touch and go…

Another pet will probably be leaving us soon.

IMG_4985Sitka…who thinks he’s a lap dog…not a “leave me to my own devices” feline. If he could attach himself to my body…or anyone’s for that matter…he would. His life is intricately intertwined with his humans. He doesn’t want to be anywhere except with us. If he could curl up around our necks and live there, only uncurling himself to eat and do “his business,” he would.

Sitka’s nearly 14…a long life in cat years. Not long enough for him, I’m sure. He’ll always be young at heart, living the carefree life of the youngster he most assuredly thinks he is. Always reaching up the length of my body to be carried…to be snuggled…to be loved like a child. 

Sitka, who could never get enough love it seems. Makes me wonder what his life before 8 weeks had been like. I adopted him, and his sibling Juneau, from the local animal shelter around that time. It was the day after 9/11. They were my own personal homage to lives lost on that horrific day. Diagnosed as having “worms,” I had to keep them apart from my two other cats so they wouldn’t contract the disease.

IMG_2145For a month Sitka and Juneau lived in our downstairs bathroom, much to their dislike. Every day I had to scrub down the floors, counter tops, toilet, shower stall and sink with disinfectant so that the cats would not reinfect themselves with those nasty little buggers. Every day I had to spend quality time with them closed off from the rest of the family, assuring my little boys that they were loved. Every day they tried to rip the door off its hinges…literally…in an effort to escape solitary confinement. Once my husband even had to take the door off its hinges. The boys had pulled out a drawer of the cabinet so that we couldn’t even open the door. Funny now. Sheer pandemonium then.

When we moved to Washington in 1998, we brought along 2 cats…sisters, Fudgie and Sunkist. After 9/11, Sitka and Juneau joined the family. A few years later our dear Mocha ruled the roost as the only dog. They all figured out how to make the most of their living arrangements.

Being the least inclined to follow anyone’s lead, Sunkist was the grand dame. Fudgie seemed to shrink from contact, preferring to hover nearby instead. Sitka, the friendliest of the bunch, wanted to be pals all around. Juneau preferred to body-slam his affection, especially with Mocha who tolerated, sometimes even tussling with his unlikely opponent. Once we had to reprimand Mocha for dragging Juneau a few inches by the scruff of his neck, as well as scold Juneau for making a nuisance of himself with Mocha.IMG_5213

IMG_4990When grandkitty Misha came home with his mom, our daughter, to vacation or, on occasion, to spend several months…or a year, the house would be in an uproar. Misha usually flounced his weight around, gaining the upper paw by sheer magnetism and charisma. He is one cat who doesn’t cotton to occupying the lower rung on any ladder, animal or human. As with the others, he soon learned that grammy…me…was the predominant alpha. Once he learned that golden rule…Misha settled in just fine with the others. Oh, he still drove me up the walls…splashing water all over the place in an effort to clean himself off while drinking water. We went through several innovative concoctions, not to mention types of water bowls, to save the wood floors from being drenched and eventually warping. Now that he’s happily settled in with his mom again, she has that headache with which to contend. And I can return to carrying on about what a cute, little grandkitty he is…from 3,000 miles away. Although I do love him as much as my own boys.

Sitka’s blood platelet count has been descending rapidly…for some unknown reason, it seems. The vet, a compassionate man who has doctored to Sitka’s needs since he was 8 weeks old, suspects cancer. In an effort to stabilize and even elevate his blood count, the doctor is trying every and all medication he can think of to turn things around for our little fella. In the end, however, it is about quality of life. I never want any of our pets to suffer for our sake. Once we become aware that they are struggling to hang on…it’s time to let go…and remember them during the best of times.

By the end of the week our little man might be gone…joining siblings Sunkist, Fudgie, Mocha and even earlier family members, Sushi our Shitsu and Bandit our Persian,(and many others before that for there was never a time I was without pets.)

I still have all their ashes…in little, floral tins provided by the crematoriums. One day I will spread them out in the garden so that they will be remembered year round as I wander about…among the flowers…the fallen leaves…the light dusting of snow.

…remembering those who love us…unconditionally.

………hugmamma.

(Move your cursor over each photo to read captions.)

Enjoy more pet shares at
https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/michelles-weekly-pet-challenge/

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23 thoughts on “touch and go…

  1. Pingback: Weekly Pet Share. Round-up and start of new week (81) | Hope* the happy hugger

  2. That time when they are old and not well, is the most difficult for us…need to let go when they start hurting. I hope Sitka will have some more good days…being loved by his dear humans.

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  3. I know each animal has its own personality. My mother used to treat our pets and children pretty much the same in some ways. My and my husband’s last pet was a love bird. He used to perch on the shower rod when my husband took a bath. He adored my husband because he was alone with him a lot being I worked at the time.

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    • Pets help us take stock of our lives, I think. I know I’ve learned to stop and sit a spell because of them. I’ve also learned to value loved ones more than possessions because of them. They’ve also taught me to “go with the flow.” All good things when it comes to leading a meaningful life.

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  4. What a beautiful post. As the owner of, or should I say “owned by 2 cats, I can relate to your story. Ours were adopted at different times, and though they are very different , personality wise, they are also very alike in that they are lovers of each other and of me and my husband.
    My condolences to you. I had a 16 year old I’d raised from a kitten who I had to let go of and I will always remember the heartache of saying good-bye. Hugs. ❤

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    • Aloha for the kind words. Sitka’s not yet gone to Heaven…he’s hanging in by a thread at the vet’s. If we bring him home at the end of the week, it will probably be for a short, quality time stay with us…until he leaves for good. Whatever is best for him is fine with us…he’s been a blessing…such a love. hugs…

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    • I still feel the presence of our dog Mocha. She was always nearby during the day, so she and I were BFF’s. I always felt safe knowing she would bark at the slightest sound, especially comforting when my husband traveled for business…sometimes for 2 weeks. Pets…dear friends all…become part of our everyday fiber. All of mine…from childhood on…remain a part of me to this day. hugs…

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  5. That’s the sad part of having pets. Know you’re not alone in your sadness — but look at all the great memories you have! And your kitties have them, too. More to bring over to the other side, you think? People should have such compassion for their fellow humans when they pass over. You are inspirational, my friend.

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    • Seeing their lives come to an end is really tough. Moreso now that I too am older…and heading towards the “last roundup” myself. I will always have one cat. Another dog requires more care, especially when its health wanes. At that point, my arthritis will make it even more difficult for me to care for its aging…and medical needs. Too, dogs are harder for me to lose. They are like shadows, becoming so much a part of me and my every move. I’m humbled that you think I inspire. hugs…lots!

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hugs for sharing some brief thoughts...and keeping them positive

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