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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Worst Day

In December of 2000 my ferrett George died. My husband and I had just bought our house and I was working as Head Teller at the bank. One of my co-workers had heard of a bunch of cats that were found in a dumpster behind Ames (now Target). I went to visit the kittens and came home with the cutest grey and white striped kitten we named Ashley. We took her to the vet to get checked out and found out the she was a he :-) So Ashley became Ashes.
He was a great cat. I had cats growing up that were crazy, pulling down the ceiling tiles, biting and scratching. Ashes never did any of those things. He was a big cat weighing almost 28 pounds. He loved to be brushed and let me give him baths and clip his nails with no complaining. He loved to be carried around like a baby and he would put his head on my shoulder. I started calling him Cat because he would run if you asked where the cat was :-)
After we had The Girl we bought a new couch. Ashes had it out for that couch. If he got around the couch he would mark it. She we made him his own room. The dogs slept in that room and his food, water, litter box and bed were in there. My beads are also in that room. The girl and I would visit and play with him every day. My wonderful husband took over changing the litterbox while I was pregnant.
On Wednesday I noticed he was looking funny. He looked a little thinner than he did the day before and he was breathing hard. I thought it was the heat so we put a fan in his room to circulate the air conditioning. (We only have window units)
On Thursday I was off from the salon in the morning to work on some Etsy shop stuff and make more etched copper pendants. I checked on him when I woke up and he was still breathing heavy but ran to greet me when I came in the room. I brushed him and asked him what was wrong. He wouldn't leave my side so I let him out into the kitchen with me while I worked. I took a shower with him in the bathroom. When I sat down to do my makeup he ran over to me. I knelt down and cradled him in my arms. He took 3 breaths and went limp. I knew he was gone but I kept running in and out of the room yelling what's wrong, what's wrong. what can I do?
My husband was gone for the day and out of cell phone range. I didn't know what to do so I just sat with him for a long time and wrapped him in a new green blanket, he loved fleece blankets.
He was buried this morning and I still can't believe he's gone. It seems so surreal. I haven't been able to go in his room yet and I am not sure when I will feel okay to go in there. I know he was just a cat but he was my cat, he was a part of our family. When The Girl first started talking we would laugh because she would say "Cat, doggie, doggie, doggie, doggie" we figured out it was because we have 4 dogs but only the one cat.

Dear Ashes,
Thank you for picking us as your forever home. I was happy to be your mom and although it was very hard on me to be with you when you passed I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I hope you know that you were loved and will be missed. I know the pain in my heart will fade but the memories of you never will. 




Ashes December 2009

20 comments:

My Life Under the Bus said...

So sorry Shannon - They are totally part of the family - fur doesn't change anything.

steufel said...

Oh Shannon, so sorry to hear that. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet. They quickly have a place in the heart and in the family.

Janet said...

That hurt to read "he wouldnt leave my side", Im so sorry! Their lives are so short really. And its hard to close those chapters!

kelleysbeads said...

Ashes was a beautiful boy (wow, a 28 pounder!) and sounds like an absolute sweetheart. I know he was well loved in your home and as hard as it was, I'm glad you were there holding him when he passed. He went, knowing how much you loved him.

ColleensDesigns said...

I'm so sorry. We lost our 9 1/2 yr old Boston Terrier in December. Our pets become more than pets and our homes just aren't the same without them. You'll be in my thoughts & prayers.

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

Oh, no Shannon… I am SO sorry for your loss. The furry babies are as much a part of the family as the not so furry ones. He was a beautiful big cat! I am pretty darn impressed that you could bathe him and clip his nails without getting scratched or bitten. Heard male cats are usually more laid back… Time will help & lots of hugs from your little one will help you feel better.

lynsey said...

Oh my Goodness, how sad. I know it was hard for you that you witnessed his passing, but at least you were there in his last moments, no doubt this was a comfort to him.
He was not just a cat he was part of your family. I sincerely hope the pain in your heart subsides soon, i am deeply sorry for your loss
much love x

Janet - Honey from the Bee said...

So sorry for your loss. I agree with the previous comment - fur doesn't change anything.

Your post read beautifully. Heartbreaking but wonderful that he wanted to be with you and leapt into your arms at the end. Makes you wonder how much they know and are more attune to their lives.

Lisa said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I so understand all your pain (tears are streaming now). I love, have loved, and will always love my cats and dogs like part of my family. When you live with them, it's just wrong not to! Time does heal pain and your memories will always make you smile. Praying your heavy heart will soon be replaced with the warm, happy memories of your beloved Ashes.

Spirited Earth said...

sorry to hear this sad news..i agree fur doesn't change the way we feel about our family members..it's such a good thing you were home when this happened..difficult on you i know..but good for Ashes to have had you near.

Miss Val's Creations said...

I am so sad to hear of your loss. I always had cats growing up and have 2 today that are best friends. It is difficult when you lose these wonderful friends. Hang in there! ~Val

swopemelmel said...

Dear Shannon, I am so, so sorry. I think we all understand your love for Ashes. Our pets are like children to us. I know you are hurting and I hope that sweet memories will soon ease away the pain. With much love, Melanie swopemelmel@aol.com

Designs by Dawn Marie said...

Awww, Shannon, I'm so very sorry. Hugs to you, your daughter and hubby as you weep for your fur-baby. I understand how much our fur-kids bring to our lives.

Sending love & hugs your way sweetie!
{Hugs!}

Kristi said...

What a lovely tribute to amazing Ashes, he sounds like such a bright soul and I'm sure his light will shine on in your life. Grieve on my friend, we understand!

Judy said...

Awwww, Shannon I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Animals bring such love and joy into our lives and I think Ashes did that for you and you for him. I am glad you were able to hold him and that he came to you when he needed you the most.

GlassBeadArt said...

What a beautiful cat! I am very sorry for your loss, it is always so hard to let them go!

Pretty Things said...

I am so so so incredibly sorry. We lost a beloved pet last year and it still is hard. What made me start to heal was volunteering at the local animal shelter -- not sure if, in time, that might help you.

I'm thinking of you.

Mellisa said...

Oh Shannon, I am so very sorry for your loss...it never seems fair that we get to spend such a short time with them. Hugs and comforting thoughts to you...

Renata's arts and crafts said...

I have tears on my eyes reading you post ... so sad... I have a cat which is sleeping with me and my husband and did feel your pain...

Kristen said...

Oh sweet Shannon! I am sending all the hugs I can even if they are late!