Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Beautiful Soul

Well it's been a long time since I last blogged, hasn't it? There have been a lot of changes in my life - a lot of loss.

I am no longer living in the house on the lake. I won't go into great detail but I endured a lot of unhappiness from the moment I arrived there two years ago and a lot of emotional damage has been done. That's all I'm willing to say about it here. I have difficulties ahead of me but this is where I am now - in the city of Peterborough, Ontario.

brotherly love2
I moved here with my cats, Skittles and Zephyr early in August. Skitty had been ailing for several months. He showed all of the classic signs of feline hyperthyroidism - weight loss, rapid heart rate, vomiting and yeowling at night. The vet was convinced that a blood test would confirm it. But it didn't.


skitty boy2
She investigated further and found him to have pancreatitis. A change in cat food was prescribed along with an acid-reducer to spare his esophagus and throat from the vomiting. He continued to be symptomatic. I was worried that the stress of moving would make things even worse for him but from the day we landed in Peterborough, he rallied greatly.


skittlesplease
He ate well and kept it down. He began to gain weight. He played a lot more. And then after about three weeks, he began to decline once again. He had trouble keeping food and water down, and last week I could see he was losing a lot more weight and becoming dehydrated. I brought him to the vet about halfway between my new and old home. She did not feel hopeful.


skitty face
I had three options. We could put him through a battery of tests at his discomfort and my great expense which were very unlikely to yield encouraging results. I could put him on "support treatments" which would keep him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. That included subcutaneous fluids which I would learn to administer every couple of days along with medication for pain and nausea. My third option was euthanasia.


Skittylooking up2
I opted to try to keep him comfortable with fluids and meds, and though there were wonderful gifts of good hours among the difficult, I could see that my beautiful boy was declining rapidly. Last night, he was showing signs of further distress and I made the achingly difficult decision to ease him out of his misery. My dear friend, Carol Anne who supported me through the whole process brought us to the clinic.


skitty in sunlight
I held him close, kissed him, and tearfully told him what a joy he was to have in our lives and how very much we'll miss him. At my sons' requests I kissed him for them and told him "goodbye." I did the same on behalf of all who had loved him - and there were many - of the human, feline and canine variety. He was such a beautiful little soul. I gave the vet the nod and he died peacefully in my arms.


skitty 2
I held onto my boy for a while afterward, kissing his sweet head and stroking his fur and crying my heart out. He was the sweetest, most fun cat on the face of the planet and I will miss him more than I could ever express.


Zephyr
I still have his beautiful brother, Zephyr - his litter mate. He has the opposite personality, mostly - laid back (okay, lazy) and not quite as bright as Skitty was but every bit as loving and gentle. This morning, it was like Zephyr was channeling Skitty. He spent a fair bit of time tearing through the house in play mode and chasing his tail on my bed. He NEVER does those things. I think it's Skitty's way of letting me know he's still near.



skitty boy
I'll accept that gift gratefully.


skitletGoodbye my beautiful little one. I'll love you forever.


10ACuriousSkitty
Skittles
May 18, 1999 ~ September 11, 2015


Skitty through sheers



71 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

My condolences for the loss of your furry friend. Pets give us so much and ask so little. In spite of this sad news, it's good hearing from you. I hope you'll continue to keep in touch. Take care.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I'm so sorry for your, Hilary-my sincerest condolences.

Birdie said...

Oh, Hilary. I am sorry. We love our fur babies so much.

Nice to see you posting again. I was wondering what happened to you.

Suldog said...

Hilary, I am so very sorry for your loss. I've said before - with all my heart - that you are the best photographer of cats, ever. The beauty you caught made this that much more painful to read, but you have captured the soul of your boy magnificently. God bless.

Kerry said...

Oh Hilary, this on top of everything else. I am so very sorry. What a gorgeous old friend you have lost. I am so glad that you have all of these fantastic photos to remember him and to ease the pain. He led a lucky life with you.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hilary, I never stopped thinking about you these many months and wondered if and when you would return. I am very sorry that it is under these sad and painful circumstances. Skittles was a beautiful cat. I am deeply touched by this wonderful tribute to him. I feel your loss. You have many stunning pictures to remember him by and he will live on and on in your vivid memories of him. A happy reunion is coming someday. Please remember that.

Love, Shady

rosaria williams said...

So sorry to hear about your losses. Glad you are back blogging though. I have missed your bright and steady voice in blogland.

Phyllis E said...

Oh, Cuzzie! I am so sorry that you have lost your beautiful fur baby on top of everything else. Lovin' hugs from Carmel.

Andy said...

