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> Sweet Sable, released her today
Mink&WillowsMom
post Feb 2 2011, 02:31 PM
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Many of you have been following Sable's saga. (In Lost & Missing, "Do Finders Have to be Keepers?") This morning I took her to the vet's to let her go. Such a sweet girl. Three years ago I found her on the freeway, near death, stranded in the grassy median. Brought her home, and after a week of thinking it over, she decided to live. Fattened up to 10 pounds, though remained with weak kidneys, and arthritis in her shoulder. She purred me to sleep, and purred me awake, always sleeping right next to my head. After about a year, she seemed to 'wake up' a bit, and get off the bed to sit in the livingroom, or go lie in the sun on the back porch.

Over this winter, she was back to sleeping about 23 hours a day. I'd been noticing a decline, but of course it's always gradual. Last week I suddenly saw that she was really winding down, getting ready to go. I realized she'd stopped eating. Still, she purred. She and I talked about euthanasia, and I asked her to tell me when she was ready. Last night I got home from work, and through the evening every so often she'd let out a meow/howl of pain. She was able to get to sleep again around midnight, so I was able to get sleep last night, then first thing this morning took her to the vet.

I'm almost finished digging her grave. I'm grateful the sun is shining, since it's still below freezing. That's my biggest concern, she hated being cold. I know she's out of her body now, but still. She's wrapped in a fleece blanket, and has a little cardboard coffin box too.

It took a long time for us to bond, but we did. My love for her was quiet and full of compassion. I loved her morning serenades, purring me awake. For pics, and to read more of her story, click here: Sable's Story Part I and Sable's story part II.


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...You precious children, of four feet, whiskers, and mischief...
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janika
post Feb 2 2011, 03:04 PM
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Dear Mink&WillowsMom

Your dear Sweet Sable is at peace now and she has known such love and devotion these last 3 years she shared with you. I'm so glad that you found each other and that she was able to experience your love for her, and that eventually you both shared a wonderful 'bond'. I send my thoughts and prayers to you as I know the sadness you are feeling.

Hugs
Jan and my Angels and Pixie xx
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Mink&WillowsMom
post Feb 2 2011, 03:08 PM
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Now I'm at that last step of closing up the box and taking her outside to bury her. But I can't quite give up petting her again -- I want just a few minutes more. She's on my lap, in her box. Looks for all the world like she's just asleep. Almost as if I can hear her purring. She's finally letting me groom her a little -- dang if she didn't have dreads. Weirdest fur I've ever seen on a cat. Just a few minutes more... wub.gif sad.gif


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...You precious children, of four feet, whiskers, and mischief...
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moon_beam
post Feb 2 2011, 03:27 PM
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Hi, Mink&Willow'sMom, please permit me to offer you my sincerest sympathies in the loss of your beloved Sable. Losing a beloved companion is never easy regardless of the circumstances or how long we have been blessed with the privilege of their company. Euthanasia is the last gift of love we can give to our beloved companions -- at great sacrifice to ourselves - - so that they can be healed and restored to their former youthfulness in the company of the angels.

Mink&Willow'sMom, I do know the journey you and Sable have traveled over the last several months, and even though in your heart you know you did the very best for your precious Sable by releasing her from her failing physical body there is still the reality of not having her physical presence with you to adjust to now. Please know each of us are here for you to help you as you travel your adjustment grief journey - - we are here for you, with you, and beside you every step of your journey for as long and as often as you need us.

I can so relate to your wanting to just keep petting her. I had that privilege with both my Oslo and Abbygayle, and it was very comforting also for my Noah to be able to give his last respects to his big doggy brother and beautiful baby sister. I was able to do the very last thing for them before surrendering them to the vet for the last time for them to be cremated: I had the honor of wrapping their precious physical bodies for the last time. Just one more minute - - for the hours, days, weeks, months, years of our earthly journey are now in our hearts to cherish with our eternal bond of love.

Mink&Willow'sMom, thank you so much for sharing with us your precious Sable. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, and please do let us know how you're doing whenever possible.

Peace and blessings,
moon_beam



--------------------
In heaven's perfect garden there is no grief or pain, and all of God's creation join the angels' sweet refrain.

