Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yemen 1998-2011

Years ago as newlyweds, we brought Yemen home from a pet store as an impulse buy. Today, we laid our hands on our elderly kitty while the vet put him to sleep. Last week he seemed perfectly fine to us. Today we rushed him to the vet, thinking he had undergone a seizure. In less than a week he lost 1/2 his body weight, had a temperature of 94 degrees and was 25% dehydrated. Without hospitalizing him and putting him through a series of diagnostic tests, the vet's best guess was that he was in full kidney failure, due to the size of his kidneys (that he could feel). He was very sick and clearly in a lot of pain. We made the decision we felt was the kindest for him.

Surprisingly, with all the pets I have, and have had in my life, I've never been through the procedure of putting them to sleep at the vet. Marshall was by my side when it happened, grieving with me. As difficult as it was, I was glad to be there when Yemen breathed his last breath.

Having now experienced two unexpected pet deaths in less than a month's time, I feel like my heart has been through the ringer.


  1. So sorry for this loss, Julie (Marshall & the whole family, too!)!!

    We had to put our Diego to sleep about a year and a half ago and I remember bawling like I'd never cried before. It all happened much quicker than I expected.

    The Todds are mourning with you.

  2. Pets are family members. You are in pain and grieving now. Take it slowly; take it easy.
    I found this and sent it to Norm a few weeks ago. I am not saying that it is wrong to get another pet - rather, ou have love to give another pet and you should do that whenever you are ready.....

    GRATEFULNESS: A Source of Strength

    by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    First: Nothing can console us when we lose a beloved person and no one should try. We have to simply bear and survive it. That sounds hard but is in fact a great consolation: When the hole remains unfilled, we remain connected through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the gap, because he keeps it empty and so helps us to sustain our old communion, even through pain.

    Then: The more beautiful and fulfilling our memories, the harder the separation. But gratefulness transforms the agony of memory into a quiet joy. We should avoid burrowing in our memories, just as we do not look at a precious gift continuously. Rather, we should rather save them for special hours, like a hidden treasure of which we are certain. Then a pervading joy and strength will flow from the past.

  3. Oh Julie, I am so sorry! I can totally relate to the heartache. Hugs.

  4. I'm so sorry Julie! Two beloved family cats in one month is a LOT! The Rainbow Bridge has two more angels (((hugs)))

  5. So sorry for you and the whole G Family. Sending all of you big warm hugs.

  6. Sorry for your losses!! UGH! I'm glad you were able to be there for him at the end....I'm sure it brought him comfort!

  7. Aw Julie...I'm so sorry :( He knew you were with him and I'm sure that he felt your love. So so sad :( My furs and I are grieving with you :(

  8. Ugh, I love kitties. I feel like they were my first children.

    I know people say they are just animals, but they are family members.

    I'm so sorry this is all happening at once (or really, at all!)..... You did great being there for him.

    I used to work as a vet tech in college and I would cry with the people when they had to put their cats to sleep...
    but on a lighter note, I never understood why everyone was so distraught over their dogs being put down (yes, I'm going to hell...)

  9. OMG Jamie! Thank you again for the much needed laugh! You crack me up.

  10. It's seems a bit wrong the way you just laugh about the fact that Jamie's going to hell because she hates dogs so much. She probably wants to replace them with cats. I don't mean to offend but it just sends the wrong msg to ur kids

  11. well...i love cats and dogs...funny but husband and i always said we stayed together for the kids...neither of us wanted they are grown up we stay together for the pets...we both want them...go figure...we had to put our cat down two years ago...she was 22....the same age her human brother...that was a tough one...anyhow....i am sorry for your losses...but ...look forward to more blogs about those hairless kitties...

  12. Anonymous (AKA MattDanTodd) awesome comment!!!

  13. Hello, I just came across your blog... the title caught my attention! Love it by the way...
    So sorry to hear about your cat. I've had that experience and it was such a sad time for me. Your cat looks a lot like my childhood cat. There is a link below so you can see him. You can't see his tail in the picture but his striping on his tail is identical to your cats! Thought that was cute :)