February 4, 2013

Saying Good-Bye to Marley



In 1997, Joe and I moved into an apartment in Rome, NY, straight out of college. He was student teaching and I was working at a local day spa. One day our landlords called us and said that they found a little tabby kitten running up the highway and it almost got hit by truck. They rescued her and took her to the vet and had her checked out, and they wanted to know if we'd be interested in taking her. It took me maybe a 1/2 a second to say yes. She had to be at least 6-8 weeks old at that point. The most adorable little thing you ever saw.

Over the next several months, she clawed the shit out of my carpet, loved to play on the banister of the stairs, went through a couple heat cycles, HOLY SHIT what a pain in the ass, we got her fixed right away and declawed. (would never do that again- but at the time we thought it would be a good idea since she had some sort of aversion to scratching posts!)

Several months later, Joe and I split up for a short period of time. I kept Marley and Joe got his own cat, a black 7 toed girl named Jezebel. We got back together and bought our first home in Rome. A  3 bedroom Cape. We decided to bring both cats into the new home, and we were hoping it would work out, being that neither of them had claimed the new house as their own. Day one. Marley cornered Jezebel and was ready to eat her for lunch. I was so stressed out, but fortunately I had a friend at the time whose sister had just lost her cat and she adopted Jezebel.

Marley loved the new house and quickly became quite fond of the gas powered stove in the living room that she loved laying in front of. We were there, got married a few years later, sold the house in 2007 and bought our new home in New Hartford. Marley moved to the new house without a problem. She loved the space and had a hell of a time running through the entire house at top speed during her rambunctious moments. She slept often on the dining room window perch and enjoyed watching the birds. She never had any interest in going outside, but had tried to escape on one occasion at the old house.

As Marley got older, she got lazier, and started losing weight a few months ago. We took her to the vet and found out she had the beginning stages of kidney disease, and also liver disease. Over the next few months, I left my day job and was home working, and caring for Marley. She became quite dependent on me and spent the last few months on my lap or Joe's lap as often as we allowed her.
After a few days of seeing a puddle of drool on her bottom lip, last week, I figured something must be going on in mouth. When I peeked in her mouth I noticed the bottom right jaw swollen and figured she had some sort of tooth infection. So I took her in to the vet on Saturday morning.

It was not good news. Just seeing the look on Dr. Tom's face, I knew it was not a good scene. He figured it to be a tumor, but needed an x ray to be sure. So they kept her for the afternoon and used anesthesia to take a few xrays. They had to send the results out to a radiologist. I took her home Saturday night and she was sleepy and groggy- we gave her some high powered pain meds. I knew at this point that it was probably not going to end well.  The fact that the vet gave me such powerful drugs made me realize that she must be in some serious pain. I felt terrible. Wishing I had noticed the issue sooner.  Sunday the results were terrifying. The tumor was certainly cancer, and the only remedy would be to remove the jaw. Not an option for me. Not for an old girl that was 16. Not for my girl who had already suffered enough. So we took her back in Sunday afternoon and had her put to sleep. I know that she is at peace now, but I cried my heart out all day yesterday after we returned home without her.  The guilt yesterday was almost too much to bear. I feel so sad, that she's gone. But feel guilty that I had to do this to her. I feel guilty that there were times that were trying, the last few months, where my patience ran thin and I raised my voice, begging her to please stop pacing and go lie down and relax.  That I didn't have enough time to say good-bye and love her more.

She was a wonderful pet. Always willing to love me, and sometimes bite me.  :) She was a great companion. Independent but also a lover who was quite content on a lap for hours. She purred right up until the end. I know she was a happy cat. And this was the best thing I could have done for her. I keep telling myself that. I know that she will always have a special place in my heart. No cat will ever live up to her legacy. But this house is way to quiet now. So Joe and I will be searching for a pair of kittens to adopt.

The last few days have drained me, emotionally and financially. To combat the unexpected vet bills, I'll be offering a coupon code this week for 25% off your jewelry orders. Please feel free to use the code MARLEY to get your discount.

Thank you for reading this. It has helped me remember what an awesome cat Marley was. I miss her so much and will for a long long time.


