I haven’t been the best of updaters this week, I know. I don’t want to say I have a great excuse, mainly because I don’t like ‘excuses’. But there is a reason.
Last Friday, I had to say goodbye to my furry four legged girl.
Her name is Stella and she was named after the children’s book Stella Luna. And she looked like Toothless from ‘How To Train Your Dragon’. She was born on St. Patrick’s day in 2000, so I would never forget her birthday or her age. I won’t go into detail about adopting her, moving to Los Angeles from Seattle, divorcing and all that. I’ll tell you she was the smartest cat I’ve ever known. She figured out how to pull things across a counter with string, she could open doors, she knew when to wait and when to be calm if she heard me tell her ‘it’s okay’. She met me at the front door when I came home from work, every night, right up to the last night I had with her.
We discovered she had an inoperable carcinoma tumor in her lower bowel, back in January. When she was initially diagnosed, the vet said, if she was a betting person, she wouldn’t give her a month. Not only did she last the month, she was doing better than before she started showing signs of a problem. I was secretly hoping some crazy miracle happened and suddenly the cancer was gone. But that wasn’t the case. The vet put her on prednisone, and the steroid caused all the swelling to go down, so she was doing really good for a long time. And then, she wasn’t.
I had decided at the very beginning that whatever happens, I would only think of Stella first, and try my hardest to not be selfish. Everyone said I would know, ‘You’ll know. You’ll just know’ When things started to go downhill I wasn’t sure I would know. I don’t want her to go too soon, but I don’t want her to suffer, she’s still doing things she loves, she still wants to be brushed, she still meets me at the door every night.
I was sure that I wouldn’t know, that upset me so much. I just wanted to be there for her and strong for my BF and an adult about the whole thing. Suddenly, I did know. It’s a real fine line – and it was quick.
After everything was over, I was surprised by the one thing I wasn’t expecting to feel – anger. Yes I was sad, I didn’t feel guilty, I knew I did the right thing. I was pissed off as all hell. After it happened, I sobbed into my hands, in the passenger seat of my boyfriend’s car, yelling how badly I didn’t want this to happen. It still gets me – I didn’t want this, I wanted her to get better, I don’t want her to be gone. It makes me so angry.
It’s a week later and I still find myself bursting into tears when my mind starts to wander. This morning it was because I couldn’t remember if she woke me up by kissing my forehead Friday morning or Thursday morning. Sometimes it’s because I think Cleo (the younger furry girl) misses her too. But usually my heart sinks every time I open my front door, coming home from work, and there’s no one there to meet me.