The most blessed way I have of knowing God's comforting love and grace is to look into the eyes and heart of God's creatures' sweet angelic face.
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Cheryl83
post Feb 2 2011, 03:38 PM
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Sable. I just read over your other thread -- what a journey you two have been on together. And the journey has not ended, for her transition to the angels is all part of it. I hope you can find comfort in all the love you gave her, and the fact that the last few years of her life were wonderful, all because of you.

Take as much time as you need saying goodbye to her earthly remains. I too understand how you feel. When we got our Daisy's little body back from the vet, I sat with her for hours, stroking her, looking at her and memorising her, crying onto her. As you said, it helped that she looked so peaceful -- like she had just gone into a peaceful sleep.

Thinking of you.
Cheryl xx


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It broke our hearts to lose you, but you didn't go alone,
For parts of us went with you ... the day God called you home


My beautiful Angel, Daisy - I will love and miss you forever xx
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Diamond-Bear
post Feb 2 2011, 08:55 PM
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Hello, Mink&WillowsMom.

Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your dear little Sable. It is wonderful that you were able to extend her life and make her last three years so comfortable!

I understand not wanting to say, "Goodbye," but remember it isn't really, "Goodbye." Things are just different now, as her spirit will continue to live on in you.

Please know you are in my thoughts.

Hugs,
Teresa


--------------------
Diamond
04/17/98 - 08/02/10
Soxie
04/18/98 - 04/21/12
You left paw prints on my heart!
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JoanneL
post Feb 2 2011, 09:44 PM
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So sorry about Sable's death. She was so lucky to have you to love her and care for her and to know when it was her time to be released from her pain. I know you will miss her but know how many people are here for you. It is certainly not unusual to want to spend more time with her after she has died. Think of all the rituals we have when humans die. We certainly spend time with viewings, wakes, etc. There is no such ritual when a pet dies.
I hope you will be able to sleep tonight knowing that your Sable is at rest.
Joanne
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Mink&WillowsMom
post Feb 2 2011, 10:23 PM
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Rereading her story, I'm reminded the first part of her tale is on another thread, found at Lost or Missing "Found a Kitty". This part tells the tale of how I found her, and has more nice pictures.

Luna sat quietly nearby as I buried Sable; I was immensely grateful for her support.
Rohan is in my lap, seeking and offering comfort.
Willow, who has been sleeping on the bed with Sable, spent this afternoon sleeping atop the kitty tower, which he hasn't done in months. I wonder, did he share the bed with Sable to keep company with her?

I am also grateful that today was sunny and clear -- grave digging in the rain would have been even more challenging.


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...You precious children, of four feet, whiskers, and mischief...
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Juturna
post Feb 2 2011, 10:49 PM
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Please accept my sincerest sympathy on the loss of your precious Sable. I hope you can feel her spirit purring beside you at night.
Grief is a process embedded with sadness.
With healing thoughts and peace,
Juturna
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Mink&WillowsMom
post Feb 3 2011, 01:38 AM
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It's 10:35p, and I'm stalling. Sable lived on my bed, so for her not to be there ... I'm tired, I need to go to bed. I'm working tomorrow, and I can feel a headcold coming on. Time to just go face it. sad.gif Wish me luck.


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...You precious children, of four feet, whiskers, and mischief...
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corinnajane
post Feb 3 2011, 09:02 AM
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Wishing you luck, hon.

Just wanted to say:

What a wonderful mother you are. Sable would undoubtedly have adored you, and treasured your love and companionship. You took such wonderful care of her, right up to the very end.

I completely understand about the need to be with her body. She was precious, and so her shell, her beautiful body, is precious too.

I hope you get through these terrible nights okay. I know that your other cats are waiting to step in to the breach, and comfort you.

Lots of love,
Corinna


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moon_beam
post Feb 3 2011, 06:06 PM
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Hi, Mink&WillowsMom, I hope today has been a decent one for you. I'm glad your companions are keeping a loving vigil with you. They, too, are going through an adjustment, and I know they have your love and comfort to help them sort through the change in your household.

I hope this evening will be a peaceful one for you, Mink&WillowsMom. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, and will look forward to knowing how you and your fur tribe are doing whenever possible.

Peace and blessings,
moon_beam


--------------------
In heaven's perfect garden there is no grief or pain, and all of God's creation join the angels' sweet refrain.

