Rescue Cats & Other Adventures
Rex, Rainbow Bridge, Full

The Heartbreak of Loving Them

Chloe, Rainbow BridgeWe have had a rough time lately around the house of cats. First we lost three colony cats to neighborhood dogs. Then The Littles’ mom, Magnolia, got hit by a car and died in my hands. Then our very senior cat, Chloe, passed away quite quickly of old age.

Little Rex became ill, went blind, and then got very sick over less than two months. It was a painful process, and an even more agonizing decision to finally put him to sleep rather than suffer. I can’t even tell you how horrific it was to take him to the vet that last time, and hold him while he fell into a deep sleep he wouldn’t return from.

And the last blow was our old dog Sammy, a rescue that I adopted almost 14 years ago, finally got to that point in his struggle with arthritis, and we had to decide it was his time. We’ve spent a good year helping him with his daily routine. He started pooping randomly in the house, usually in bed. He went on increasingly strong dosage of pain medications. He lost control of his bladder. He lost control of his back legs. I spent the last four months of his life supporting his back end while we walked, while he stood to eat or pee. He got stuck on the floor and panicked because he couldn’t get up. We came home from work to find him trapped in his own poop on the floor.

After a long, painful week of not-good days, we decided his quality of life was too poor to continue. We had a party on Saturday and invited a bunch of people and dogs to come over and say goodbye again. And on Monday he took the long walk to cross the rainbow bridge. Fourteen years ago he was an 8-month-old puppy on death row at the pound, probably abuse, definitely scared and confused. Gainseville Pet Rescue gave him another chance, and we fell in love with him. He had a lot of good years, and it was hard letting him go.

This has been the radio silence on our side. We struggle to love these furballs while they are with us. And it hurts when they start to age faster than we do. In the end, we do our duty and help them ease their pain when there is nothing else. It’s all of the middle parts that are important. The cuddling and pets. Listening to the content sighs. The press of a wet nose in the middle of the night. Happy chirps of greetings when we come home. Not minding so much when they step on our bladder first thing in the morning, or knock our phones on the floor. The kitty farts, and the kitty wazzies.

Profile, Rex, RainbowIt was harder to accept that Rex wasn’t going to make it because he was a kitten. Sammy had over a decade of life behind him, while Rex was barely 7 months old. I don’t know why that matters. Regardless, we’ve seen more than a few animals over the Rainbow Bridge lately. We’d like to see some kitties off to new homes instead. Please help us with some good news for a while!