My baby boy

by JJ
(Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada)

My wife and I are from South Africa. We've been married twenty years. We chose not to have human children. We got our little Maine Coon baby boy fifteen years ago. Wild looking baby. Dark tabby with massive ears and tufts of hair at the points. People asked "what sort of wild cat was that?" Extremely loving and devoted. Followed us everywhere. Sweet does not explain how sweet. No catty nasty feelings ever. Always upbeat. Slept on my wife's chest for fifteen years. Even when he got huge. He doted on her. We would take him for walks on a leash. He was our baby boy and best friend. When we moved to Canada five years ago our baby boy came with us and settled into his new home with ease. He was a little skittish of other people.
He always had IBS. Very sensitive tummy. Special diet. But generally was always in good health. Ten days ago he got an upper respiratory infection. Then stopped eating. Antibiotics. And we started to force feed him. Infection cleared somewhat but his appetite did not return. We kept feeding him five times per day. Back and forth to the vet/doc. Drip. Special medication for his tummy ... Anti nausea, anti acid, and appetite stimulant. Upon starting these drugs he suddenly went down hill over night. Loss all energy, his eyes dulled and he lay on the floor crying. By that time he had already lost too much weight despite the food we fed him. We rushed him to the vet/doc again. They could not insert a drip. His veins were collapsing and his system was shutting down. Oh!! God where are't thou? We had to put him to sleep. Devastated.
We may had caught his sniffles too late allowing him to loose some weight in the beginning. Then force feeding him was so stressful and we passed that stress on to him. Once in frustration I smacked him. I am in hell now. I can not forgive myself. I would have cut off my right hand to save him. I made the last few days of his life more stressful. I can not forgive myself. I just keep spinning in hell. I did not deserve him.
I am so adamantly opposed to any abuse whatsoever of animals. I strongly feel animals, and we are animals too make no mistake, deserve our respect. Deserve our protection. My baby boy was completely dependent on me and I let him down. I keep asking God to forgive me.
The only thing that keeps me going now are my other two cats. Somehow I can not let them down. My mind keeps dwelling on the abuse that I committed on Max. And I keep having extreme feeling of hell and torment. I don't know how to shut my mind down. It feels that my poor behaviour has sacrificed fifteen years of love between us and that he can not settle in peace now.
I am very very very sorry Max. I love you. I can barely survive without you. Where are you? I am trying to keep your little brother and sister content and safe.
My wife, I can not fathom how she feels. We are apart emotionally at this time. Each dealing with our own grief. She seems to be more stoic. She says Max knew I loved him and meant it well force feeding him. He never held grudges. And it was his time after fifteen loving years in a loving home with the best anyone could do for him. Somehow I am unable to rationalize at this time.
Please love those who are closest to you. Appreciate every second. It is just too little time.
I am at the point of becoming an activist for animal rights at this time in memory of my baby boy. I need to do some good to redeem my soul.

Comments for My baby boy

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Nov 07, 2016
My baby boy
by: Doreen UK

Hi JJ,
It was so good to hear from you 2yrs. on and to find that you are still well. But sorry for your grief that is still very present as if you have not healed as much as you thought that you ask. What is grief? Grief is a deep sorrow that we have no control over and we cannot change how we feel even if we think positively. Something happened to us and we hurt so bad we wish that someone can come quickly and take this pain away. We feel that we will never recover from.
4 1/2 yres on I still grieve my loss because as You say it is the reality of that person or pet never coming back and you never seeing them again. This is what hurts. THE FINALITY of our loss as if it were so cruel for someone to be snatched away from you after they have touched your life in such a deep way the pain becomes unbearable.
YES! There is an afterlife and we will see our loved one's again according to God's promise in his Bible that He will come again and receive us unto himself that where He is there we will be also, according to our acceptance of God into our life. God would love to establish a relationship with us on earth so that we Know Him and when we get to Heaven to live with Jesus we won't be strangers. Jesus will come in to our heart and He will change us to become like Him, and we will live and reign with Him forever according to His promise. He has gone to Heaven to Prepare a place for us so we can be with Him.
It is Jesus in our heart and life that gives us Peace in the midst of our storms and it is Jesus who carries us through each day and Jesus heals our pain and our sorrows one day at a time. But we have to ask Him. It is this relationship that Jesus wants to establish with us that will give us constant joy in the midst of our losses and we will find healing at the foot of the cross.
WE will see our loves one's again according to what God says in His Bible. Read the book of Thessalonians and you will find some of the answers there.
May God comfort you in your sorrow and bring you the comfort and Healing you are seeking and the answers will become clearer as you seek Jesus.

