31 August 2007

They Say It Comes in Threes

This is not the blog post I had planned, but sometimes life doesn't give you a choice.

1. I headed out the door to go to work yesterday afternoon, hopped in the car and backed out of the driveway. As soon as I started forward, I heard a horrible grinding noise and new instantly what it was. I pulled off into the next driveway and confirmed that my front driver side tire was flat as a pancake. I got the car back into my own drive without damaging the wheel rim, thankfully, and took David's truck instead.

2. Work was physically, mentally and emotionally draining. I've had busier nights, but I had a lot of surgical procedures, which kept me very occupied and made it difficult to maintain good forward momentum. Add into that one of those surgeries arresting under anesthesia, and it was just not a good night.

3. Last and worst of all. I got home from work at around noon to see that my little old man, Poqui, was bleeding from the mouth more than he had been. He'd been in decline for a while and developing some trouble eating, but I'd hoped it was just bad teeth and had even done bloodwork last night in preparation for anesthetizing him next week to clean them. Today, though, I could see that his tongue was pushed dramatically to one side, and I was sure that it wasn't anything good.

We took him to the emergency clinic across the river in Portsmouth, which is much, much closer than my own workplace, and they helped me get an IV catheter in and sedate him so that I could look (he hated to have me look in his mouth and got more difficult the older he got). One look confirmed what I had feared - a large, invasive tumor under and in his tongue and working its way deep into his oral cavity.

There was, of course, only one option. I brought him home, still heavily sedated, and we sat in the grass, with sun shining and seabreeze blowing, and I said my goodbyes and helped him shuffle out of this life. You might think that for all the years I've been doing this for a living, it would get just a little bit easier, but it doesn't. Not one little bit.

I first met Poqui on July 5, 1989, when he was no more than a few hours old. Over the last 18 years, I was able to watch the entire arc of his life from beginning to end. He traveled with me through pretty much all of my adult life and outlived other, equally loved pets. And for much as it hurts right now, I know that the time I had with him was privileged and precious, and I wouldn't trade one second of it.

2006Poqui
Little Old Man Poqui: 5 July, 1989 - 31 August, 2007

41 comments:

joolz said...

Heartbreaking.

JoVE said...

He's a beautiful cat. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. 18 years is a pretty good long life, though. And it sounds like you managed the best ending you could.

no-blog-rachel said...

Oh, I'm so sorry...

Angie said...

Hmm, I'm sorry, but that just doesn't seem to be enough.

M-H said...

You've done well to look after him this long. He had a long happy life with you, and that's all our pets can ask from us.

On the tire subject, I had a flat recently - a screw had worked its way in near the side wall, screwing the almost new tire completely. On inspection it turns out I need four new tires quite soon. Great.

Cheryl, the Jungian Knitter said...

I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to your lovely old cat. Just a couple of months ago we had to do the same thing for our Guido who also was 18. Even knowing that they can't be with us forever, it is always hard to say goodbye.

Sheepish Annie said...

Oh, Mel...I'm just so very, very sorry. There really are no words to ease the loss of one who has been there through the good times and the not-so-good ones. You did right by him. Sometimes that's all we can do. ::hugs::

Julie said...

Oh Mel, I'm so sorry for your loss. Poqui was lucky to have 18 years of your love.

Alison said...

Aw, I'm sorry. When my nice old cat died recently, someone told me that having pets is more of a responsibility than having kids, because the kids grow up, but the pets stay all yours. So it's good that Poqui found someone good to take responsibility for him.

Paul said...

I'm so sorry the loss of your beautiful friend. *hugs*

Kathy said...

I'm so sorry.

Jenny Momma Cat said...

Hi Mel,
I've enjoyed your blog for some time now but never commented before...after reading this posting, just really wanted to tell you how sorry I am about Poqui. It's so hard to say goodbye. I'm sure you know that letting him go was the most loving thing you could do given the situation. But knowing that doesn't make the loss of such a dear friend any easier. You're in my thoughts.
Best regards,
Jenny

magnusmog said...

Very sorry to hear about Poqui, even when you know it's the right thing to do, it is one of the toughest decisons to make. It's also the kindest.

Carol said...