Sorry about the sadness in your life. I am glad you are back and hope things start getting better for you.

Barb said...

I'm glad you're back, but so sorry to hear of all these stresses. I'm so sad to hear about Skitty. I know you must be grieving. Hugs to you from CO. So many changes, but time will heal, I hope. Keep in touch.

ellen abbott said...

I think those two years were stressful for Skittles too. It's never easy to lose a beloved pet. I'm so sorry for your loss Hilary.

Pauline said...

How the heart aches for things lost - people, pets, dreams. I hope the good memories overpower and outnumber the bad ones and that you find some solace and peace in your new place. XO

TexWisGirl said...

we have all missed you here and sent you good thoughts along your continuing journey. i am glad to see you post again, even if it is to note your loss, but what a wonderful tribute to your beautiful boy. i am glad he is skittering around heaven, now. :)

Bonnie (aka Stillness Suite) said...

So sorry for your loss(es). So very hard to lose a dear pet.

SK Waller said...

My sincerest condolences, Hillary. It's so hard to find the right words, but please know that your friend is still with you, just a whisper of a breath away, playing with Zephyr again, eternally young, well, and out of pain. I'm also sorry to hear that life has been so difficult lately. Be gentle with yourself; you are loved.

Red said...

It's great to see you back posting again. I thought you'd given up. I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties Hopefully you are on the way to recovery. I'm sorry you lost your feline friend as well.

Tabor said...

So sorry to have you come back in such a difficult time. Big changes in your life and the loss of a dear pet. I hope blogging with those of us who have waited for you will give you strength as you turn a new leaf in this next part of your life. I hope the pain you have weathered has left you with a clearer eye and a greater internal strength. Know that each of these days will bring the change you want and need.

joeh said...

I second what everyone has said. sorry for your loss and that things have not worked out at the house by the beautiful lake.

Jackie said...

I have been missing you....
I read this post with tear-filled eyes. I have the greatest sympathy for you on the passing of your sweet fur baby.
Gentlest of all hugs for you.
Jackie

Eddie Bluelights said...

Very mixed emotions when I saw your post Hilary.

I am delighted to see you back in BlogLand.

But very sorry to read about dear Skittles. My sincere condolences. Hugs Eddie :) x

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Your beautiful posts about Skittles through the years have made me love and appreciate him almost as if he were my own beloved pet. I'm just so sorry that you've had to go through losing him at all, let alone at this particularly difficult time. You had me in tears with this lovely tribute and the gorgeous photographs. Pets bring so much into our lives. Sadly, they rarely outlive us. The price we pay for the joy of knowing them is the pain of losing them.

Linda Wildenstein said...

Hilary, please allow me to say I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved cat. I will keep you in my thoughts and yes, I'm sure he was channeling through his litter mate so that you could feel some comfort. With love and squoozes, Oma Linda

Gayle said...

Such a precious, dear kitty. I am right there missing this sweet furry child and crying with you.

Barbara Shallue said...

Thank you for sharing him with us all these years. My heart aches for you. I know he has been a bright spot in your life during a time of pain. I have faith there will be more, dear friend. Prayers for peace and comfort for you now!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Hilary, My heart is breaking for you.
I am so very, very sorry about your beautiful Skittles. He was a fine and gorgeous cat. Hold his memories close, my friend.
And about your move... I don't know what to say other then I'll keep you in my prayers for healing and peace.
Big hugs,
xo jj

Ruth Hiebert said...

I'm so sorry to hear that life has been difficult for you on many levels. I hope that the sun shines into your life again and brings new hope and joy.

Linda said...

Oh, I am sorry to hear about your beautiful cat! One of my dogs passed on this summer after a struggle with congestive heart failure. So sad!

I was wondering about you and just checked your page yesterday. Welcome back to Blogspot! I missed your lovely posts. Sorry that you have had painful changes. Best wishes to Zephyr.

ladyfi said...

I'm so very very sorry to hear about your beautiful boy. Your photos of both cats are magnificent! So full of love. I can see that Skittles had a good life and was loved. Hugs.

Maggie May said...

Losing a beloved pet on top of all the other unhappiness must have been very hard to bear.
Your description brought back all the times I've had to do this for a sick cat or dog and at the time it seemed I'd never get over the hurt and loss.

Life is full of love and loss and at times it seems as though we're alone with the losses, doesn't it?
My thoughts are with you and I wish I could give you more than a virtual hug......
Your blogging friend across the ocean.....
Maggie xxxxx

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Skittles' cousin Spike sends his warmest wishes to you....

Merisi said...

