Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sad, Stressful Times

It’s been a sad, stressful and anxious three weeks here at home. My mother Jacqueline was taken suddenly ill with pulmonary embolism and has been in hospitals (here and out-of-town) for over two weeks. During this time, our cat Patches became very ill. Coping with both of these events has left me with little time or energy for my blog.

While Mom was recovering (she hasn’t yet returned home), my family had to make a very difficult decision about our beautiful cat Patches, who’s been ill for a few months.

Our vet suspected cancer. Patches, who was about 15 years old, had multiple health issues for which she was being treated – hypothyroidism, arthritis, vestibular disease, low body temperature, kidney problems and bladder infections. The last couple of weeks before she died, Patches was even more unwell, and vomited blood. Dr. Madsen was very supportive, answered any questions we had about Patches’ health, explained that our beloved kitty would progressively get worse, and suggested some options.

We knew we had to make a decision. Since it was the weekend, our son Nicholas asked to have a few more days with Patches. None of us wanted to let her go; after 12 years of living with us, we were afraid of what life would be like without our Patches. Monday morning, I called the vet’s office and made the arrangements to have her put to sleep the next day. Nicholas and I didn’t feel we could be there, but my husband Michael said he could, so he brought Patches to the appointment.

It was the hardest, saddest decision we had to make. The vet reassured Michael that it was the best thing to do, because Patches would only get sicker. During those last few days, we gave Patches extra love, attention, cuddles and kisses. We took photos of her with us and in her favorite spots around the house. We said “I love you Patches … what a good girl …” one last time. In the afternoon of Tuesday, 22 October, 2013, Patches gently fell asleep and passed away in Michael’s arms.

We love you and miss you, Patches.

Patches the cat

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

13 comments:

  1. So sorry, Yvonne. I know well these sorts of situations having at one time had four cats and losing one just before we moved house, and another not long after settling in. It is one of the hardest things we must do, to make these decisions, but it is ultimately an unselfish one when we let them go so they are finally pain-free and at peace.
    I'm sure you gave Patches a wonderful life, and you will have many fond, bittersweet memories, as I do of mine.
    I do hope your mother improves and returns to better health. Take care of yourself. These stresses can really take their toll on you.

    All the best,
    Kat

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    1. Thank you, Kat. It's very tough to decide what to do, but it needs to be what's best for our darling pets. My Mom might be able to come home in a few days, just waiting for some more tests.

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    2. I'll add her (and you) to my prayers.

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  2. My heart goes out to you during this terribly stressful time. Sending up prayers for your mother's improved health and for strength for you and your family during this time.

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    1. Thank you, Andrea for your thoughts and prayers; they are much appreciated.

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  3. It is so so sad when we have to make such difficult decisions about a precious part of our lives. They give you so much love and you just want to keep them forever but know you have to do the right thing by them. We left it too long with our old girl (then 18) and she died while we were overseas. Many tears were shed.

    Meanwhile I hope your Mum's health improves and she is soon back to her normal life.

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    1. Patches was precious; she brought such fun and happiness to our lives. It must have been very hard for you when you came back home. Thanks, Pauleen, for your kind words. Mom is improving and should be home later this week.

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  4. Dear Yvonne... the blog can wait. Don't stress about it. Thank you for sharing your story. It's heart wrenching and I feel like I'm there with you. May you be watched over and cared for as you grieve the loss of your feline family member. And may your heart receive peace with the ongoing situation with your mother.

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    1. I feel so out of the loop blog- and genealogy-wise these past weeks, Devon, but family members come first, don't they? We miss our Patches so very much - it's amazing how much such a little creature filled up our lives. Mom finally came home today; now for rest and recuperation. Thank you sincerely for your kind words.

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  5. Yvonne, I'm so sorry to hear about Patches. I'm glad to hear your Mom is home and hope her health continues to improve. Sending prayers to you and your family during this difficult time.

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    1. Thank you, Kathryn. All the prayers we've received are sincerely appreciated. Mom is doing better and getting back in her old routine at home.

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  6. I hope that your mother is recovering well.

    I am always complaining about needing to remove cat fur constantly but it is amazing how they become part of the family with a personality of their own, so I understand your loss.

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    1. Mom is better; thank you, Sharon. Her anemia has resolved itself and she's gaining strength day-by-day. (If PE doesn't kill you, it certainly knocks the wind out of you.) For all her small, furry size, Patches was a huge part of our family and she is dearly missed.

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