The most blessed way I have of knowing God's comforting love and grace is to look into the eyes and heart of God's creatures' sweet angelic face.
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JoanneL
post Feb 3 2011, 09:37 PM
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To Mink and Willow's mom ( and Sable's)
Hope you are able to get some rest tonight. I have not slept well at all since my little dog was killed. It is really hard when you are so used to the furperson being with you in certain places and at certain times. When they are no longer there it is like a big hole in your heart. At least that is what it is like for me.
I think it may take a long time to establish new routines without Sable by your side.
I try to stop here at night before I get ready for bed so I can "talk" to all of you.
Joanne
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Mink&WillowsMom
post Feb 3 2011, 10:54 PM
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I'm doing pretty well emotionally. I have a very intense job (psych evals on folks applying for welfare), and today could feel the fatigue of making sure I stayed focused and en pointe. I was able to talk with friends at work and tell them what happened without falling to tears. I thought I wasn't scheduled for tomorrow, and could take the day to sleep, rest, and grieve. Today learned I have a full schedule. Oy. Normally, that would be good news, but gearing up for another full day is taking a lot.

Here's the rest of the story: even without losing Sable, this would be a draining, exhausting week. Monday I drove nearly 3 hours to work in a distant office, stayed overnight, then drove 1 hour 40 minutes to another far office on Tuesday. That night I arrived home to find Sable in pain and ready to go. Because I'd driven so far, and was so tired, I didn't drive through the night to an emergency vet, but waited til morning. I try not to think that she might have been howling Monday night, when I was away. The exhaustion would be easy to just buck up and deal with, except that I've been in adrenal failure this past year. Each and every day I have to put together a plan to manage my energy. The extra driving would have been the big hit of the week, now Sable's death on top of it -- I am just pushing through on sheer grit. My adrenals are aching like hell tonight, so having to work an unexpected full day tomorrow -- by evening I'll be coasting on fumes. Fortunately I can stay in bed all day Saturday if I need to. Even though my favorite shows are on TV tonight, that's what the DVR is for, so I would do well to go to bed early.

Last night in bed was okay. I patted her spot, talking to her, AND enjoyed being able to stretch my left arm to the side for the first time in three years. Even though I am so sorry she was in pain at the end, it was a gift she let me know about it so suddenly and so clearly -- I have no regrets about releasing her, wondering if it was too early. I just hope she hadn't been enduring it silently very long. I gave her a bath two weeks ago, handling her lots, and she didn't complain in particular, though was clearly too weak to resist much. I sat her in my lap several times afterwards, working through her clumped fur, and she didn't voice pain then either. So I'm hoping it was a swiftly escalating thing, and she wasn't in pain very long before she told me.

Tinsica's death in 2002 was very sad, because she'd been with me so long -- 18.5 years, from when I was 24 to 42. Cheddar's death the following year was sad, but she too tumbled through renal failure, so I knew the terrain and was able to release her when she made it clear how miserable she was with getting sub Q fluids. (she was 16) Weeks later, I adopted kittens, Mink and Willow. Willow is a joy, but Mink was my soul kitty, and when he was hit by a car only 3 years later in 2006, it damn near ripped me in half. (Willow is the gray boy in my avatar, Mink is the black one, his littermate.) Then I adopted Rohan and Luna. (Adopting in pairs is so much more fun.) The following spring, in 2007, my father died, but I had the joyous consolation of inheriting his glorious Maine Coon cat Twitchit. Three months later Twitch died, to go be with Papa. (Killed by a raccoon.) Four months after that, I found Sable. I say this so you understand why I can be saying I'm doing okay with Sable's death. I've lost 5 cats and my father in just over 8 years. I know my way around grief. And there's nothing unfair or unexpected in Sable's death -- from the day I found her I knew to simply enjoy her as long as she chose to stay.

Willow will be 8 this spring, and Rohan and Luna will be 5 (omigosh that was fast!). So now I am blessed with a household of healthy young kittykids, and my yard is now fenced, to keep them in and raccoons out. I'm ready to have grief go take a lonnnnnngg vacation.


--------------------
...You precious children, of four feet, whiskers, and mischief...
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Juturna
post Feb 3 2011, 11:59 PM
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Glad to learn that you are doing well emotionally. Please take the time to get the rest you need; I'm glad you are off on Sat. Your job sounds demanding and grieving can be exhausting in and of itself.

