Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Saying Goodbye

A cherished gift from a special author friend.

In moments when I'm being perfectly honest with myself I admit that I'd been saying goodbye to Tara a little bit each day over the past year. When she was diagnosed on August 24, 2012 with congestive heart failure and a splenic mass I knew that our time together was coming to an end. The fact that she did quite well for almost another year (a fact that amazed her doctors) shows what a tough little tortie she was.

I trace her decline to just before Father's Day when she began to weaken. Up until the very end she was determined to do her typical cat stuff (even though just walking to the litter box took a little longer) and have a good appetite. I started working from home more and more so that I had to leave her as little as possible so I could help her around the house.

The night of Friday, July 5, I debated going to bed. I didn't want to leave her in the living room alone but she had to stay near her litter pan and I just had to get away for awhile. When I woke up Saturday morning I had to stop for a moment to see if she was breathing; she hadn't moved all night. She just picked at her breakfast, so I made a run to the grocery store to pick up one of her favorite treats, hickory smoked deli turkey. She ate an entire slice! Through the afternoon she perked up a little and I went to Petco to get a few more cans of a new food we had just discovered and she loved, Merrick Purrfect Bistro Salmon Pate. She ate an entire can for dinner!

As the evening went on, she was unable to stand. I think that scared her the most. Around midnight I carried her to the back door so she could lie there for awhile and get some fresh air. I made up a bed for myself on the living room floor, held her paw in my hands, and whispered to her that it was ok to let go when she took her final breaths at 2am on Sunday, July 7th. She left this Earth with the same strength and grace with which she lived. I couldn't have asked for a better ending but it still hurts like hell.

Thank you, Cat Blogosphere, for the beautiful tribute.

I know the grieving process will take time. I've lost pets before and thought that with a year to prepare I was ready but I think it hurts even worse this time. She needed so much...and I was the one that gave her everything she needed; now I can't. The days are emptier, longer without her here. I find myself at loose ends not having her to care for 24/7.

The afternoon of the day she died I started watching Muppets Take Manhattan to try to take my mind off of my grief. Big mistake. It had been 25 years since I'd watched the movie and had forgotten one of the featured songs...Saying Goodbye. While I had said goodbye to her earlier that morning, it was really until we meet again. We were so connected that when my time comes I know she'll be the first one lined up to greet me at the Pearly Gates.

I always said she was my little angel. Now she has her wings.

47 comments:

  1. What a Beautiful Tribute to Tara!! We know you will miss her! And we are very sad that we didn't get to meet her sooner!! She seemed like a wonderful Kitty and very smart, too!
    Hugs,
    Your TX furiends,

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    1. I so regret not getting her started blogging sooner. I no sooner got a knack for her voice and then I lost her. Thanks for the sweet message!

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  2. I'm so sorry for you loss of dear Tara. What a gift to leave naturally with you at her side. Sometimes when we have a long time to prepare we may think the grieving is easier but the anticipatory grieving is separate from the grieving now. I send gentle healing purrs.

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    1. Thanks Layla...it definitely was a gift for us.

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  3. That's a very sweet and touching tribute to Tara. It is so painful to say goodbye. We are sending you love and purrs.

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  4. What a sweet tribute. Kowing it's coming doesn't make the grief afterward any shorter. You still have to process it in its own time. Tara sounds like a wonderful cat, and she was lucky to be so loved.

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    1. She was so special...I was lucky to have been the one that found her.

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  5. Beautiful, Melissa. I feel your pain, having lost a lot of furry friends over the years. You will meet again, and until then she will live in your heart. xo

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  6. Oh, Melissa. This breaks my heart. I am so sorry. You are such a great mom and Tara loved you so much.

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    1. Thanks Tonya. We were quite a team.

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  7. A lovely tribute to Tara and we know you will miss her very much. She will be watching over you from Rainbow Bridge and if you feel a breath on your cheek in the night you will know she has to come to bring you a kiss. Take care.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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    1. Thanks Hannah and Lucy; I know she'll always be looking out for me.

