Thinking about death is terrifying, especially when it is inevitable. I am being faced with that right now in the form of my thirteen-year-old cat, Itty Bitty.
In early summer, just a few months ago, my kitty was diagnosed with breast cancer. A tumor had formed in her belly and we agonized over what to do. After a long talk with our veterinarian, we decided to have her undergo surgery to have the lump removed. The surgery was a success and everything seemed fine. Then three days ago, we took her back to the vet to discover to our horror that she had lost three lbs in just three short months and another tumor had formed. We cannot even do another surgery because she would not survive it; fluid is starting to form around her heart and lungs. She has maybe three months left to live.
Everyone who knows me knows that I love animals, especially my own pets. There hasn’t been a time in my life that my family did not have a pet and the same goes for my mom. I fell in love with animals from a young age and even now consider the ones I have my best friends. To know that I’m going to be losing one is like losing a limb, almost literally. Some of you may not understand the bond between pet and “owner” and think I’m being silly, but what are animals if not living creatures like us, who can love and hate and feel?
To clarify, I’m not writing this just because I feel sad or because I’m going on hiatus again (I’m not – at least not that I’m planning on it since I just got back from one) I’m doing this because I don’t talk about life often. This blog is dedicated to history, but sometimes it’s good for me and for everyone else to take a step away from that (and it’s good for my readers to know that I’m not just a computer spouting passages from a textbook)
I’m human. I feel things and right now I feel pain. When I’m not doing schoolwork, I’m crying. Right now, I’m writing this post with tears in my eyes because I’m so terrified that I can’t sleep. Knowing that any moment with a loved one can be their last is not a good feeling and there is nothing that short of a miracle that can make me feel better at this point.
I remember meeting my Itty Bitty Kitty thirteen years ago. It was Easter Sunday at my cousins’ house. My cousin Tony was exploring their backyard where my uncle kept an unused boat. Inside, Tony found a litter of kittens. In time, they were all adopted out except for one – the little black one with gorgeous emerald green eyes and a gentle innocent look fixed on her adorable face. Tony kept her her for nearly a year until a family trip sent her to my house for a week. By the time that week was over, she was ours. I was ten years old and I fell in love for the second time that week (the first time was with my other cat Kenickie, but that’s a story for another time.)
Ever since then, Itty Bitty – as my mother named her – has been a loving companion. Always gentle and sweet and getting into trouble with her accident-prone curiosity, it was hard not to love her. And now, slowly but surely, it’s nearing time to say goodbye.
Anyway, I’m sorry to take up everyone’s time with this, but I really felt the need to get this off my chest, especially since everyone I know keeps asking me about it and I don’t want to have to keep explaining the situation; the thought alone is enough to literally make me sick right now. I appreciate all the love and support everyone has been giving me and my family these past few days. Please continue to keep my little girl in your thoughts and prayers and be sure to hug your loved ones and tell them you love them. Like me, you don’t know how much time you have left to be together. I myself intend to cherish every moment I can until the time comes that Itty Bitty feels it is time to leave us, so i may continue to be scarce here for a little while.
Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.