Thursday, November 12, 2009

A broken heart

My heart is breaking. Franklin, who has been at the vet's since Monday, has had a slew of tests done and then surgery today. I was praying for a miracle.

I'm not going to get one.

The surgery found several tumors (seven) in his gut. When the vet called me (while I was teaching) they asked if I wanted to euthanize him right then. I said no. I wanted them to sew him back up and I wanted to see him one more time. I couldn't let him go yet. That is selfish but that is my prerogative right now. I have spent many wonderful years with him and I wanted one more day. One more day when he knew me and I could spend some time playing with him before he goes to sleep and doesn't wake up.

I just visited him yesterday on my day off and we played for 25 minutes. I brought his two snakie snake toys and rubbed him down with them and sang our snakie snake song. I brought him up to the window to see the outside twice. Hard to think that was his last view of the outdoors, that he'll never be coming home again.

I have made the appointment for 9:30 tomorrow morning. I will go in at 9 to see and play with him and take pictures. I will ask someone there to take a picture of the two of us as I don't have any of the two of us together. I will sing to him, bring him some catnip, and bring some toys. I want to have the most pleasant thirty minutes possible. I love him so dearly and deeply that I want him to know that he was a wonderful blessing in my life.

I adopted Franklin from a local humane society group in spring of 2000. I was newly separated from my husband who would not allow me to take my cat with me. Franklin was one of a few cats, the oldest at about two and a half, but he was definitely the lovey doveyest! He had been rescued from an abusive owner so we had a lot in common. Franklin also had a nervous condition where his fur was falling out.

I took him home that day. I figured, that like Charlie Brown's little Christmas tree, all he needed was a little love.

The first few days with him were awful! You weren't expecting that were you? He yowled and howled all night long that first evening, holed up in the back of a fake fireplace. I called the lady and begged her to take him back at once. No way could I live like that!

She managed to convince me to keep him for one more night and then I could call the next day and return him if I still insisted. Well, he was just as awful the next night so I tried calling the woman back. She wouldn't answer the phone for days. (Smart woman!) Suddenly, things started to cool down and we developed a sense of detente, a somewhat peaceful coexistence.

Franklin wouldn't let me out of his sight in the beginning. A closed door equalled a crying cat. It also equalled a cat who would literally smack himself into the door over and over until the door would pop open. Showers were now meant for two and all doors stayed open.

Then Franklin's fur started growing back, too. Without any medicine. All he needed was a little love after all.

We've been through a lot over the past almost decade. A divorce, other failed relationships, moving four times, my MS diagnosis, and my almost year-long sick leave from the past school year. Franklin was always there, letting me know I was loved and not alone, even when I felt that I was in deep and dark places. He would come to me when I cried and nuzzle me. He slept near me on the big comfy bed at night. In the morning he would be squeezed up tight between the end of the bed and me, tucked in so he knew the exact moment when I was awake which meant foodie time for him.

Now the lack of appetite of the last three weeks symbolize the tumors that were inside eating away at him. Franklin was a big cat but he has lost three pounds in three weeks. I used to call him Gobble Guts because he ate so much and so voraciously. Those days are gone. What I would give for a healthy Gobble Guts day!

If you are not a pet person then this might seem to be much ado about nothing to you. But, I know there are lots of pet people out there. I have seen your messages to me and I have appreciated them.

Tomorrow will be one of the hardest days of my life. I do not want to do this. I do not want to leave him there at the vet's office. I do not want to say goodbye to my most loyal and littlest pal. How do you say thank you for all the years of love and selflessness that Franklin gave to me?

Maybe there is a miracle in this story, just not the one I hoped for. I had years with a wonderful feline who loved me as much as I loved him. I know tomorrow there will be a river of tears, a torrent of anguish. I know I will be sending my little boy to a place without pain. I just hope he can feel my love and gratitude. That is what I will pray for through my tears.


Anne P said...

What a lovely tribute to your very special kitty. Please know my thoughts are with you as you endure this horrible event. When you're able, would you post a picture of him?

the queen said...

I'm so sorry. Even right after it happens, remember that however much pain you feel he brought you much more happiness. And now you've relieved his pain and made him happy.

Anonymous said...

I was really hoping and praying that Franklin wouldn't be like my dog Madeline, but it didn't work out that way. It has been two years and I still miss her. I'm so sorry. Much peace and blessings going your way.

Jen said...

: (

I don't know what to say, Weebs.

: (


Anonymous said...

As lucky as you were to have him, he was equally lucky to have you. Your tribute is beautiful, and all of us who love our pets like you love Franklin will be thinking of you and praying for you in the days and weeks to come.

JENNY said...

I cried as I read your blog. I imagine myself in your shoes and it is a horrible feeling. My dogs are my children and I can't imagine what you are going through. One of them is going in for surgery next week and I am terrified. Please know that my thoughts are with you during what I know is a Terrible time for you.