats. I've been a follower for a while, but haven't commented. So here's to firsts!

June 19, 2010 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Happy Mom said...

I feel the same way about cats, I think they're sneaky and suspicious. And I've never had an experience like yours to change my mind, but I'm glad you had one. I think those real life moments are so important for our children to experience.

June 19, 2010 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

Well, I am a cat person and you didn't offend me in the slightest! Thank you for sharing ~ I enjoyed reading it and I'm sorry about poor Ripley :(

I'm also a HUGE Twilight fan. I do "Twilight Thursdays" on my blog and you might enjoy it...check it out sometime! (www.thesimpler-life.blogspot.com)

June 19, 2010 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Kirsty, I'm sorry for your loss of the sweet kitty. The way you wrote about it was so touching and sweet.


June 19, 2010 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Hartwood Roses said...

I'm a cat person (though I am also allergic ... antihistamines are your friend), and a dog person, and a people person ... everyone is different. I love that you chose to share with us the way Ripley touched your family. For me, it's strangely comforting to have the power to choose euthanasia to take away our pets' suffering. It has always been my last (and best) act of love for them to be there when they die.

Including your children was a wonderful decision on your part. Too many people avoid difficult and painful decisions, and we tend to shield our children too much, in the name of protecting them. This was a positive thing that they will remember, and they will be better adults for the experience.

RIP, Ripley, and thank you for such a touching story.

June 20, 2010 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Rustique Gal said...

Kirsty, I'm a cat lover and this story didn't offend me! Actually the same thing happened to me with a little dog that charmed me into being a dog lover. When she was put down, I cried too. Now I petsit for lots of wonderful dogs and enjoy my two cats till they are gone. If only they lived as long as we do!

It is good to expose your boys to the ups and downs of life. Then they can ask their questions and get on without thinking wierd scary thoughts. You are a great MOM!

June 20, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

You've just made me laugh...and cry and I dont even know you! p.s. I love your blog:-)

June 20, 2010 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

We are SO much alike. Well, aside from the fact that you LIKE to run, and I just do it to keep myself from weighing 300 pounds. I also read all 5 Twilight books in a week. ;) I think you handled the cat thing great. We had two cats and had to put one to sleep about 18 months ago ... our boys were devastated, and they still ask about Ellie. Occasionally during prayers they will pray for her. Once Nathaniel asked God to make sure that Ellie got into a Club in Heaven so that she would have friends and not be lonely.

June 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Adinda said...

I am a new reader to your blog and a cat lover to boot but you didn't offend me in the slightest! I even laughed at the eye joke. If we don't try and find humor in everyday life, then we would all be miserable. Anyways, thank you for sharing your story, it was very touching. Also, thank you for doing the right thing. Some people don't agree but I think putting a pet to sleep is the most humane thing you can do for an animal when it is suffering. RIP Ripley. Ps. Love your blog! =)

June 25, 2010 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Holly @ Roller Coaster Life said...

Whew. I cried. And I hate cats!! So sad.. I had to take my parents dog to be put down... 8 months pregnant... yes I was a wreck!

What you said about hating that the world doesn't stand still totally hit me like a ton of bricks! My best friend died in 2003 and I was mad at the world for a really long time because of that! No one stopped their lives and I had to stop mine! It was hard... still is!

At least Ripley is no longer suffering in any kind of way..

October 4, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

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