Monday, November 22, 2004

Zach (who was at one time Biz's companion) crossed over the "rainbow bridge" to kitty "heaven" yesterday afternoon (Sunday, 11/21/04). Zach had some kind of blood cancer, but we're not sure what it was, and was only diagnosed last Thursday (11/18/04).

We did not have to make the difficult decision to put him to sleep because he died on his own timing. For that, I'm very thankful. Once he exhibited signs that he was really, really sick, he was gone in 5 days. That was a blessing, too, for he did not suffer long.

Zach is buried right beside Biz in the backyard.

Rest in peace, Zach.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

I'm in sorrow again as my other cat, Zach, has been diagnosed with either lymphoma or multiple myeloma. It doesn't matter which, because he is fading very quickly.

Zach is a black domestic long-hair, about 11.5 years old. I noticed this summer that he was losing a little weight and I took him to the Vet in July where they did complete blood work (a normal check for all senior cats), and a urinalysis and everything was normal except for an elevated sugar level, which is normal for stressed-out cats at the Vet.

But recently, within the last few weeks, Zach didn't seem himself and is obviously losing much weight (from 15.5 pounds in July to about 11 this week) and this past Wed morning, Zach was basically unresponsive to food or petting - he obviously felt very bad. So we took him Thurs morning to the Vet where he diagnosed the cancer.

What I'm struggling with now is my own hypocracy: many folks have emailed me in the two years since Biz died and I've (hopefully) encouraged them with words like "I'm convinced cats don't fear death; it's a natural part of their lives," and "You'll know when the time comes that you must put your beloved to sleep." But now, those words ring hollow with me, because I'm staring in the face the loss of another beloved cat and the difficult decision of when to put him out of his misery.

Lord Jesus, be with me and give me courage, wisdom and strength. Thank You for the great years I've had with Zach (my big pookie). Please relieve Zach of any pain he is experiencing. Give me supernatural wisdom about how to care for him in these last days. Let me turn Zach into Your loving hands, for You created him. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Well, it has been two years since I lost my beloved Biz.

It has not been easy at times, as I remember her and especially her last days on Earth. But, I'm so thankful she is out of any pain or suffering. There's too much of that in the world today, both in the animal AND the human kingdoms.

I would like to encourage those of you still grieving the loss of your beloveds -- or who are currently going through a very difficult and painful walk with your beloved who is ill -- that you will, someday, be able to come out on the "other side" where the pain you feel over your loss is less than the great memories you have together. It can happen! It is possible. Please tuck that away in the back of your heart and hold on to that hope of a better day.

For me, I have bonded with my "kitty buddy," Zadie, whom we got from an animal shelter about 3 months after Biz died. Zadie is similar to Biz in some ways, but, of course, different in wonderful ways. We still also have our older cat, Zach, who gets pounced on by Zadie from time to time.

For me, Biz will always be so very special. But my heart has healed enough to let Zadie come fully in with a bond that is precious and one that I wistfully think, from time to time, that will be lost to death one day. Either her death, or mine. I know I shouldn't dwell on that day of separation from Zadie, but it's always there, and I always wonder in the back of my mind if I'll have to struggle with Zadie (or Zach) like I struggled with Biz's sickness. We shall see. Until then, I'll keep my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of my faith and know that He will be with me, even until the end of the age (mine, Zadie's and Zach's).