Monday, January 4, 2010

Goodbyes Don't Come Easy

Today we said our final Goodbye to Zoie's beloved cat M&M. He and his brother, Skittles, were born on Halloween in 2008. Zoie had just lost her very first love, Blueberry the Cat, to some hungry predator and was absolutely DEVASTATED. The only thing worse than experiencing intense emotional pain yourself, is to witness someone you love, hurting like that. That first night she cried herself to sleep, and then had nightmares, which is highly unusual for her. I heard about these kittens, and thought Skittles and M&M would be just the fix Zoie needed. A couple little mewling kittens that needed her too. It was love at first sight, even when a few days later they both came down with the cat flu, requiring much doctoring and many $$$ that first winter. The whole family really fell for these 2 little kittens, that were dubbed " The Cellar Cats " as they spent most of that first winter curled up in a box by the wood furnace.
Spring came and turned into summer. Skittles and M&M grew into fine little felines, and soon went to the vet for neutering. M&M was kind of a wise guy and liked to pick on the other cats, except for his brother. He had this thing where, sometimes while getting in close to give him a kiss, he'd suddenly give you a quick " bitch slap " across the face! He did this to other cats and us as well. My favorite memory is when Dante, who wasn't exactly affectionate with the cats, due mostly to his allergies to them, one night snuck M&M up to my room, where Zoie was lounging on my bed, and as he bent down to kiss him, M&M frowned and threw him a quick "bitch slap". What made it so funny, was that Dante didn't know about M&M's love/hate reaction to affection!
Starting as soon as we brought M&M back from his neutering, we noticed he didn't recover quite as well as the other two cats that were also neutered that day. He seemed to lose a little condition. Two months later, we found him hiding in the cellar, listless and burning up with fever.
Took him to the vet, they thought he had been in a fight ( not unlikely ) and had an abcess brewing. He received a long acting antibiotic and we went home. Two weeks later, he spiked a fever again, and to my horror, Zoie came screaming in to the house one afternoon yelling, " M&M's bleeding in his eyes!" He was bleeding within the iris of each eye. Our regular vet couldn't see him, but we got him in with the vet we used when I was a kid. As I feared it wasn't good news, but it wasn't hopeless. He tested negative for both FeLV and FIP, but the vet still suspected the " dry " form of FIP. He went on some high-powered antibiotics, two rounds, and I honestly thought he had it beat.
Zoie and I, but mostly Zoie, have nursed him around the clock the last 4 months. Zoie saved every dollar she could earn, and then spent it on special cat food, cat brushes, and toys.She's even already spent her Christmas money on cat food, and never once complained that she didn't have any money left but instead found more ways to earn some more.
And M&M gave his thanks back too, his temperament softened these few months and he became an absolute love bug. Couldn't get enough petting or loving. I thought he had it beat, right up to a week ago. Then one night Zoie said, she didn't think he could see, that he was going blind, and his head was tilted to the side. Then he quickly went downhill during the 4 days of stormy weather. We kept him comfortable in a laundry basket in my room.
She has cleaned litter boxes, given medicine ( not easy with a cat ), brushed and clipped mats, and now the last few days cleaned up his pee, and washed his fur. She knelt by his bed in my room and hand fed him the choicest cat food, and fed him water with an eye dropper until he refused it all yesterday and I knew, as soon as we got plowed out today, we were gonna take him to the vet and be there with him, and help him leave this earthly world behind. He was suffering and we needed to end that for him.
The strangest thing happened, that affirmed for me we were making the right decision. Right before the vet called back to tell us they could get us in today, I noticed the cats outside were just sitting, very stoic, outside my bedroom window looking in. They never do this, and as far as I know, had no way of knowing M&M was in there, but they did and they were saying their goodbyes too.

Zoie picked out a special urn, and even though I really can't afford it, I'm gonna order it for his ashes. I'm so proud of her and truly heartbroken that the kitten I got her to ease her grief over losing Blueberry, is now gone too. She said losing M&M was so much worse than Blueberry because we tried so hard to save him, and in the end it was just a drawn out goodbye.

If any of you would like to offer Zoie your condolences and any words of wisdom, she is feeling pretty low and absolutely crushed right now. She reads the blog and will see your comments. I have run out of things to say, and ways to explain why sad things happen to good people. All I can offer now is my Love and a share a good cry with her.


  1. Oh Zoie I am so sorry to hear about M&M. Sounds like he was a very special cat with a very special bond for you. Thank you and your mom for sharing his story, and thank you for all you did for him. I love animals too and am crying for you. I absolutely believe we will see our special friends again, and they will be all well and waiting for us. Hugs, Liz

  2. I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved cat, Zoie. I know that you are hurting a lot right now, but over time the pain will ease and you will remember the happiness and love that you shared.

  3. Zoie, my heart hurts that you have lost your little friend. You have been God's angel taking care of M&M so faithfully and lovingly. You are a very special young lady.

  4. Zoie, I know it hurts so bad BUT know that you gave M&M the best life he could ever have, even tho it was short. Like Liz, I believe we will see our animals again. My heart goes out to you and you will be in my prayers. Take care!

  5. Zoie, so sorry to hear about M&M. He was very lucky to have you take care of him. Thank you for sharing his story with us.

  6. What a sad thing to try so hard and yet lose such a dear friend. You did all the best things that you could do and I am sure M&M knew it and loved you. You are very special

  7. Hi, Zoe --
    I am so sorry you lost your kitty. He was very handsome! I thought this poem might make you feel better. It is by Christina Rossetti.


    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you planned;
    Only remember me: you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.

  8. On behalf of Zoie and our whole family, I thank all of you for your comforting words. It has been so wonderful and I truly think it is a help to her.
    Zoie took M&M's bell off his collar and is wearing it on one of her necklaces. That first night, she slept with me and stirred in the night and I woke up for a minute and I thought it WAS M&M. That nearly broke my heart. They leave such an absence in their wake....