Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The First Morning

Yesterday was such a hard day. Rico and I are both completely devastated by the loss of Parceiro, and we've been struggling with intense waves of grief.

Friends poured in as they heard the news. Jenny and Paco brought us flowers and chocolates and beer. Lindsey brought beer and food. Kelly and Marcos brought a beaded wire angel for us to remember our boy (which Pria immediately batted off the table and began chasing around the living room). Sheila and Deepak brought sandwiches and cookies from Nautilus, and more beer. It was actually really nice to be in the company of so many people, especially since they are all animal lovers and a couple knew Parceiro pretty well.

Rico had an especially tough night. He talked in his sleep nonstop, and kept repeating scenes aloud from the vet, or as if he were talking to Parceiro. At one point he even slapped my face (in his sleep, mind you), as if trying to wake me up, and kept repeating "hang on! hang on!".

The thing I am struggling the most with at this point, beyond the sheer sadness of not having our boy around, is guilt. I know it's not helpful to beat one's self up over the past, over things that cannot be changed. Still, I keep thinking about the last few weeks. Parceiro was already on his C/D diet, and seemed to be his regular playful, sweet self. He was eating and drinking, and didn't appear to be sick. However, I saw him a couple of times straining to pee while in the litter box, lingering in there much longer than normal. I just assumed that he was peeing okay, albeit with some difficulty, and that the prescription food would do the trick. He was also licking himself a lot, but I just figured it was part of the process. My warning sign that would trigger a trip to the vet was when Parceiro would pee outside the box. Since he hadn't gone outside the box, I thought we were okay.

I know now how horribly wrong I was. I wish I'd taken him to the vet sooner. I wish we'd known about Dr. Isabel and Dr. Sergio earlier, so that perhaps we would have understood better Parceiro's condition and whether it was serious a few weeks ago, and if there was something that could have been done. It kills me to think that I was in some way negligent, ignoring the cries for help from our boy.

He's gone now, and in a better place, and I just have to keep thinking about that. Last night Rico and I imagined Parceiro in a world filled with fleece blankets and packaged cat treats. The land of fleece and junk.

I miss him so much. I know with time this will get easier, but right now I am completely overwhelmed by our loss.


Marlton Jul said...

I am so sorry. My heart is so heavy and sad for all of you. You and Rico did all you could for your little guy. And he knows that. It was his time. I know how sad it is to think that.
Your tribute and pictures are beautiful. Your words bought tears to my eyes.
Please give your Pria a kiss for me.It is amazing how our animals feel the loss and sense the changes that have occurred. I will pray for all of you to help you get through your grief. Julie

Ali la Loca said...

~Julie - Thank you for your prayers. I never thought it would be this hard. Pria is sitting at my feet, and I will give her a kiss on your behalf.

Teri said...

I read your blog regularly but rarely ever commented; however, as an animal lover too, I felt compelled to tell you how very sorry I am about your kitty and how much I feel your pain--your words were beautiful and haunting. As I write this, my once ferocious, feral kitten is sleeping on my shoulder. All of my kitties and woofies will get extra treats and snuggles tonight in honor of your sweet Parceiro. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

JOSÉ said...

I do understand how you feel and my heart goes out to you. This articles brought tears to my eyes. I had 3 cats, lost one to feline leukeamia and was totally devastated. Tommy got 5 star treatment from the vet, was supposed to live another 2 years and lived another 5 years to the fullest. I had my other two cats vaccinated against feline leukeamia; my cats are neutered or spayed but Tiger still loves to wander about. I also lost Daisy,a miniature daschund due to my ex vet's negligence and it took me a long time to accept it. My cat Tiger has exactly the same condition as your Parceiro. He was urinating blood and was crying in pain as he tried to pass urine. I could not bear to watch him suffering like that. Rushed him immediately to the vet and he was diagnosed and received the right treatment. He had to stay at the vet for 3 days, was on a drip and the vet managed to extract some of the crystals with a catheter (?) and has since been permanently on the Hill's c/d (chicken flavour)diet. I have a very good and understanding vet - top of the range - who is always available (he has an emergency number)and his consulting rooms are located next door to his house. My vet suspects that Tiger must have eaten the dogs pellets (for my other miniature Daschund) and developed this chronic condition. Dogs are allowed to eat cats food but not the other way around. Tiger has picked up a lot of weight on this diet, as the food is very rich and he is a very 'greedy cat'. My vet's name is Dr. Wolf Staude, telephone number consulting rooms is (011)7532427 and emergency number 0824480510. I also have 6 dogs and two cats (Tinkerbell and Tiger) who all get royal treatment from us, as we are all big animal lovers. We stay in Carletonville, 80 km away from Johannesburg.
Gloria & Jose de Matos

Safiya Outlines said...

I'm so so sorry to hear about the loss of your Gato Gray. You must miss him so much. Just know that he had a wonderful life with you and you did the best you could. Also, he was able to die in the arms of his loved ones, which is a real blessing for a cat.

judy in ky said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know how a little cat can touch your heart and become such a big part of your life. (I have three.) I'm glad to hear that you have so many good friends there who are supporting you. I know the guilt is the worst part. A pet lover is never sure if they have done the best thing, because they can't talk to us. I had to have a cat euthanized when I realized she was suffering too much, but it's so hard to know for sure.
It was good that Rico was with her. I'm sure it's hard on him, though. Please add my prayers to all the others.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Oh honey, you have done nothing wrong. I am sorry about all of this.

Ali la Loca said...

~Teri - Thank you for commenting today. It helps to read these messages in the moments when we most miss Parceiro. Take care of your furry ones. Your prayers and thoughts are much appreciated.

~José - Thank you for telling the stories of your cats. My mom and her husband had a cat called Tiger - he was one of the fattest cats I've ever seen, even more so than Parceiro at the end. Parceiro did get quite tubby on the c/d food, but he loved it so much! I don't know why Parceiro developed this condition and Pria didn't; they eat all the same foods, have the same habits, etc. I'm struggling still to accept what has happened. Thank you for sharing your vet's contact info. It is a very helpless feeling not to have 24-hour vet care, but at least the new vet we've found in Maputo seems to be quite caring and good. The first vet we were going to was cold and defeatist. It's hard not to think what role his treatments (or lack thereof) may have played in Parceiro's passing, but I know that's not productive so I'm trying not to dwell on it.

~Safiya - Yes, it was a blessing that he died in Rico's arms (although those memories are very, very hard to process through now that Parceiro has gone). Thank you for your kind words.

~Judy in KY - The guilt is terrible. I am struggling not to play the "what if?" game. At least Parceiro went on his own and didn't have to be euthanized, though we would have made that decision if necessary. I miss him so much!

~Monkey - I try to believe this, but at this point it is hard not to think I could have prevented his condition, or at least treated it earlier and in a better way. Thank you, though, for your words. I know that we did the best we could in the end...