A difficult couple of weeks - WARNING - Maudlin Rainbow Bridge post ahead

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Sorry in advance for the length; honestly, I'm writing this mainly as a way to work through some things.

Yesterday I said goodbye to my best buddy, Crash. He was named after his numerous spin-outs as a rowdy kitten on slick hardwood floors. In 2009 I brought him home for my not-quite four-year-old daughter, but for whatever reason he appointed me as his stoopid hooman manservant. For twelve years he was my shadow, lap-warmer, and wintertime blanket infiltrator. He loved to groom my chin whiskers, as I was obviously too dumb to lick myself clean like a civilized being.

Last Sunday, I noticed his usually pink nose had turned yellow. Closer inspection revealed his inner ears and gums were also jaundiced. After two days of bloodwork and other tests, Crash was diagnosed with lymphoma. The docs prescribed steroids, anti-nausea meds, an appetite stimulant, and a painkiller to keep him rolling until his first chemo appointment, which was planned for tomorrow.

He was okay until Monday, then a rapid decline started. No appetite, and his strength/coordination started to fail. I gave him water from a syringe several times a day. Realistically I knew that it was his time, but told myself that I didn’t want to schedule the in-house call on the basis of one bad day. I hoped that maybe it was a side-effect from the meds. When the symptoms worsened Tuesday, I made the call - Managed to give the vet’s receptionist ¾ of my credit card number before breaking down into a blubbering mess. On Wednesday afternoon we took Crash to the backyard patio, where he died in my arms.

Yesterday, the absolute crushing misery at losing my friend was outweighed by the relief that his suffering was over. Now the grief from missing him has settled in. I’ve caught myself expecting to see him a few times already, and out of habit checked the bathroom floor for stray kitty litter before walking in this morning. Like most people I’ve been through this before many times, but never this hard. My daughter's taking it hard, too. I try to reassure her by reminding her of how much love he gave and received, and how we were lucky enough to have him for twelve years. Nothing will really help but time, though.

On the positive side, Crash and I experienced something pretty wonderful on Sunday morning. We were in the backyard, and he was lying on my lap with his head resting in my left hand. A hummingbird flew over, stopping at eye-level two feet away from Crash’s face. She hovered there for about five seconds as she and Crash looked at each other. It was a beautiful thing to see – Sort of a “Where The Red Fern Grows” vibe.

I've included a few photos as a testament to his awesomeness. His first night home with his new big sister:

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As a young hellion:

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Lastly, a couple of shots of the mature Polecat in his natural environment:

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See you around, ol' boy. You were the best. ✌
 
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Never easy,
I lost my Best friend ever to Lung cancer, and it still hurts. Dewey was a 12 year old Dachshund who was the most loving and loyal friend.
I take comfort in knowing that he trusted me to take care of him and make the best decisions from trivial things like what food he got, to the decision to let him go. I spent well over $20k trying to help him, but in the end it was a losing battle. I know It hurts from a place of empathy rather than sympathy. I can promise It will get easier to deal with though, knowing you will cross paths again.
Never let people tell you it was just a cat, get over it. If you were lucky enough to form such a bond with a pet, count it as what it is, a BLESSING! Unfortunately some can't form those bonds, and for that I feel bad for them. But again, instead of focusing on this short time of tragedy, focus on the much much longer times of happiness. You will see one vastly outweighs the other 😊

Sorry for your loss.
 
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Echo, I' sorry for you loss. I know how you feel about losing an animal after having them for so long. We are still having a hard time after losing all 3 of our dogs with in a year, Luke and Ben had to be put down 2 weeks of each other, Sophie 3 months before, Sophie was Bens half sister and treated the boys as her large puppies, Sophie was 13, Luke, 10 and Ben, 14. I still get tears in my eyes when the sun sets in the corrals they played in, the way the light shines on the surrounding land, the smell of the plants. I have never been able to get over this. My grandfather had a fluffy orange cat when I was little. I can't remember his name, but your kitty reminds me of him. pretty boy! When you have an animal from pup or kittenhood(or what ever pet it may be) into becoming an elder, it can be very hard to recover.
 
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So sorry for your loss. Had it happen multiple times with my German Shepherd buddies. Time does help, though it never goes away, but does get easier to deal with. Hang in there. Draw comfort knowing you gave him the best life possible.
 
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We love our fur babies, I never got the chance to dress Ben and Luke up as Ben and Luke! Sophie was Ben's half sister, maybe a Leia outfit could've finished the trio. We are getting another red pup(Luke was very red) ant suggestions for a name?(Star Wars, that is) it would be a little boy.
 
