Friday, September 17, 2010

Sad September

I don't know where to start except that this hasn't been a good month. I started the month with a sick cat. The last Friday in August, I noticed that Salem, who was skinny anyway, was VERY thin. I took him to see the vet. He had no obvious problems like worms, temp., or sore mouth. I was told to watch how much he is eating and let him eat all he wants.

I take him home and feed him by himself in the bathroom. He would only eat a few bites of canned food, no dry food at all. He would beg for lunchmeat though so I thought he was tired of the same flavor of Friskies I'd been feeding him. Nope. By Monday, he wouldn't eat. I got some medicine from the vet and gave it to him twice a day. I also started force-feeding him baby food. He started to act a little better....jumping on my lap, meowing again, coming into the bedroom instead of staying on the couch. I got my hopes up...Late Wednesday night, I gave Salem his medicine and fed him some more baby food. I wrapped him in an old pillow case and held him like I did 6 years ago Sept. 28th when I found him under my car at about 2 weeks old. As I was feeding him, he didn't look right. I don't know how to discribe it, just not like himself. However, he did jump out of my arms and ran towards the living room. I decided that I would go back to the vet on Thursday to try something else. I never got the chance. I woke up on Thursday, September 2nd to discover Salem lying dead across one of my tennis shoes in the bedroom doorway.

I was, of course, beside myself. I'm just getting used to Max not being here. Max's symptoms were very similar. He'd stopped eating, but he hid whereas Salem was around more often than usual. I realized both were sick on a Friday. I got medicine for both on Monday and had decided that something else needed to be done the night before each of them died. July 1st, 2009 and September 2nd, 2010.....just fourteen months and one day apart and both right before a holiday weekend. It's just TOO weird. I had an autopsy done on Salem only to discover that he also died of liver cancer! Salem's liver cancer had spread to his spleen. Max's liver cancer spread to his gall bladder.

Max and Salem were related....Salem was Max's uncle. I asked if the liver cancer was something genetic or if it was something they were getting into or I was causing. I have 8 more cats....six of them are related to Max and Salem! The vet said that since they are related they have a higher chance of getting liver cancer. It make me cry just thinking about it. I can't help but think of them as little furry time-bombs...who's next? I never expected to lose two cats so close together especially since they were fairly young. Snowball, who's not related, turns 16 this month. I just took for granted that all the rest would live long healthy lives like she has.

Here's a picture of Salem. Sadly I didn't take enough pictures of him, but I have some better ones I'll add later.

Ok, for all the other sad things from this month. DBF's co-worker's wife and daughter were in a motorcycle accident over Labor Day weekend. Both will recover, but it will take time. I just found out that a family friend's granddaughter lost her husband to cancer in May. The lady that owns the house next to mine passed away from natural causes on Labor Day. A co-worker's one month old son is in ICU and has several medical issues.

The most recent occured on Friday when I lost a dear friend. Wow, I'm not even sure how to describe Ruth. I met her when I the first time I attended my church. I went on a Wednesday night and had my two neighbor kids with me. Ruth introduced herself and welcomed me. She told me to come back on Sunday and bring my husband. "Husband?", I said, "I'm only 14!" That memory always brings a smile. That was Ruth though, always friendly and inviting people to church. I sat next to her almost every service that I attended for the next 21 years. That equals 1092 just counting Sundays...yikes. In this small community, you could always tell where Ruth was....just look for her pink Buick Century. You couldn't miss it. She was a special person. I hope that I can be half the person she was. This time last year, she was still living on her own, driving that pink car and attending every service at church. Pretty amazing for a tiny 94 year old lady! I can only hope and pray to do the same at that age.

The last time I saw her was in July when Vince and I went to see her at the nursing home. She had started falling so she was placed in the nursing home so she could have someone look after her. It broke my heart to see her like that. I could see she was getting worse. I broke down as soon as we walked out the door. I wasn't used to seeing her like that. That's why I didn't go see her when she was brought home. I didn't want to cry the whole time I was there. I regret it now, but I didn't want to upset her.

I didn't realize how much I loved her, how much she meant to me and how much I'd miss her until the funeral Monday. I kept most of my composure until we were in the church and the music started. I couldn't help the tears from falling then. I know I will see her in Heaven someday, but she'll never sit next to me at church again. I'll never see her in that pink car again. I'm happy that she's in her Heavenly home where she'd been telling everyone she wanted to go. However, I'm SO sad for all of us left without her.

I cried even harder after the service when her son told me that Ruth wanted me to have her car. He said I could just drive it occasionally and people would remember Ruth. As if anyone could forget her! :) See her Century is very similar to the Celebrity that I drove until I got my new(est) car. Hearing this, I just broke down. I'd be very honored to have it, but I already have two cars. The Celebrity was my dad's and now occupies the carport. I don't have room for another one. To be honest, I don't think I could drive it....I'd be crying too hard to see.

I hope the rest of the month gets better....I can't take any more sadness.


Brian said...

I hope it gets better too and I am so very sorry to hear about sweet Salem.

spaghetti0625 said...

Aw, I'm soooo sorry to hear about Salem :( Salem is in heaven now, with all the catnip, snacks, toys, mice, etc.
DH and I are sitting here discussing the renovations to the condo...and in between sobs and blowing my nose during reading them, I'm chiming out colors, cabinet choices, floor choices...he's looking at me like I'm nuts LOL
Sept seems like a bad month for you this year, but it's making you stronger...God knows you can deal with this so that's why he's doing it...he has an amazing way of working sometimes.
Hope the 2nd half of September is the COMPLETE opposite of the first half!

Sarah said...

So sorry to hear about Salem :( Make sure to give your other kitties some extra love, which I know you will!

Pubbler said...

I'm so very sorry to hear about Salem. We too, lost our baby Tabatha 2 weeks ago. We had to put her down, because she was in very bad shape due to kidney failure. We had her for almost 20yrs. I bet she & Salem are keeping each other company in heaven. Sending you lotsa hugs

Shelly said...

Thanks Pubbler. Sorry to hear about your Tabatha. Making that decision is never easy.

Furkidsmom said...

Thanks for commenting on our blog. We feel genetics had a lot to do with Sniffie's cancer. Her Mother and her sister Cory both passed away at a young age from bleeding tumors.

Our hearts go out to you. Losing one is hard enough...we can't imagine losing two. (((Hugs and Purrs)))

The Florida Furkids and Angel Sniffie