Wednesday, September 9, 2015

currently: coping with loss

My return to blogging was going to be marked by an outfit post, with content centered around moving to a new place. I was going to highlight all the great things about our new place, but all of those things now have a dark cloud hanging over them, now that our cat is no longer with us. So instead, this post is about Jade.

My husband got Jade as a kitten, years before he and I had ever met. The two of them were best friends. Then I came along, and while Jade accepted my presence, we never had the kind of relationship she and my husband did. Shortly after, we got a dog, and then another. Although Jade and the dogs never became best friends, she at least tolerated them. And despite being the smallest, she had a large presence. Even though she spent most of her days in laundry baskets or in some other "Jade spot", she always came out in the evenings to be with us -- even if it was just sitting on the edge of the couch, she was always there.

Fast forward to this past July, to a time when she wasn't coming out of hiding at dinner time, and when she was out, she barely touched her food. This was very unusual, and very scary for us, so we took her to the vet. We found out that she had really high kidney values, which essentially means that she was undergoing kidney failure. And she wasn't even nine years old yet. The vet set us up with fluids to administer at home, a special kidney diet, and appetite stimulants. For a few weeks, this seemed to do the trick. Jade was eating again (though in hindsight not nearly as much as she should have been) and she seemed to be back to her usual activities (sleeping all day, hanging out in the corner of the room at night). Her appetite was hit or miss on a daily basis: some days she would eat her kidney food, other days she wouldn't touch it.

At the end of August, we moved into a bigger place. Jade seemed to have gotten a second wind. She was exploring, spending so much time staring out the windows, and just hanging out on the kitchen floor - even with the dogs around. I can't recall much of what happened between then and this past Saturday, when she spent most of the day sleeping, but would occasionally come out of hiding to vomit. I had hoped it was only a 24 hour bug and that she would be better in the morning. But Sunday morning she was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It's hard to write about; it's so emotionally taxing. In short, she was dying. In truth, Jade had been dying for the past few weeks. 

I miss Jade like crazy. And I'm so angry that the vet didn't make it clear that Jade was terminal. Have you ever lost a pet? Did you feel that you had actually lost a member of your family? Since moving away from immediate family, I had looked at myself, my husband, our two dogs, and our cat as our own unit. It has been the five of us on our own for four years. And now it's just the four of us. And it has been unimaginably painful.



RIP Jade
2006-2015

14 comments:

  1. i don't ever comment, but i am so, so sorry for your loss. i haven't lost a pet as an adult, but we have 3 cats so i know it's inevitable (hopefully not for a long, long time). pets are such a special part of life. i'm so sorry for your loss. jade sounds like a lovely cat.

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  2. Kate, I am so so sorry for the loss of Jade. Losing a pet is SO hard. At first, it's weird, them not being around. Then it just gets sad. I hope your dogs are extra cuddly with you both during this tough time. Jade looks so sweet. I'm sorry again for the loss of your little one :(

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  3. Oh gosh I'm so sorry, Kate. I had to put my very sick dog down when I was 21, and I'm not sure I'm over it, even now. It's amazing what a place they have in our hearts!! I hope your dogs give you guys extra snuggles and kisses in the coming weeks as you get used to the big hole her absence left. :(

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  4. I'm tearing up while reading this post. I'm so so sorry! I agree that pets are like family, especially once you head off on your own. I hope you can find peace knowing that you and J. gave Jade a really happy and loving home! She knew how much she was loved!

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  5. I am so sorry to hear all you've been going through! Losing a pet is very hard for so many reasons! She was a lucky cat to spend her life in your family. I'll be thinking and praying for you!

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  6. Oh Kate, I am so sorry to hear about Jade. Without children of my own, my pets are kind of my brood. It was very hard to loose our first dog three years ago. We knew what we were getting into when we adopted an older dog, but we did not expect her to be gone so soon. She was the sweetest and the house was busy, but felt so empty without her. There will always be a special place in our hearts for her.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear this! I remember how sad I was when my beloved childhood dog died, and I still miss him (and that was like 12 years ago!). I wish I had the perfect comforting thing to say, but there's nothing to say except I'm sorry.

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  8. Oh no, I'm so sorry Kate. Pets truly are members of our families, so I understand your grief. You two gave her a good home; she had a good life because you loved her.

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  9. Oh, Kate, I am SO sorry. Pets really ARE members of the family, and losing them is so incredibly painful. I lost a dog a few years ago that I had had since I was in kindergarten, and I really grieved for several months.
    May Jade rest in peace, knowing she was so very loved!

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  10. I'm so, so sorry about your loss. I've never lost a pet before, but my two dogs are not young, so as much as I don't want to, I will be dealing with that at some point.

    This is a really upsetting story and while it's never fair to lose a pet, especially at a young age, I just can't believe the vet didn't set your expectations correctly.

    Sending you hugs!
    Jackie
    Something About That

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  11. I am so sorry for the loss of Jade. I have never had a pet but can't imagine how painful it could be since they really are a part of your family.

    Sending you hugs,

    Alice
    www.happpinessatmidlife.com


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  12. So sorry for your loss. I have lost two dogs since I was a child and I still miss them terribly. It is so hard to lose a pet. I'm so sorry.

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  13. i'm really sorry, kate. this post about broke my heart. i have only dealt with the loss of one cat (she also had to be put down) and it was excruciating. my cat right now is getting older and i dread the day when she starts to decline. all pets are like members of our family and their loss is felt so strongly. thank you for sharing the story of jade with us, she looked like a beautiful cat! i hope you and your husband have been able to find some peace.

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  14. Oh my gosh, Kate. I'm so sorry to read about the loss of your beloved Jade. I know how important your pets are to you...it's beyond heartbreaking and devastating when they die. I hope that you and your husband can find some comfort in sharing memories of Jade. I'm sending you all the love and hugs.

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