65 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I've dealt with the same sort of situation several times and I know that it's never easy. Don't doubt your actions or second guess anything. You know that you did the right thing and time will make that abundantly clear.
    ((Lorelei))

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  2. I am so sorry for you loss. You gave her such a wonderful, loving home.

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  3. I am so sorry for your loss, Lorelei. I had to make the same decision 2 years ago when our cat, Gator, went into kidney failure. You've done the right thing for her. She's no longer in pain.

    I wish you peace this week and in the weeks to come.

    Cristi

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  4. So sorry Lorelei. That was a very brave decision to make. Take care of yourself. :'-(

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  5. Lori, I hope the guilt has gone away. Euthanizing her was a kindness. Pets have no way of communicating pain or discomfort, unless it's extreme. They don't deserve to suffer. Many people hang on until the last possible moment; I think that's self-serving and cruel. If/when my pets are in pain or discomfort and there's nothing more to be done, I let go. I can't stand to think of them in misery. You absolutely did the right thing.

    Jenny

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  6. I'm so sorry. I understand the connection one can have with a 16 year old cat, that's currently the age of my elderly cat too. I think it's especially hard to lose a pet who has been with you through such significant milestones...getting married, getting your first home, etc. Praying that you will feel comforted today and through the next couple of weeks/months as you grieve.

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  7. I am so sorry for your loss Lorelei! Our cat Lunabelle is 12 1/2 now and the cat before her we lost at 13 so I Know the time could be nearing when we might lose her and I dread it. I know the hole you have in your heart right now and hope that the energy and love the 2 new kittens will offer will help you to heal.

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  8. So sorry Lorelei - times like this are heartbreaking I know...I lost a my beautiful Sacha to cancer at just 6 years old and I went through exactly the same emotional turmoil even though it all happended very quickly. Just remember she had a long and happy life because of you and you've done the right thing by her. Treasure your memories.

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  9. I am so sorry Lorelei. The depth of loosing a pet can't be explained, except to those who have gone through it. My heart to yours.
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  10. Mark and I are so sorry for your loss. Marley knew you loved her and it is natural for your emotions to be high. I am positive she felt your love all the way to the end. You did not just dump her off somewhere and move on. You and Joe cared for her and took her to the vet. She is a beautiful kitty and will always be with you. My condolences to you and Joe.

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  11. Anonymous2/04/2013

    Lorelei - I had to say good-bye to my beloved dog this week as well, so I know exactly what you are going through. I will tell you what the vet said to me - you are giving her a gift. And I have to believe I did. You are in my thoughts - I am so very sorry for your loss and what you're going through. Pennie

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  12. A beautiful tribute to Marley.

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  13. I'm so very sorry you had to lose Marley. She was an old girl and she was lucky to have such a wonderful life with you and Joe. You provided a caring and loving home where she was a happy cat. There is absolutely no reason you should feel bad or guilty. Any pet would be so lucky to have you as their caregiver! You always looked out for her best interests and you did the very best anyone could. You are way too hard on yourself! Rest In Peace, Marley.

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  14. I am so sorry for your loss! My three black ones are also saved sos cases... and it is with everything and everyone which is dear to one, sometimes it cost some nerves, but still, we love deeply. I can understand your feeling of guilt, such a decision is never easy made. I don't think that is anything one can say to make is really easier but I just wanted to say I feel with you.

    *waves*
    Claire

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  15. I'm so, so sorry to hear about Marley. She had a good home with you and Joe. I have a cat, too, who I love dearly.

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  16. Your post brought tears to my eyes. One can see how much she meant to you and how much you both meant to her. We found it very hard to lose our husband's and my first dog together. He had seen our early love and so much of our lives together. But we did get new dogs and it wasn't too long before we could say his name without getting choked up. It will happen for you, too, but let yourself remember all those moments that made Marley special. Maybe create a piece of art that you can use as a way to always have something as a memorial.

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  17. Tears in my eyes. My cat, Callie, had the same thing. I took her to the vet on my way out of town for the weekend, called two hours later as the vet was in at 9 and he told me the news. Needless to say my weekend out of town was not what I had hoped for and on Sunday when I got home, I went to the vet's office and held Callie for the last time. That was over a year ago and I still miss her. She was my pal.

