My Precious Meatball
This is day 5 of my grief, and it is overwhelming. On Thursday, March 21st, 2013, my husband called me after work and told me our 5 year old cat Meatball had to be taken to the Emergency Animal Hospital because she was throwing up, had diarrhea, and couldn’t stand on her own. I rushed to the Emergency Animal Hospital, the whole time trying to convince myself that it was the Kitty flu or something treatable. The vet said that she was born with an enlarged heart and because of that, her red blood cells smashed together in her heart, causing a blood clot to be thrown out into her blood stream. She had congestive heart failure and was dying. Her lungs were filled with fluid, and the blood clot made it impossible for her to move her back legs. He said her breed (Manx) didn’t usually live very long, and somewhere in her genetic line there must have been this heart defect.
Even if we treated her, it would’ve taken weeks for her to recover and she would be very uncomfortable, and still not able to use her legs. Then the vet said she would probably have more blood clots after this one. Her quality of life would have been terrible. My husband and I made the hard decision to put her to sleep. She was in so much pain, just touching her lightly made her cry terribly. She didn’t even look like herself. Since she was dying, we had to make decisions quickly, and had to say our goodbyes fast, so she wasn’t suffering. We said our goodbyes, gave her lots of kisses, and told her what a great cat she was, and how much we loved her. Then we told her everything was going to be ok as the vet put her to sleep.
Our life is so empty now. We have two other cats, but our home feels so empty. Meatball was such a happy cat, who truly loved us. She was the kind of cat that was always around, giving us attention, begging for food, keeping us company in the bathroom, engaging the other cats in play, greeting us when we got home…basically, involved in all aspects of our lives. She had such a personality too. She was an over-eater and would steal her sisters’ food, she would play her heart out chasing the red dot from the laser pointer, and attacking the fake bird like it was real. She was always into everything (open cabinets, dirty laundry baskets) and had a strong love of boxes. Any box that was new would be immediately claimed by her (pizza boxes, Christmas boxes, UPS boxes, etc.). She snored when she slept, played with objects on the other side of doors, and loved pom-poms. She would kneed the softest of blankets so long that we had to make her stop, and would cuddle up with us. She would scratch all my shoes, even though she didn’t have claws, and make cute noises when we called her name. I used to pick her up when I got home and ask her how her day was, and ask her if she was nice to her sisters (sometimes she would play too hard). I used to sing “On Top of Spaghetti” to her, and dress her up in cat costumes, which she always tolerated. She loved one of our cats (Slim) so much that she was always right by her side. She would sit and sleep as close as possible to Slim; it was adorable. They were like Frick and Frack, and now every time I see Slim, it is a constant reminder that Meatball is gone. Slim looks really sad now, and keeps looking around…maybe she’s looking for Meatball? She makes weird noises and stares into space for long periods of time.
These cats are my babies, because I don’t have any kids yet. My husband works nights, so I’d come home to them and we’d eat, play, and cuddle. The hole in my heart is unbelievable. I just can’t get over the fact that she was fine when I left her Thursday morning, and a few hours later, she was dying. I kept saying in the vet’s office, “But I just saw her!” I made a decision to keep my cats indoors because I wouldn’t be able to handle it if they never came back one day. I would always tell people that my cats were going to live forever, because I couldn’t handle them not being with me. We have an older cat Buster, and I was sure she’d go first. But Meatball was the baby, and I only got 5 years with her. The most ironic part of this is that the night before Meatball died, we talked about taking Buster to the vet because we think her teeth are rotting. Never in a million years would I have thought Meatball would be dying…she was a healthy cat!
I keep playing the memories of Meatball over and over again in my head. I’m so worried I will forget how she used to sound and look. I am glad that she had some extra attention the night before she died. We keep the cats out of the bedroom usually, but I let her in as a special treat. She cuddled with me while I was on the phone, and I talked to her a lot after I got off the phone as she laid on the bed. I gave her kisses and hugs and let her sleep the night on the bed. When my husband got home from work Thursday morning, he made himself dinner and gave her some steak which she loved. I fed her breakfast like I always do before I went to work.
At first we opted to have a general cremation, because we thought we’d be sad every time we looked at her ashes. But we changed our minds, and had her cremated with all of her toys, her brush, her food dish, and a note from us. I’m so glad we changed our minds…it is comforting to know that she is with us at home, even though it is her ashes. Her ashes are in a small wooden box with her picture on the front. I still talk to her, I kiss the box, and I’ve slept with the box, just to be close to her. I miss her so much…I just want her back. I feel dead inside and still can’t believe she is gone. I’ve cried numerous times every day since. Nobody really seems all that supportive in my time of crisis. There have been a lot of people on Facebook giving their condolences, but I really want someone to come sit with me, listen to me, and not try to make me feel better-just be there for me. I have never felt this sad before, not even when a human close to me has died. I guess time will help eventually, but today is a very grim day…I love you Meatball; you will always be in my heart!