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  8. What a lovely tribute. We're so sorry that Tara had to leave xxx

    The Paw Relations

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  9. Well, Hells Bells. I'm crying my eyes out over here. Yes, I had to play the video. I'm so glad you had the extra time with Tara and that she was able to enjoy her foodie treats til the end.

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    1. I really couldn't have asked for a better end to our story, even though it happened way before I would have wanted it to.

      That song is a killer, isn't it???

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  10. You made me shed a few tears reading this thinking about my own pets I have lost. This is a loving tribute to Tara and very well written. Look up a poem called the rainbow bride, Hope it can make you feel better.

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    1. I love the Rainbow Bridge poem; it is so very special.

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  11. What a lovely tribute to Tara. {{{{Melissa}}}}

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  12. OH how my heart goes out to you.. I too am very sorry Tara had to leave.


    I don't think watching the muppets was a mistake, I think it was what was needed at the moment in time when you needed it.

    May the joy of her life out shadow the pain of her death sooner rather than later.

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    1. Finding that movie on that day after all these years certainly seems like it was meant to be. It will always be extra special to me now.

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  13. Beautiful words. Tara sounds so special. A true gift that you were able to be together when she had to leave. Sending gentle purrs....

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    1. She was one of the greatest gifts of my life.

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  14. What a beautiful post. You've got me in tears here because this story reminds me so much of how I lost my beloved tabby Darya several years ago. She needed special care for a while as she slowly declined, and she passed very early one Sunday morning as she slept next to me. Wishing you healing days ahead...

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    1. Thanks Roby...I think the ones that need extra care touch us the most deeply.

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  15. I am so sorry you have lost Tara - I know how hard that is. Sometimes when they need so much extra attention in their lives it is even harder when they cross over. She is with you always just on the other side of the veil, waiting and watching over you.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Cats of wildcat woods

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    1. She will always be in my heart and by my side, just in a different way.

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  16. What a lovely tribute to Tara. I am sorry for your loss. I lost my BearBear a year ago in August and I still get teary eyed. They stay in your heart forever.
    Sue B

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  17. I am so sorry to hear about Tara. That was a beautiful tribute.

    Carol

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  18. I'm so sorry you lost her. There are those very special cat-friends and it sounds as if she was one of those. Sending good thoughts.

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  19. Saying good-bye is so hard! We're sorry it came Tara's time to leave. Such a pretty girl. Hugs, purrs and pawtaps.

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    1. Thanks Jan...she was purr-fect in every way.

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  20. We are so sorry you lost your beloved Tara. Please know that we are purring and praying for your heart as you mourn her passing. Hugs to you.

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  21. It is impressive how hard a little ball of fur can hold on to your heart, and how much it can hurt when she leaves you. We didn't know Tara, but it is clear she was a loving, and much loved kittie. ppuurrrrrrrrrssss

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    1. Yes, she was worshipped and adored and she knew it :)

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  22. What a wonderful tribute to your Tara. Tears are just pouring from my eyes. It brings back thoughts of the dogs and cats we've lost. I remember my husband sleeping on the floor with his favorite beagle for days before we had to let him go. My heart goes out to you.

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    1. Thanks Sue...unfortunately it's the price we have to pay for loving these little angels so very much.

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  23. My parents had a cat, Blackie, who had heart failure. They put her to sleep in January. She was sick for a while and didn't eat much so we didn't know what was wrong with her. They could've given her pills to extend her life some but didn't want to do that because it's so hard to give a cat pills. Blackie was a feral cat but ended up living indoors. She was never really tamed but we could pet her (after having her a few years). I guess heart failure is common in older cats.

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  24. So sorry for your loss. I have two dogs and three cats. One of my cats is getting older and I dread the day when we have to face the inevitable. Thanks for sharing your tribute.

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  25. A lovely tribute to Tara. Thanks for sharing with us. Hugs to you!

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