Saturday, April 25, 2009
This was a bad week.
People who don’t have pets or don’t like animals or think all dogs and cats belong outside should stop reading now.
Those who have pets or are animal lovers know how these little critters can enrich your life and worm their way into your hearts.
In November of 1995 we got two little kittens, a male and female brother and sister. We were supposed to actually get two males, but the kittens’s owner gave us the wrong one, though we didn’t know it at the time. We took them directly to our vets for a feline leukemia test. We had just lost a cat to that insidious disease and were determined it wouldn’t happen again. During the course of the test, we found out one of the kittens was female. We briefly debated taking her back and getting the other male, but while we had been waiting for the results, the tiny female had been curled up on Norma’s chest, never looking away from her eyes. They were irrevocably bonded.
When the vet asked the name of the two cats for their charts, I said the first thing that popped into my head, the name of a then-popular television series.
Thus, Lois and Clark joined our family.
Over the past few weeks, Lois had been acting odd. She was throwing up frequently, wasn’t grooming like she usually did, had lost a little weight and wouldn’t play as much as she normally had. At first, I put it off to old age. Recently, though, I was sure something was wrong.
Monday we took her to the vet, who decided she had a mass in her abdomen. On Tuesday the vet did exploratory surgery and found that Lois’s little body was filled with cancer. The prognosis wasn’t good. The vet could sew her up and send her home for a few weeks of progressively worse pain. Or we could let her go while she was still under, painlessly and peacefully.
As much as we wanted to keep her with us for even a few more days, we knew it would be selfish to let her suffer for our needs.
So we went into the operating room and kissed this sweet, gentle angel goodbye.
It’s one of the hardest things either of us has ever had to do.
There have been a lot of tears over he last few days. Nights are the worst for me. That’s when Lois would climb into bed with me, purring and “kissing” my lips and nose. I think morning are hardest for Norma, as Lois would sit in the chair with her while she worked at the computer.
But we have Clark to concentrate on, as well as our newest cat, Callie. Clark especially needs extra love now, as he wanders from room to room in this house, looking for his sister.
We had Lois cremated, and she rests now in a beautiful urn just a few feet from where I sit, in her favorite room.
I hope that the pain will diminish in the coming weeks and I can concentrate on the nearly 14 years of wonderful memories that I have of my little sweetheart. But right now it feels like an enormous hole has been carved out of my heart.