Friday, January 15, 2010


Hi folks.  Really sorry to drop off the earth like that.

As I said in the comments to the last post, I'm so impressed with you all.  Outstanding thoughts; which deserve good response.

What happened on my end was a blizzard and two deaths.

It was a really good blizzard; took some work getting through.  In the middle, Spice's grandmother passed away, in Colorado.  Spice had lived with her extensively while growing up, so she was a really significant person; Spice needed to go there.  Age and an inoperable tumor.

Then a few days before Christmas my father "stopped breathing"; as my sister so gracefully put it.  She was with him; as she had been for years.  He was 97; his body at the "One Hoss Shay" point.  His mind was plenty clear; and the day before, he'd decided to refuse all his medications, except a little for pain.  He just stopped.

It was not a surprise, but I found it more unbalancing than I'd expected.  It's just been taking some time to cope, and find some balance again.


Your comments on the last post wound up giving me an idea, which I'll bring up next post.  Something that might actually help, a new response to the problem; whatever it is.


And this morning, it's actually 3 deaths now, not 2.  We have been raising two kittens this year, to replace a well loved tom that failed to come home from a periodic ramble.  The black one, named "Henrí" by Smidgen, after the video cat- just mysteriously died; no sensible cause obvious.

He'd been an outrageously healthy kitten and "teenage" cat; I'd commented multiple times that he was the original cat that curiosity killed.  He was into everything; but was also very bright, agile, and very sweet.  He never clawed you on purpose.

He came home after an absence of a day, and was not "himself".  Lethargic all day, at bedtime I noticed he was having some muscle tremors; Spice noticed he had no pupillary response.  Which means very serious problems.  We made sure he was warm.  No sign he was in pain.  Spice held his paw and kept him warm in bed, hoping that as cats often do he'd pull through it.   Years ago, with another teenage cat at the vet's; having him stapled back together from a run-in with a big mama coon, the vet let it slip that among vets the expectation is "with cats, if all the pieces are just in the same room- they get well."

But not this time; he passed away at 1 am.  No, no way to get him to a vet.

Our house animals are members of the family; no, he wasn't a human; but we teach Smidgen that our cats and dogs are "persons".

And they are.


Farmer's Daughter said...

So sorry for all your losses. My great-grandma passed away when I was in high school, at the age of 99. She was coherent, just her body was worn out. She told us what day she was going to die, and she would have if we hadn't put her in the hospital. She ate ice cream for her last days, and said she was happy to see her husband again in heaven after 30 years apart. That's how I want to go.

As for animals, they're just as much family (sometimes more so) than anyone else. Sending positive thoughts your way!

Aimee said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It sounds like your Dad got as good a death as any of us are likely to get.... I wish your family peace in your mourning.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, especially for those who have passed.
I hope that the happy memories will soon overshadow the losses.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for all your losses. All losses are hard, but it's sometimes more difficult during the holiday season.
Furbys are people too. They are also our children.
Please know that you are being thought of and prayers are with your family

Sandy said...

I'm sorry for your losses. All souls that pass over leave us feeling sad. I suspect that will change when we reach that point ourselves, but in the meantime, it's hard to comprehend. I want to tell you how much I admire your lifestyle. I wish I could dig myself out and do it too.

EngineerChic said...

I'm so sorry for all the recent losses. Even when you know it is coming, it is so hard to lose a parent. It seems to un-anchor us.

We've lost old animals and young, and I don't know which is worse. Both hurt like hell, just in different ways. Take care, I hope you have some peaceful moments in the coming weeks so you get a chance to come back into yourself.

belinda said...

Condolences on the losses that you, spice and smidgen have experienced. There is never a good time to loose persons you love even when it is not unexpected.

Kind Regards

Wendy said...

I'm sorry to hear about your losses, and our dogs are part of our family, too. It will be a great loss when they pass.

Jordan said...

I'm sorry to hear about the deaths in your family. You'll all be in my prayers.

knutty knitter said...

Losses are hard at first and some just stick in your mind.

And cats are definitely family. I'm looking at Chainsaw and thinking he is getting very frail and arthritic now. He has been part of the kids lives since they were born so it may be a bit of a shock when he goes (although I think it will be a while yet.)

Seems like Murphy's Law was working overtime when it added the blizzard.

viv in nz

SLA said...

So sorry to hear of the passing of so many loved ones. I know how much Spice loved her grandma. Your dad was an amazing guy, and it saddened me and my family to hear of his death. And I just went through the death of a kitty this fall and know how difficult that can be. Hugs to all of you as you emerge on the other side of this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your losses, perhaps worse somehow for coming so closely and during the darkest part of the year.

Hank Roberts said...

Glad you're alive. Hope we see you any time there's an opportunity.

Laurie in Mpls. said...

So very sorry to hear about your losses, all of them. My dad died 5 years ago this coming March -- he would have been 90 years old right now. His health was bad, had been bad for years, and he just decided he was tired of fighting. I was present when he passed -- both a privilege and a burden. I'm glad your dad got to make a conscious decision about how he went. And so very sorry to hear about Spice's grandmother, too.

As for the young fur person, I am so touched that you/Spice kept vigil with him as if he were a human person. I've had to put two cats down due to health issues -- neither one was actually mine, but that's complicated -- and they tore me up pretty bad. At least your little guy was warm and safe and knew he was loved. That's about all any of us can ask for.

My thoughts are with you as you mourn all the losses. And I'm going to stop writing now and go hug my cats and my husband.

kerrick said...

What a season. I'm so sorry about all the persons you've lost, and I'll be thinking of you and Spice and the rest of your family. I hope the rest of your winter unfolds with ease and comfort and gives you time to recover.

Laura said...

Oi. That's a lot of loss. Condolences and hugs from someone you don't know inreallife but who denifinitely sends warm thoughts and comfort to you and yours.