Dearest Hilary,
I am so sorry to hear you had to go through such difficult times lately.
Please feel hugged on the loss of your beautiful feline friend.
I wish you much better days ahead,
affectionately,
Merisi

Bob Bushell said...

Oh poor Skitty, I am terribly upset for you Hilary. R.I.P Skittles.

Michael Manning said...

I've made that decision too, Hilary and my heart is with you. It was made out of love and I hope that your healing is underway. These are wonderful photographs and it is great to see you blogging again! Welcome back and know that your posts were missed. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way tonight! :)

Theresa said...

What a beautiful tribute for a very special friend. Such lovely pictures. It's never easy letting go but what a final gift it is to be able to do so. Skitty had a good long run and a wonderful life. You and Zephyr have each other for comfort and memories.

Anvilcloud said...

What a poignant post, which brings back memories of our Rocky and his departure. You have great memories fostered by great pics. That last one is gold.

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

This brought tears to my eyes. We went through the same with our cat, Shadow, last January. We miss her terribly but now that she is not suffering any more. She lives on in our hearts forever, as yours will do too.
Hoping things settle down for you now you have moved to your new home.

Out on the prairie said...

It's tough to lose a pet. Hope for the best with all your changes. Miss you blogging, I just looked to see when you last posted the other day.

DJan said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere, dear Hilary. I'm so sorry to see that it's been such a hard time and that you have lost so much in such a short time. I am feeling very blessed that you have allowed me, who loves you and your family, to know about it all and remember such a sweet soul through your incredible pictures and text. Blessings from my heart to yours.

Daryl said...

what a heart wrenchingly beautiful tribute to a friend whose loss is much felt by you, your sons, Zephyr and all of us who are your friends ... having lost my sweet Rosie to pancreatitis i know all you've been through first hand and you did all the right things ... tho i know that brings little comfort in the face of this loss .... hugs to you, i have missed you .. i hope 'things' take a turn for the better soon and the past few years remain in the past .. diminishing daily while the good in your life grows .. xoxo

ADRIAN said...

It's good to see you back but such sad circumstances to return in.
The house by the lake looked like paradise but was obviously hell, that is far from fair.
Poor cat.....poor you. Molly, Alfie and I are thinking of you. To be honest they are thinking it's walk time but I'll put them right.

the Bag Lady said...

I saw your post about this on facebook, and my heart went out to you. I was busy, teaching a class, and knew better than to read this at the time! Now, with tears streaming down my face, I have the time (and privacy) to mourn the loss of your beautiful boy.
Hugs, Hilary.

William Kendall said...

Hilary, I'm very sorry. They become part of our family in so many ways.

Rita said...

We have both just recently moved, but such very sad news about Skittles!! I've held cats and dogs in my arms as I said goodbye. I know what it is to see the light go out of their trusting eyes...and oh, those green eyes. But it was a good long life filled with cat joys. I can feel the love in all the photos...both ways. Zephyr let you know how much Skittles was missed...and nearby.

I hope you like you new home. Was hoping to hear the move went okay--but sure didn't want to hear such sad news. Love and hugs!!

Cloudia said...

Yes, one of life's most challenging things. I still relive that moment with my previous kitty ZuZitzu Haneen...

Your post speaks to me, as we too are undergoing a MAJOR life change. Thanks for sharing, and for being a true friend of our hearts. We love you. <3

Sally G said...

Hilary - what a loving tribute to such a beautiful soul. I felt quite connected to him in the photo where he's on the kitchen counter, and my heart gasped at your final shot behind the curtain. I'm grateful to see you online again, and am cheering you on the path you're walking. May you know inner peace and comfort soon.

sage said...

A nice tribute for a beautiful cat.

I've only had one cat (I've been more of a dog person) but I had happy for nearly ten years and she was six when I got her, and it was terrible that day the vet suggested "putting her to sleep" as there wasn't anything he could do to make her better... My thoughts are with you, it sounds like you have had your share of troubles.

messymimi said...

Please accept my condolences for your losses, both the loss of your beloved cat and any other losses or pains that have led to your move.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I am so sorry. {{{hug}}}

Kat said...

I am so sorry to hear that you have been having such a difficult time these last couple of years. I hope these next years will make up for the hard times. Know that you are in my thoughts and I'm sending my prayers, hugs, and good intentions your way.
I am also sad to hear about the loss of your dear friend. A family member, really, aren't they? Skittles looks like an absolutely beautiful little soul. What a gorgeous kitty. I really am sorry for your loss. I also feel like perhaps Zephyr was seeing Skittles and maybe they were playing together. That is a nice thought. :)
Big hugs to you during all your hardships. Wishing you peace and comfort.