    I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets make life so much more fun and interesting and it hurts like hell when we don't have them anymore. My thoughts are with you and Joe.

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  18. What a beautiful tribute to your precious cat. Sad for your loss; hugs to you.

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  19. Thank you for sharing your memories of Marley. I'm always sorry when people have to have their beloved pets put to sleep, but I also admire them for doing what is best for their ailing (and usually in pain) pets even though they will be so greatly missed.

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  20. I am so sorry to hear about your precious Marley. Our pets fill such a special place in our hearts.

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  21. I'm sorry for your loss. Hold your memories close!

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  22. So sorry, Lorelei. That made me cry. I know story like this, from my own life. At one time I had to put to sleep my lovely dog - she also had a cancer. It was so terrible.
    Don't be sad. You gave to Marley love and good life and she still lives in your heart:)
    Regards!

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  23. What sweet words Lorelei. How lucky Marley was to be in your lives. Beautiful memories you will cherish.

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  24. I'm very sorry about your loss...i can feel you dear Lorelei. We also lost one of our cats 2 years before, he had renal failure and he was only 4 years old and everything happened so quick...i will never forget him..he was my favorite !
    Sometimes..we can't do anything to save them...just to show them love..and even if we are yelling them sometimes...they will never keep malice...cats are superior than humans...intelligent and know how to forgive...!
    A big hug to you !

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  25. Oh! I am so very sorry to hear this Miss Lorelei. Our pets are our friends. You are a loving soul who took in Marley and made her a home that ensured she was a happy cat. I had a similar story with my dog Madison. I didn't know until the end how bad it must have been for him, and I felt guilt at having been so impatient with him. But the decision, while tough, is the most humane way to deal with that situation. Please know that I will keep you and Joe in my prayers to bring you peace. Erin

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  26. I am so very sorry for your loss. You did the best thing for her in letting her go to be pain free and happy. I firmly believe that all of our furkids will be waiting for us when it's our time to go. Until then, know that she loved you and is watching over you now. I hope the pain passes soon so that you can smile without tears at the happy memories.

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  27. Oh Lorelei! I'm so so sorry to hear of your sweet Marley's passing. I know that feeling of heartache, guilt, and immense sadness—I had to say goodbye to my little dog Pepper late December and I still cry daily. Please know that you gave Marley the most wonderful life she could have ever asked for and knowing when to let her go in the end and having the courage to do it was the kindest thing you could have done for her. She loved you and you loved her… and that is really all that matters. My heartfelt sympathies and prayers for you and Joe.

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  28. So very sorry, Lorelei! It's such a hard thing to have to put your pet to sleep. But you did the right thing. She would have suffered so after having a jaw removed. And what quality of life would that be?

    Too bad we don't live closer! I have a pair of calico colored tabbies about a year and a half old that need a good home. They look like two little tigers with their black and orange stripes.

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  29. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It's always hard to loose beloved cat (we lost several last year) and in cases like this there's not just the heart-breaking sorrow but also that nagging feeling of guilt -- the feeling that one should've spotted it earlier and the guilt involved in deciding to end the pain (even if one very well knows it's the best decision in this situation). But those who feel guilty are usually the ones that truly love their pets, the ones that have given them a great life and safe home and would do anything for them. They take on guilt even though there's nothing they could've done that would've changed anything in the end.

    You might no longer have Marley in your lap, but she's still in your heart. You gave her a good life and in the end you did the last thing we can ever do for our cats, you gave her relief from pain and suffering. I hope the worst pain from the loss will soon give way for the fond memories of her and the knowledge that you did what was best for her in a difficult time. She's in cat heaven now, happy and pain free and filled with her memories of your love for her.

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  30. I'm so sorry for your loss, Lorelei. Having to make the decision to put a beloved pet to sleep is very difficult, as many of us know from experience. The depth of your pain and grief are testaments to the depth of your love for her. You did the right thing, no matter how awful it felt. Just remember that she's pain free now. May your memories bring you comfort.