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Thank you very much for the support, everyone. It's greatly appreciated. Now that I know Crash is at peace, the knot in my chest has started to unwind. It feels like I'm moving from grief to bittersweet right now. I know he wouldn't want anyone to be sad, and I've got too many great memories from our years to dwell on the last few bad days. Still have to let the hole in my heart heal a bit though. The wolf pack members (Domino the Shih Tzu/Maltese mix, Butters the terrier mutt, and Blitz the 90 lb. German Shepherd pup) are sticking close - I think they know that Dad's having a rough time right now.

The weird thing is that I deal with truly horrific stuff on a daily basis and it doesn't even scratch my mental armor. Crash's sudden illness, on the other hand... I just thank God it's over and that we were blessed with such a great cat for so many years.

Thanks again for the kindness, folks. It helps a lot.
 
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Aww man, I'm really sorry. I had a similar bad time around a year ago with my 13 year old cat Misty. It really tore me up to lose her.

I just couldn't stop thinking about her for weeks so I went out and got a kitten from a rescue that a lady I know runs. I mean, it didn't completely make me feel better but taking care of my little guy and watching his antics went a long way for taking my mind off Misty.

I don't know that getting a new one right away is right for everyone... I mean, I did have the thought that I'm just setting myself up for more pain in the future but I think the time we spend with them makes it worth it...

Misty
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Klaus
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What beautiful cats! my condolences for Misty, what a pretty girl! I hope the spirit of Misty will come into Klaus sometime and you will see her again! these things happen with loved animals.
 
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Thanks AC, and condolences for Misty. Her left eye in that pic has a smile behind it. :) Klaus looks like a good boy. Right now I'm too exhausted and numb to think about another cat but I'm sure I'll get one sooner or later. I grew up with cats, dogs, the occasional goat, etc., then due to work limitations I went fifteen years without a pet of any kind until getting Crash. He reminded me of what I'd missed. We're still fully stocked in the dog department and my daughter actually got a kitten in April, so there's no lack of varmints here... Just missing mine.

Speaking of varmints - I'm going to lighten the mood a bit. While looking for pics of Crash, I found a photo from a 2014 search warrant. While we were in the crook's house doing our thing, this critter jumped on my shoulder and rode me around for most of the night. Not a good pic, as it was an awkward situation. Won't lie, it was also a disconcerting sensation.

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Thank you, he was indeed - Miss him constantly. He was the only kid that never fell asleep during joint story time.

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Thanks CadBane. He was a handsome rascal, and very vocal - He'd almost always respond if I said something with an upward inflection. Played fetch, too. Of course, he wasn't to be trifled with... :)

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What a cute orangey! sweet baby. Even though we have lost all 3 of our dogs this last year, we are getting another baby, but we will have to go all the way to Wyoming for him. This will be our last dog and hope we can keep him as long as Ben-14 years. the puppy will be 8 weeks old when released. For now, we have a kitty who helps us with vermin. she's a mottled grey, she brings me gifts of very large mice! sometimes, yes, they are mice. I have no idea how old she is but she chews slowly on her food and mice! she slobbers when I pet her.
 
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We have lost 3 people recently, our family elder,(oldest of 3 families stemming from the same ancestor in the past) my husbands good friend- this last Fri. and now my brother-in-law Sun. these were not from the virus either. May they rest in peace.
 
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Very sorry to hear about your loss, you can see he was much loved, especially in that last pic of your first post. Our three cats are total clowns and I know how much a member of the family a pet can be. Total clowns, but veeeeery happy clowns. It's awesome that he played fetch, too. One of mine does that, brings me her little purple fuzzy mouse and leaves it like a gift for me at the door or in my bed.
 
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Thanks. Still miss him every day, but his pics and vids make me happy now instead of sad. Until our recent move we were in a very urban area so Crash didn’t get to go out or hunt very much, but he was very proud of the couple of mice he bagged in the garage. 😄

What I wouldn’t give to see him bouncing up to me sideways with an arched back and poofed-up tail again.
 
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Nothing can take the place of a special animal like that, Echo! I lost my special kitty 5 years ago, and it feels like it was yesterday. We have only just recently adopted two new ones, but I'm glad I took the space I needed. No one understands like other cat owners do. Hang in there. It gets better with time when you take the time to talk about it like this. Thank you for sharing and best of luck to you.
 
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