Janet Spering said...

I'm very sorry to hear about Skittles ... he was a beauty!

Kerri Farley said...

So very sorry for the loss of your kitty! and I am also very sorry about the major life "stuff" going on.
Sending positive vibes your way!!!

Gail Dixon said...

Hilary, there has been such a deep void in blogland since you went on hiatus. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Skittles. You made the most loving decision possible, though I know how heavy your heart must've felt, and how much you miss him. So sorry things didn't work out with the big move two years ago. My heart aches that your emotions have been damaged. I hope you know how special you are to so many people. We all support and love you!

yaya said...

Hilary, I'm glad to see you back but so sorry for your loss. My cat Squeak, who looks exactly like your Zephyr, passed away in Aug. She had been sick off and on since the Spring. She spent lots of time just sleeping on the deck or in her bed and not eating much. It's so hard to say goodbye to these sweet animals who become our family members. Sounds like you've had a really hard summer but perhaps this Fall will bring some peace and comfort as the seasons change. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Glo said...

I am so sorry to know that you have suffered so much and for so long. It is devastating when your dreams burst and come crashing down. I send love and hugs to you and hope your journey ahead brings you happiness and light. Also so sad to hear about Skittles. He was a beauty. What a heartwarming tribute you have given him.

Linda said...

Hilary, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Skitty was a wonderful companion for so long...it so difficult to lose those we love.

Mage said...

I am so sorry Skittles became so very ill. He had become a lifeline for you during this ugly time. You know I care. Hugs from the monsoon in the south.

Shammickite said...

Mixed feelings here..... so very glad to see you back, so sad to hear about your kitty. I understand, I really do. You know that.

Hilary said...

Thank you all for your very kind, caring and encouraging words. I've missed you all. What a beautiful and supportive group the blogging community is. You're the best.

Jackie said...

Late Tuesday night
Hilary....I had to come back.
I posted earlier. I know.
But...my heart has been heavy all day thinking about you and the losses you have gone through lately.
I want you to know that I am praying for a peace (one that is beyond all human understanding) to envelope you.
Just wanted to let you know that I continue to think of you and lift you up in my prayers.
Hugs,
J.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Hilary, I've known of the pain and trauma of your life events for the past few months, but I did not know that you were facing the loss of your sweet Skitty as well. I'd like to believe that he felt your sorrow and when you were free in a new home, he felt better, too. Those weeks of rallying were a huge gift to you, and your loving care was a huge gift to him. I have no doubt that he knew your love.
Sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks as I think of your loss. Sending you gentle hugs over the border. ♥

Leah J. Utas said...

So very sorry for your loss.

photowannabe said...

My eyes are so teary I can hardly see the keys while typing this.
I'm so sorry for the loss of that very special furry friend.
I'm also so sorry for the difficult time you have had.
Praying for the restoration of the aching heart and that joy will come again.
I have missed you and your gorgeous photos.
These of your precious cat are prize winners.

Indrani said...

Oh! That is sad!
Sometimes peace is better than suffering!
I feel sorry for your loss.

Betty Manousos said...

i'm so very sorry for your loss, dear friend. it's tough to loose a beloved furry friend. my heart is breaking for you. what a wonderful tribute to your beautiful kitty! i'm thinking of you and will keep you in my prayers.

take care.

(((hugs)))

Betty Manousos said...

i was wondering about you and just checked your page today. welcome back!
thinking of you!

(((hugs)))

Wendy said...

So hard to put a beloved pet down. Been there several times, it's heartbreaking! Sorry you are going through such struggles at this time, but hoping things will turn out for you in the end. Sometimes we have to walk through the fire….. Not a very nice journey.

Sending you lots of white light and love.
Hugs,

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Bravo, to you. I'm sorry for your losses. I'm happy for your strength and hopeful for what is ahead. So happy to see your post. Go at your own pace.

Jessica Marie said...

::hug:: So sorry for your loss. Our furbabies are part of the family and it's very hard when we lose them. Skittles had lived a very long and loving life. I'm sorry that Skittles was so sick. It sounds like my cat now... though her's is more from allergy medicine. Maybe I should have my cat checked out.

Slamdunk said...

Sorry to hear about your loss and the pain that you have suffered, Hilary. You have been missed around here...

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! Skittles must have been a fabulous cat and I loved reading the tribute. Tje las photo behind a curtain is perfect!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

How wonderful you have a friend like Carol Ann.
I do not.
You are blessed. We just visit with our feline friends and they grace our lives.
Take care. Many hugs.