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  31. Awwww Miss Lorelei I'm so sorry for your loss......they become true members of our families and much more than just a pet...Miss Marley was a lucky puddy tat and had such a wonderful life with you and Joe....hugs xox

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  32. So very sorry to hear of your loss. Our pets are such very previous parts of our lives and it's a serious blow to lose one. Sounds to me like you were very good cat parents and made the best decisions you could with the knowledge you had at the time so I do hope you will try not not be too hard on yourselves - although I know it's difficult to give guilt a swift kick outta your head. Hang in there!

    KJ

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  33. I saw the title of this post and gasped "oh no". I am so sorry to hear you lost your sweet Marley. I have a pretty similar looking kitty about the same age as Marley, so I feel your loss. Please do not feel guilty. Remind yourself that you gave her a wonderful life. You were her angel when she needed you, and she loved you for it.

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  34. So sorry to read this post. Marley had a wonderful life and a long life.
    It makes me sad because it reminds me of my beloved Max too.
    Hugs!

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  35. Anonymous2/04/2013

    Hello there Lorelei,

    Today is the first day I visited your blog. I have admired your jewelry for years in the magazines. Today I was inspired to look for you on the internet so I can look for your books and more picture of your great work. I was so distressed to see that you and your family lost your dear Marley. I know that cold and empty place. I live with the loss of a couple of my beloved feline family members. It hurts so bad. My sister has a great quote that brings me comfort. It goes like this:

    “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal”.

    Best Regards to you and your family. -dz:)

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  36. Cynthia W.2/04/2013

    Lorelei, I'm so sorry to hear about Marley. You have my sympathies and you will be in my prayers.

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  37. So sorry to hear your sad news. We have been there many times. Looking for littler mates is a great idea. Ours have wonderful fun with each other!

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  38. I am so sorry, Lorelei. It's never easy to say good-bye to a loved family member. At least you know she lived a wonderful, protected life with you and Joe. My sister had to say good-bye to her 16 year old cat Cosmo today so we're right there with you, feeling that loss. Hugs to you!

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  39. There is no doubt that kitty was well loved and I'm sure she knew it. It's heartbreaking to lose your baby, and my thoughts go out to you. You've made me a little weepy even. And, now I feel bad for kicking my kitty out of my lap so often. You've reminded me to cherish the time we do have. Thank you for that. {{{{HUGS}}}}

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  40. Anonymous2/04/2013

    Lorelei, I am so sorry to hear about this very difficult time in your life. I hope you take some small measure of comfort from those of us who have shared this painful experience with our own pets. Nadine

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  41. Lorelei That was really a cool way to say goodbye. She was happy it sounds and although everyone has a beginning and an ending it is never easy. Our dog Mandy was like that. We buried her in the hills above Marin County overlooking San Francisco Bay along time ago. We never got another pet with our schedules but she was a wonderful part of our life. Thinking happy memories will be good now.

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  42. Definitely tears in my eyes too. The picture of you with Marley's tail as a mustache comes to mind - it made me totally laugh when you posted that. I had many cats throughout my life growing up as a child, one lived to 20 years, and then in my married life we had a beautiful set of brother cats until we found my son was allergic to them and had to find a new home for them. They are such wonderful pets and companions. Marley will be missed and can never be replaced but I know there is a set of kitties out there waiting that are going to be so lucky to come home with you soon!

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  43. so sorry for your loss. it's never easy losing a sweet pet.

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  44. Lorelei, I am so sorry to hear about your fur baby and I do have tears in my eyes. You did the best for her at the end and that is all that we can do for those little ones that we love. I feel your pain and sending big hugs your way. This poem helped me and mom we we had to let our babies go - The Rainbow Bridge: https://rainbowsbridge.com/poem.htm
    Big hugs to you and just think of all those wonderful memories you had with Marley!

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  45. What a lovely history about your friend. i'm so sad about Marley. sending hugs.

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  46. Oh Lorelei, I am so sorry to hear about Marley's passing. Just reading this brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine how you must be feeling. I am glad you told us all about her and I am sure that helped you feel less helpless. I feel as if I know her and it has helped me too. Thinking of you.

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  47. Sorry about your beloved cat. I have lost several pets and it is very difficult. We got through knowing that we did everything we could for each of them and they had long happy lives. I'm sure you took great care of Marley and now she is at peace even though you miss her terribly.

