In Memory of Mousie
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I'd like to thank everyone who wrote and shared stories regarding the passing of my cat, Mousie. I have never had to make the decision to put an animal to sleep, and it was one of the worst things I've ever had to do in my entire life. If I may, I would like to say a few words about this experience, because my heart is breaking, and Mousie's little life deserves acknowledgement, as they all do: (To enlarge the photo of Mom and Mousie, click on the photo or link)
I found him as a tiny kitten in the woods, when he ran in front of my dog and I. When I bent down to pick him up he rolled over on his back and playfully batted my fingers. He was the size of my palm. (To enlarge the photo of Baby Mousie, click on the photo or link)
I called him 'Mouse' because I would say "What's that little mouse jumping on your foot?" to my dog, Fox Boy, while he barked excitedly. "Mouse" turned into "Mousichelli", "Mousette" and "Yoda" because he had enormous saucer-like eyes as a baby; he would hang onto my neck and peer intently at my face with those huge Yoda eyes, like he was trying to figure out what kind of cat I was.
The neighborhood kids called him 'Socks' due to his white-tipped feet. (To enlarge the photo of Baby Mousie, click on the photo or link)
I am a dog person; but I loved that little monster immediately. He adored my dogs, though neither one had much feeling for him. I became severely asthmatic from him - but I couldn't dream of giving him up. Giving up dairy helped enormously.
He was there when each of my dogs passed, and when some animal protection issue was crushingly horrible, he helped me not fall apart. He was so full of life, always eager to run after a ball or dive-bomb the snow drifts that piled up on the porch in the winter. He jumped all over the apartment like a baby, even after being diagnosed with liver disease. I had started calling him "Baby cat", "Baby man", "Baby dog"; I always call my kids a variety of names. (To enlarge the photo of Baby Mousie, click on the photo or link)
In one of the bad jokes of the universe, though his liver was improved, he had an undiagnosed aggressive cancer. He was 12 years old, not all that old for a cat. I thought he was better, and knew I'd have him a few more years. (To enlarge the photo of Mousie, click on the photo or link)
Two weeks ago he had a seizure; then he got up, seemed okay, and ate a good meal. The vet said just watch him.
The next day he began seizuring violently, like someone was picking him up and smashing his little body. I rushed him to the emergency vet, then moved him to his regular vet in the morning. This began a week of trying to find out what was wrong, knowing what I had to do, praying he'd pass on his own - and holding out hope that he'd wake up and come home. He had lost all bodily functions including being able to digest his food, the vet said he 'wasn't my cat anymore' - but his heart continued beating. (To enlarge the photo of Mousie writing his novel, click on the photo or link)
Finally, watching him seizure repeatedly, still unconscious, clearly suffering, I called the vet in. I prayed the floor would open up and swallow me; I prayed God would stop his heart before I had to say the word; I would have given anything to not have to do this to my little darling boy - who took a flying leap at the front door when the raccoon knocked on it for his dinner...who strutted on top of the refrigerator after a raw dinner, like he was the Lion King...who mischievously just had to bite Ellie's ears when she ate her supper... (To enlarge the photo of Mousie and Ellie in Winter, click on the photo or link)
Then his little feet finally lay quiet. Now I think I see him for a moment, hear him at his scratching post in the morning. I mourn his passing even while there is another homeless one 'waiting in the wings'. (To enlarge the photo of Mousie in Winter, click on the photo or link)
(To enlarge the photo of Mousie, click on the photo or link) Thanks to Arlene Kahn for kindly sending a quote from Ilsa Paschal Richardson, with this note, which she said was '...From Mousie with enormous gratitude':
"GRIEVE NOT, NOR SPEAK OF ME WITH TEARS, BUT LAUGH AND TALK OF ME AS IF I WERE BESIDE YOU. I LOVED YOU SO...'TWAS HEAVEN HERE WITH YOU"
...and to everyone else who shared their stories of holding out hope, of confusion, of second-guessing and remorse. It was an enormous help after my loss was compounded with the shattering effect of having to 'make the decision.' (To enlarge the photo of Mousie and Ellie, click on the photo or link)
Love and blessings to all,
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