Oct 31, 2016
Two years ago that I posted about Maxie!
by: JJ

I looked at this post now, so many years later. Still tough when I think about it. The fact that one loves someone so much but they will not be with you forever. I have never been able to make peace with that. Just know that one must appreciate every minute with the one's you love. Max's brother Satchmo is still alive. He is so old now. He sleeps next to me every night. A little fragile. So very very trusting of me and needing of my love. I am very blessed. This is the greatest blessing. That level of trust and friendship. I wish Satchmo could revover his youth. I want him to live forever. I hope there is a heaven and afterlife and that one day I will see Max my buddy again. I try to suppress the anxiety of loosing Satchmo. I have a young Maine Coon cat, Chappie, only about a year old, I take great care of him but I dote on Satchmo because of the over fifteen years together. I remember good times spent together ten years ago. The hope with which he and Max came to me. Max was one year older than Satchmo. How to deal with loss and grief?

Oct 02, 2014
You did well
by: Barbara

Caregivers undergo abnormal frustrations. This is what happened to you, and you should not feel bad about it. I just lost my cat after three years of hospice-like caregiving. There were times when I couldn't get the needle for his fluids in right and would grow very upset, maybe even shoving or grabbing him impatiently. I don't remember, but I felt I had tortured him.

You worked hard to save your cat. Many people would not bother, or would not have cared so diligently for a cat in the first place. Honor yourself and what you have done.

What I noticed is, after an unpleasant treatment, such as pill-giving, squirting medicines down my cat's throat, and the fluid injections, he immediately forgot what had happened and gave full attention to more pleasant things, like eating treats or his dinner. So the smack that is bothering you would have been quickly forgotten by your cat.

It is so hard for us when we have to watch our beloved pet depart. We get filled with guilt because we think we did the wrong thing or did not do enough. We punish ourselves for something that couldn't be helped. Instead, you dealt with a heart-rending and unfamiliar situation. You deserve congratulations for how you tried to help.




Oct 02, 2014
You did well
by: Barbara

Caregivers undergo abnormal frustrations. This is what happened to you, and you should not feel bad about it. I just lost my cat after three years of hospice-like caregiving. There were times when I couldn't get the needle for his fluids in right and would grow very upset, maybe even shoving or grabbing him impatiently. I don't remember, but I felt I had tortured him.

You worked hard to save your cat. Many people would not bother, or would not have cared so diligently for a cat in the first place. Honor yourself and what you have done.

What I noticed is, after an unpleasant treatment, such as pill-giving, squirting medicines down my cat's throat, and the fluid injections, he immediately forgot what had happened and gave full attention to more pleasant things, like eating treats or his dinner. So the smack that is bothering you would have been quickly forgotten by your cat.

It is so hard for us when we have to watch our beloved pet depart. We get filled with guilt because we think we did the wrong thing or did not do enough. We punish ourselves for something that couldn't be helped. Instead, you dealt with a heart-rending and unfamiliar situation. You deserve congratulations for how you tried to help.




Aug 25, 2014
It's ok
by: Anonymous

I know how much that smack haunts you. After euthanizing my cat of thirteen years two days ago, I find myself going over the one fight I had with her twelve years ago where she clawed me and I couldn't get her off and had to throw her off of me and she hit the wall. I play it over and over again. You will always second guess yourself. The only thing that keeps my sanity in check is remembering how sick she was in the end. Every time you feel yourself going to that hellish place of torment just remind yourself that Max feels NONE of the sickness,stress and pain anymore. You have given him the final gift of peace. And for that he thanks you.

Jun 14, 2014
My Baby Boy
by: Doreen UK

By all means do good, but do it for the right reasons. Not just to appease your guilt. WE all make mistakes in life and wished we didn't. I am sure we also wish Adam and Eve did not sin in the garden of Eden and leave us with turbulence in our lives now that brings a curse on us as humans. We could not redeem ourselves from this curse. Which is why Jesus was born, came to earth to take our sins upon himself so that we never have to do anything to redeem ourselves. WE couldn't if we tried. We are all born under the same curse and fight the same battle. WE also sure would not have to die. NO MORE DEATH. Which is why Jesus became our Redeemer. So we are now FREE FROM GUILT. WE will keep on making mistakes and have to repent of this. God welcomes a repentant sinner who is SORRY. WE need to ask Jesus to come and live His Life in us and we will then be able to have a life under HIs control. Not ours. Otherwise a life not controlled by God will be controlled by the enemy and we will keep sinning and keep feeling guilty. This means that when Jesus looks down on you He does not see your outburst of hitting your baby boy. He sees your frustration and your disappointment that you showed little control. WE all need God to Control us. God has already Forgiven you. You now need to forgive yourself. This is the hardest part. Forgiving ourselves. I am sorry for your loss.

Jun 14, 2014
Max DOES know you love him!
by: Jacqui

As awful as it was, that "smack" was out of a deep feeling of hopelessness to be able to save your beloved baby. Same with the "forced feedings"...forgive yourself! Max has already. You were desperate to save him....and desperate people do extreme, sometimes irrational things. Believe me, he knows you love him. You were his Daddy and you were trying the best you knew how to save him. I think the animal activist idea is a wonderful idea--it will help you work through your grief and (misplaced) guilt, while helping animals. Definitely a win-win. Good luck, and God Bless you both I hope you and your wife are on a path to healing soon.

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