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  48. He was a beauty and so loved! I am so sorry for your loss. <3

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  49. It is very difficult to love a dear friend - I am so sorry.

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  50. Sorry, Lorelei. I meant to say it is very difficult to lose a dear friend. My cat, Kira, died from the same thing as Marley. She had a good life, tho, as I'm sure Marley did; so, hopefully, that is a comfort to you.

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  51. I am so, so sorry for your loss, Lorelei. It seems you gave her a wonderful life, you have nothing to feel guilty about. Remember the good times.

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  52. Hi Lorelei, I don't know you personally, but I can relate to your loss and I'm so sorry you had to take this very difficult decision.
    It is very very difficult to lose a part of your family, which obviously Marley was. Please don't feel quilty. I think you have done the best for Marley. She had a wonderful live with you and is now playing in kitty heaven. Saying goodbye is painful but Marley was loved dearly.
    Wishing you both all the strenght.

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  53. I love cats and I know exactly what you feelxxx

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  54. Anonymous2/05/2013

    I was so sorry to hear the news about Marley. I was batting back tears while I was reading your blog. Our daughters cat Gus ended up with mouth cancer. So sad! Diana Kolowski

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  55. Brenda Bailey2/05/2013

    So sorry to hear about your cat's passing. I have 3 and have buried 3 that I had to have euthanized over the years, all from cancer. I thought of you today, as I was visiting my local Agway to purchase pet food. A cat was laying on the counter,asleep. It was the same color as your Marley, but was a little smaller in size. I asked the clerk if it was friendly and he replied that it was, he liked being scratched on his head. I inquired as to what its name was and he replied Marley. Just thought that it was incredibly coincidental, as I had read your blog yesterday. No other animal will take your cat's place, but they all leave a lasting impression in our lives. Hope that you and your husband are feeling a little better today.

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    1. That is so crazy weird!

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  56. I am so sorry for the lose of one of the members of your family, Marley. It is never easy to lose one and I try hard not to think about the day I, too, will have to deal with this with my two cats or 3 dogs. Grieving is a process and please don't blame yourself. No one can give their pet a perfect exam each month, week, or should it be daily? Yah know what I mean? You loved her, you took very good care of her and she loved you back. That's why we love animals. By the way, I have out of the 5 people in our family, 1 is not allergic to pets so we shouldn't have 1 let alone 5. Take your grieving one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time. Allow yourself to cry. Then go make some piece of cool jewelry that is influenced by her love! Take care ~ Laura

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  57. My condolences to you and your husband. Sending you kind thoughts!

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  58. I am so sorry for your loss. Marley sounds like a wonderful cat and was so fortunate to have such loving people in her life.

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  59. You were so lucky to have a lap cat Lorelei! Our cats aren't into being held at all. You've been put through the wringer the last little while with Marley's ailments. Watching "Like Water for Elephants" last night has convinced me that doing what's best for your pet, regardless of how much it hurts is always the way to go. Keep your chin up <3

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  60. I feel the pain in your words..I am a 100 percent cat lover and have lost many in my life but the worst was losing my sweet Romeo a couple of years ago to a blood clot. His friend Fido went into mourning for a good year and finally has seemed like his old self when this winter he almost died from the same thing but luckily he made it. I am treasuring the borrowed time we have left with him. Some cats just have that extra special something. I am so sorry for your loss...these new guys will mend your heart ;)

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  61. What a wonderful life you gave Marley. I'm so sorry for your loss...please take care.

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  62. I am so sorry. I know we talked about my emotions over losing Buddy. I'm so glad you were able to write this, and I am excited for your new kitty babies. They'll be loved.

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  63. The loss of a beloved pet, especially one you've had for so long, is heartbreaking. You clearly loved and did everything you could for Marley... to the point where you realized she would suffer too greatly and needed to move on. You made the right decision and can focus on how happy you made each other over the years. So peace to you.

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  64. So sorry for the loss of your beloved, Marley. So many wonderful memories to hold on to.

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I'm sorry to have to turn on the word verification here, but I got fed up with spammers comments!

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.
Buddha

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