With peace and hugs,
Juturna
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Mink&WillowsMom
post Feb 4 2011, 05:10 AM
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I went to bed at 8:15p, with the option of getting 10 hours sleep.
At 1:15a *bing* wide awake with adrenal sweats and hives.
Now my mind has clicked on.
*sigh*

I hope she wasn't bearing pain too long before she said something.
How do we know?
Kim


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...You precious children, of four feet, whiskers, and mischief...
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rainbohdi
post Feb 4 2011, 01:24 PM
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what an amazing story, both of you are amazing.

i guess you can never know for certain, but i think you can trust that she was clever enough to know when the time was right for her and that she trusted that you would hear her when she was ready.

it's 2.15am now where i live and i'm wide awake despite being exhausted, but like you my mind has clicked on. even though you've done the grief journey quite a few times, each one has it's own mark and is dealt with from a different perspective, it's been like that for me anyway.

i haven't really said much of use, but i am sending you lots of soothing and healing thoughts for your emotional and physical bodies.

take good care


--------------------
"There is no right way to grieve, there is just your way."
"It will take as long as it takes."
Rusty Berkus
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Juturna
post Feb 4 2011, 05:32 PM
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QUOTE (Mink&WillowsMom @ Feb 4 2011, 05:10 AM) *
I went to bed at 8:15p, with the option of getting 10 hours sleep.
At 1:15a *bing* wide awake with adrenal sweats and hives.
Now my mind has clicked on.
*sigh*

I hope she wasn't bearing pain too long before she said something.
How do we know?
Kim


We need to trust that they have a higher power/angels watching over them, just was we do. So, I believe your precious Sable was being cared for.

With peace and hugs,
Juturna
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moon_beam
post Feb 4 2011, 05:49 PM
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Hi, Kim, thank you so much for sharing with us how you're doing. As Rainbohdi said in her response, "even though you've done the grief journey quite a few times, each one has it's own mark and is dealt with from a different perspective". Experiencing multiple losses within a short period of time does take its toll, and since you already have a compromised adrenal system, the stress of grief is multiplied. I do hope you are able to just "crash" this weekend so that you can get some quality rest.

I can so empathize with you about looking forward to a long vacation from grief. Since September 2006 Noah and I have had a lot of "adjusting" to do with fur family members becoming ill and eventually joining the angels. In May my Noah will be 8 years old - - he has survived the "6 year old" death sentence that befell his adopted big kitty brother Eli and his beautiful baby sister Abbygayle. For this I am very grateful.

Kim, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I do hope you will be able to shut out the outside world and hibernate with your furkids for the weekend. I will look forward to knowing how you're doing whenever possible.

Peace and blessings,
moon_beam


--------------------
In heaven's perfect garden there is no grief or pain, and all of God's creation join the angels' sweet refrain.

The most blessed way I have of knowing God's comforting love and grace is to look into the eyes and heart of God's creatures' sweet angelic face.
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Mink&WillowsMom
post Feb 4 2011, 11:13 PM
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Thank you all for your support -- I SOOOO appreciate it. I'm somebody who musters through as long as I must, then crash afterward when the load is off. This weekend I can finally peel the duct tape off.

I ended up with about 8 hours sleep last night even waking in the middle, since I went to bed early. (I'm proud of myself for that -- it's so easy for me to stay up too late.) Today at work I was so tired that everything in the periphery was shimmering and my ears were roaring. My head is all 'spinny'. But I made it through, and since most people showed, I made good money.

Now I'm home, eating a good dinner. This weekend I have ZERO plans -- I don't need to go anywhere, I don't need to see anyone, I can do as I please. Sleep, rest, grieve, love on my remaining kittykids.

Rainbohdi, you're so right that each grief is different. Right now I'm not sure whether I'm just bolting myself together because I had to this week, or if I'm just accepting it all quickly. Really, I think this one's going to blow through me fairly easily. (I like the visual metaphor of the sea anemone, resiliently swaying the current, letting the sea flow through.) I loved her, and was grateful she came to my home, but we didn't have a companionate relationship the way I do with my others. She was ALWAYS on my bed, so the times I interacted with her were (1) when I first got home from work and greeted everybody, (2) when I passed through my room on the way to the bathroom, and (3) when I was in bed. So sitting in my chair in the evenings, I don't have a sense of missing her, because she didn't seek me out, didn't sit on my lap, etc. It did hit me when I first got home and walked in the bedroom tonight. Pushed it down though -- was still in 'keep it together mode.' I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings.


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...You precious children, of four feet, whiskers, and mischief...
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