Friday, March 19, 2010

Losing my Zane

"I never gave much thought to how I would die. But dying in the place of someone I love seems like a good way to go. Death is peaceful. Life is harder."
-Bella Swan, Twilight

I lost my Zane. I can't even believe this.

He was the love of my life. This may seem extreme to those who never met my cat, but he was quite the character.

He was quirky, loving, protective, active, playful. He followed me everywhere around the house. It didnt matter where I went, he followed. If I was doing laundry, he would walk down the steps and watch me put clothes in the washer. Zane slept with me every night, often on me. I would sometimes feel this heavy weight on my chest, and there he was sleeping away. If I was curled in a ball on my side, he would form himself to the shape of my leg and lay on top of it. He loved it when I scooped him up in my arms, cradled him like a baby and scratched his tummy. He purred so loud it sounded like a motor.

Zane and his twin sister, Isabelle, came into my life in September 2002. I was living in Northeast Pennsylvania and they were given to me - part of a litter of feral kittens born in the wild. I didn't ask for them. My ex in-laws rather dumped them on me, in my opinion, and said something like: "Here these are your's now."

They were so young and so small, they fit into the palm of my hand. Zane was defensive and even scratched my hand when I tried to pick him up out the box they were in. I thought to myself, "I am going to give you extra attention to make sure you trust and love me." And that's how it came to be. I know he was just a cat, but there was such a bond.

My family's 13 year old german shepard passed away in January. We had to have him put down because he was very sick from cancer.

I had noticed Zane sort of hiding out for the last two days. I was in and out of the house all week, so I didn't give it much thought. It wasn't like him to be hiding.

he would pop out as soon as he heard me, but I was so busy, I didn't connect the dots. When I got home from school at 9 pm Thursday, my dad told me to look for Zane because he wasn't acting right. I found him hiding behind the couch. I picked him up and his body was limp. He was barely breathing and barely blinking. My heart sunk.

It scared me to even hold him. I put him in my dad's lap and we called the vet immediately. I started crying and mom tried to calm me down, by telling me our other family cat got urinary tract infections a few times, that its not uncommon in cats and it makes them lethargic. Something told me it was a lot more than that. I knew in my heart how this was going to end.

I held him gently, pet him and talked to him as we quickly got to the vet. The poor baby was jaundice. The doctor said his liver was extremely enlarged and when it gets to this point there is no turning back. Conditions like these are usually the result of some sort of cancer. Since his liver was in failure, the vet said he was purely intoxicated. If we would have taken him home, the doctor said he would surely die a painful death in a few days. I knew what had to be done. The decision was excruciating. I said my goodbyes as he laid so quietly on the table. My dad held me up. I asked him to be there when it was time, because I didn't want Zane to be alone, but I coulnd't watch him go.

He is being cremated and we will bury him in the backyard.

The four levels of coping with loss: Guilt (I wish I had noticed sooner, but the doctor said there was nothing I couldn't have done). Denial (It feels like he is still around and I am trying not to think about it when I lay in my bed. He laid with me all the time) Anger (I am so angry. Why did this happen just two months after God took my loving and wonderful dog Buddy?) Depression (I am in shock, numb right now)

I know I have to focus on the good memories. That's part of why I couldn't bring myself to be there when he was put to sleep. I didn't want to remember him that way. Right now, though, its so painful to believe he is gone. He was not even 8 years old.