Today, my son’s heart was broken for the third time in less than a year’s span. In May, his Grandma Rhonda died suddenly. In June, he lost a papa he thought he could count on forever (see earlier posts for details). Tomorrow, he will lose his best friend, his confidant, his companion in life – his cat Bear.
We will make the usually short but painfully long trip in the morning to say goodbye. Bear is at the vet right now, waiting to be put to sleep. He has kidney disease, and with his age (over 12 years), the deterioration of his kidneys and his extreme weight loss and dehydration, there’s really nothing we can do that will guarantee survival. He had lost weight quite quickly about a month or so ago, and Jeremy kept saying it was the new cat food he didn’t like. So, I finally gave in and bought different cat food, and he seemed to perk up a bit. His hair looked a little better, he started gaining weight back very slowly over the next week or so.
Last night, I noticed his upper lip was swollen and he had drainage under his bottom lip. I looked inside, and it looked like he had four absessed teeth. “That’s why he’s losing weight! He can’t eat!”, I told everyone. But a little bit later, I thought to myself “Four teeth at once? That seems pretty unlikely. I think there’s something else wrong.” Yep. Kidney disease. The absessed teeth were actually ulcers, due to high elevation of white blood cells. He looked horrible.
I watched in helplessness as Jonathan cried himself to sleep tonight. I also cried – obviously I will miss Bear terribly. But the real source of my tears was the pain I could feel in my gut as I stroked Jonathan’s head, lacking the words to make it all better. I know how it feels to lose a beloved pet, as all of you do too. It will cut to the quick for quite a while afterward. As Jonathan sleeps by himself for the first time in years, my heart hurts for him and the mother in me wishes for the magic cure for heartbreak and loss, disappointment and tears.