Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And so it goes...

I am doing rather well with dealing with the loss of Franklin. Not that I didn't love him because I did but because I knew it was his time to go. He was just sick for so long and not eating and I knew he was suffering. On the night he was to be put down, the vet's office called to say they were on their way. As I was hanging up the phone Franklin started to make this guttural scream type of a noise and started to vomit on the floor. He never moved from that spot on the floor again. It was just too much for my poor sick baby.

It took three shots for Franklin to finally make it to kitty heaven. The little bugger just wouldn't stop breathing. He was a fighter to the end. I just kept petting him and telling him I loved him and that it was okay to go on. I cried and cried, knowing that soon they would take him away and I would never pet him again.

But there's news...

I *am* going to be a cat mom again! I had filled out the paperwork on Franklin's last evening and I told him all about it. He purred away so I figured he was okay with it. I have also been "talking" to him and asking him to guide me to a new kitty.

Last night I got the approval so I will have another cat by the end of the week! It looks like it will be a female, an orange tabby already named Patty. Her new name will be Edison. I am adopting from the local SPCA. My parents have even offered to pay the adoption fee!

This in no way diminishes my love for Franklin angel. It just shows him that my heart is still open to love. I adopted F from the local SPCA and my cat before him. I have always chosen cats that aren't kittens, ones a little older with their personality developed and a need for a forever home.

It's nice to post such pleasant news.

I will be going to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. It will be just the three of us and a 20 pound turkey. I like those numbers as I love turkey! Yummo!! My brother will be in Scotland and my sister just chose not to come home. I hope she comes home at Christmas as she deploys to Afghanistan in mid-January.

Wishing all of you a blessed Thanksgiving with family, friends, and fur babies.

Friday, November 20, 2009


It is almost 4 a.m. for me and I am very tired. I just wanted to let you know that Franklin was put down last night at 9 p.m.

It was the most difficult thing I have ever done but things had turned for the worse. I will write more later, when I can.


Friday, November 13, 2009

My miracle!

If you read yesterday's post then you know about my little pal, Franklin. Today I was supposed to put him down at 9:30.

There was a miracle! Praise be to the powers above.

I received a call from the vet at 8:46 p.m. last evening. It went to my voice mail because I was on the phone and I abhor call waiting. I got the message after nine when they close. I tried to call the vet's office anyway and the doctor answered.

She suggested we try chemotherapy on Franklin to extend his life instead of ending his life. We talked about it and I agreed to give it a try.

What a difference a day makes! Franklin is now home and napping at the top of the stairs. He purred the whole way home in the car and does so anytime I am near him. I am so happy that we may have the opportunity to be together for a little longer.

We still have to battle with pills three times a day but I can handle that. It takes love and patience, something I have for my wonder cat.

PS: Thanks for the messages on yesterday's post. They brought me comfort.

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.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sadness again

Today was my Tysabri infusion. I cried all the way there and all the way home because I am so sad about Franklin. He's at the vet's now awaiting tomorrow's X rays and ultrasound.

When I came home in the middle of the day I found F on the big comfy bed. He had thrown up a large amount of bile on the bedspread. However, he started to purr as soon as I came up the stairs to pet him.

When I came home from the Ty appointment the two of us went up to get the comforter to wash it. Franklin likes to "help" make the bed so he was delighted with a new comfy and fresh smelling bedspread. Then he proceeded to loll all over the bed. I spent some time up there petting him and scratching him under the chin. He had a little snooze before I corralled him into his carrier.

I hate leaving him at the vet's but the women there adore him and know him well now. I asked them to give him fluids tomorrow after his procedures. That has to help a little.

I'm thankful for my bestest pal. I'll miss him something fierce tonight at bedtime.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More on Franklin

My little furball is still not eating much. He generally licks the gravy off the soft food and maybe eats a few kibbles of hard food. Not good!

We went back to the vet yesterday and F got checked out all over again. The good news was no fever so his two antibiotics must be working. The vet felt a bump on F's sternum which could be a tumor. We decided that Franklin would be going back to the vet on Monday to stay overnight for testing on Tuesday. Tuesday will be the X rays and ultrasound day as they look for potential tumors.

If there are no discernible tumors then it looks to be FIP which is fatal. I try to remain detached about it but inside there is a lot of hurt and late at night the tears come.

Thanks to all of you who have written to ask about F and those who have sent up prayers. I really appreciate it. God bless you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Franklin update

He's out of the hospital since Saturday after spending last Thursday and Friday back in for meds and fluids. He's eating teensy bits of food but not a lot. Frankly, I don't know how Franklin can eat so little and still act so healthy. He purrs and loves me still but his belly must be a rumbling.

He goes in for a checkup on Saturday morning. We'll see what the doc has to say about the whole situation.

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts. My littlest pal is still hanging in there.

Time to go watch Survivor now. Happy early weekend!