Oh Mel, I'm so sorry. It never gets any easier wether they're two or twenty two. I think it's a privilege to be right there with them when you can give them the last, best gift you can. We're all thinking of David too. Someone said the measure of grief equals the measure of love for the one that's lost to us.
Carol

Carole Knits said...

Our pets are such an important part of our lives. I'm so sorry for your loss.

textillian said...

I'm sorry about your loss. I know it is a rough time.

Lee Ann said...

Oh, darlin'. That's always, always hard, no matter how you frame it. I'm sorry he had to go. A great big hug to you from all of us.

Lilith Parker said...

*hug*

Elemmaciltur said...

I'm sorry to hear about Mr. Poqui. I'm sure he had wonderful 18 years with you.

Helen said...

I'm so sorry to read of your loss.
It's always so hard.
But at least he was able to be home, outside in pleasant weather with you when he died.
May the good memories help ease the sorrow, and fill the hole he left behind.

Liz said...

Awww. So sorry about Poqui. He looks like a great old guy. Also sorry about the rest of that humdinger of a day - yikes.

Tallguy said...

There's nothing more I can say than I am really sorry that you lost Mr. Poqui. He had a very good life with you and I'm sure leaving was just as hard for him too. You will have so many good memories. *hugs*

anne marie in philly said...

(((((hugs)))))

been there, know the feeling. it hurts like hell.

Barbara said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend Poqui.

Even when it's the right thing to do, the decision to help/let them go is not easy.

A long and happy life is the best thing we can give those that we share our lives with and it sounds like Poqui had that with you.

I have a 14 year old sweetheart here now with a non invasive tumor on her head that has regrown from the last operation and am afraid to put her under to have it removed again.

I live in fear of the day that I have to say goodbye to her - knowing that it's not going to be long now.

knitnzu said...

Geez Mel, so sorry, (your makin me cry) Hugs hugs

Kat said...

I'm so sorry. I know just how you feel, my daughter and I had to let go of our beloved Jubilee on Thursday. She was 18 as well. I'm not sure what's worse, watching them decline and be in pain, or looking for them after they are gone. Cherish your memories, and know Poqui is watching over you with love.

Sandy said...

Mel, I am so sorry for the loss of Poqui! He was a beautiful cat~ Such great coloring! And 18 years! He meant business!
May you have good memories to sustain you!

xo

Sister Sue said...

Hey, Mel. Just dropped a tear for you, David, and Poqui. And amazingly, the pups have offered up a moment of silence--those don't come often around here.

Cheryl said...

Oh no, I'm so sad. I'm sorry.

Sean said...

Mel, such sad news. You're in my thoughts.

TheBunny said...

We do love them so much and they leave such a hole when they go. But we are so lucky to have them while we do.

I'm so sorry Mel.

FiberQat said...

Many cyberhugs. Poqui couldn't have had a better papa.

mamacate said...

I'm so sorry Mel. A long life and a gentle death...he was lucky to have you.

Jean said...

Mel, that's really tough. My husband and I lost our dear cat more than 15 years ago, and speak of her to each other every day.

Christine said...

What a treasured companion you've had. I'm so sorry for your loss, but what a beautiful picture of your last moments together. *hugs*

Leslie said...

Please accept my sympathies on the loss of your beloved Poqui. It hurts to put these friends to sleep, but it would hurt even more to see them endure a long, lingering and painful demise.

I'm sure you did the right thing and that Poqui thanks you for being his friend right up to the end.

Debbie said...

Oh Mel, I'm so sorry! Warm and fuzzy vibes are coming your way from our crew to yours.

pacalaga said...

Sorry about Poqui. He looks like a soft little lovable beastie. He reminds me a lot of the late Yummers, the meanest alley cat you've ever seen, who was my dad's Best Pal.

Ruth said...

I'm so sorry, Mel. You're lucky to have had each other, and he was lucky to have you help him so gently from the world.

It's so hard.

Sam said...

Really sorry you've lost your Little Old Man. We've been enjoying our last summer with our Little Old Showtune Singer, Eydie Gorme. She's not nearly as old (only 12), but has a big black cloud in her lungs and an enlarged kidney.

Melissa said...

hugs my friend. I've been off-line for a couple weeks and just catching up. I would never think, not for a second, that your profession would make you immune to such a loss...and what a wonderful gift you were able to give him in his passing.