Posted on March 27, 2010


to my dearest wisper –

you have been my most beloved constant for the past ten years.  i am so sorry i couldn’t do more for you.  i will miss you and your amazing purr so very, very much…

i’ll love you forever.

your mommy

ps. when you see your grandma, don’t forget to tell her you’re “wiskers”… since that’s what she always called you.


i have always said that i would do anything and everything i could to ensure my pets would have long, happy lives.  and it’s b/c i love them.  perhaps, or even more obviously, not the way i love my silly monkey, but i love them unconditionally nonetheless.  and they love me unconditionally.  they make me happy….

these “lives” are something i have struggled with for over nine years now, beginning with the adoption of  my duck-cat, lucis, back in 2002.  i found him outside of a large corporate office – starving, covered in ticks, shivering and barely moving.  after a stay at the hospital and nights sleeping on heating pads, i brought home a kitten sized one-year-old kitty with severe health problems.  i’ve loved him from day one.  he’s my boy.  and he’s lived an amazing eight years, with many more to come.

i began to struggle with it again when my dog, dexter, was diagnosed with addison’s disease in 2004.  it’s not curable, but it is treatable – with proper treatment, he could live a long and happy life.  and so after thousands of dollars and monthly injections, i’ve done what i said i would do… what i can do.  the thing with dex is… he has spells (maybe once a year).  some are worse than others.  but all of them make me wonder if i do what i do b/c i am selfish and want him here with me, with no regard for his life or his happiness?  for this, am i guilty?  in his case, i say no.  not yet, anyway.

and then there’s wisper.  my dear, dear wisper…

i met wisper when i was 19 years old, when i started dating M.  his purr was so loud it kept me awake at night – sometimes resembling a jet, sometimes an owl… sometimes an old VW bug.  when M and i separated, nearly eight years later,  he left wisper with me, to my absolute delight.

he was the king of the house.  and he did three things like clockwork… slept.  ate.  eliminated (always in his box).  in that order.  he was the perfect fat happy house cat.  absolutely perfect.

so when his eye problems became an eye condition and required surgery, i was more than happy to give him what he needed to give him quality of life.  his enucleation was done in january 2010, yet he never fully recovered.  over the course of the past three months, wisper lost weight, started eliminating outside of the litter box, barely ate/drank, became extremely weak & lethargic and had excessive swelling at his surgical site.

last night, he began breathing heavy, yet slowly, as his surgical site burst open.  blood was everywhere.  and it didn’t stop.  for 6 1/2 hours, when he took his last breath.

the animal ER gave me options:

1.  pump him full of pain meds and IV fluids and antibiotics in anticipation of an expensive exploratory surgery to determine the root cause… or

2. humanely euthanize.

it was at this point, i began another struggle with what was right for my “baby”.  and after painful contemplation and manyMANYmany tears, i didn’t believe that it was best to put my wisper through any more surgery, not knowing what would happen, or even if the outcome would be any more favorable than just letting him slip away quietly and peacefully.

this struggle was so much more difficult than any of the others.  at 430am, i held my wisper, sang to him, talked to him and told him how much i love him and would miss him.  i repeated over & over how sorry i was that this had happened to him and that there wasn’t anything more that i could do to ensure that his life would be of quality… not just quantity.  and he quietly and peacefully slipped away.  in my arms.

my home certainly doesn’t feel the same.  it doesn’t sound the same.  it doesn’t smell the same.  and i am forever changed by the one and only constant, aside from my family, that has stood at my side for the past ten years.

i know that more times than not, the right thing to do is the most difficult thing to do.

and he’s gone.  and i’m heartbroken… and again, struggling.


so what did happen?

i suppose i’ll never know.  but the most likely culprit was a reaction to the internal sutures, which didn’t allow the site to heal and actually created necrotic tissue, which in turn caused excessive swelling and bleeding that his poor body could no longer handle, so it burst.  this certainly wasn’t for lack of good surgery.  or medication.  or expertise.

just bad luck.


Posted in: family stuff