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Saki & Freyja's Mom

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13 Jan 2015
I joined this forum in 2003. I lost my whole furry family that year. ...

Today, my cat Mai died. I had had her for 7 or 8 years. I got her from the shelter. Every night she snuggled in my lap. She was a tiny thing, but she kept me warm.

I feel like this is my fault. I feel like a really bad pet parent. I didn't realize she was sick and I should have realized she was sick. Last night she did not snuggle me, would not come when I called her. She was curled up next to a space heater in a bathroom. It was bitterly cold here yesterday, and I just thought...

When I picked her up this morning, I knew something was terribly, dreadfully wrong. She just felt so limp and small. She likes being held, but this was not a relaxed feeling, it was weak. And so I called the vet and they said they could see her this afternoon. So I went to work. WHen I came home to take her to vet, I couldn't find her, she didn't come. And then I found her dead under the bed....

I hate that she died alone.

I hate that I didn't know....
29 Mar 2009
Greeting to all you wonderful, special, lovely, fabulous people!

Sadly, you are here at this webiste because you suffer such pain and such loss that you feel you may lose your mind. Or at least, that is how it was from me.

My husband and I had a family with three furbabies, all of who died in 2003. Freyja the dog and Saki the cat died of old age disease within a couple of weeks of each other (and in hte middle my grandmother died). Electra was taken from us in December 2003.

In the worst throes of my grief, I honestly could not imagine that the pain would ever ever go away. I was at this website I think all day every day for a long time. Sharing my grief with others really did help me to heal. And so I encourage you to do that as much as you need. I am thankful everyday for Lightning strike, for the wonderful people who helped me survive what remains one of the worst experiences of my life.

I know that I will always miss Freyja, Saki and Electra until I am reunited with them on the bridge. Writing this message, I still cry because they were so wonderful and they are not here anymore.

But for those of you who are in the worst of it, I do want to offer you hope of healing. And some point, you do come to appreciate the wonderful life you shared with them and the love you shared. You appreciate it in a fond way, in a happy way. If you had to euthanize, at some point, you know that they forgave you and even were glad that you loved them so much that you were willing to take on that pain, so they would not suffer anymore. And you forgive yourself.

You may still cry, as I am doing now, but the pain comes less frequently, if not less intensely.

At some point, you become aware that your baby would hate that you have so much pain and would feel so badly to think that they were the cause. And you re-learn to smile and even laugh, bc goodness knows how they loved to hear you laugh. And you laugh again, and if you are lucky, love again.

I do know how it hurts. And truth is, you will probably never be the same person you were before this loss. But do have faith that you will survive and recover.

Love to you all.
--Jennifer
20 Nov 2007
November 20, 2007

We had two cats and two dogs. But we didn't have a lap cat and my husband desperately wanted a lap cat. In truth, so did I.

When I read Banshee's description on the pet board in March 2005, I could not believe how absolutely perfect she sounded. She was a talker and a lap cat and that is what we wanted.

Her foster mom brought her by some time later that month. She had been dumped by a shelter, pregnant. Her foster mom had her while she was pregnant and then had her and the kitten for 6 weeks. She'd be tested and vaccinated but we couldn't have her until she was spayed by the foster mom. So the foster mom brought her by for a visit, just to see how well we all meshed.

She was a wiry full blood class wedge head Siamese. She looked like a bug to me! My husband thought she was the most beautiful cat he'd ever seen. She looked like a bug to me. With her skinny body and huge pointy ears and pointy, pointy, angular nose. We had her in a room on the second floor, away from the other pets. My husband thought she might want to look out the window at the birds, as our other cats like to do. He opened the window and she growled. He closed the window and she stopped. Opened and she growled again. Closed and stopped. happy.gif We like to keep the windows open when the weather is nice and once she was comfortable in our home, she didn't mind. But thinking about her growling at the window always makes us laugh. Even now, tears wet on my face, it makes me laugh.

Although Banshee did come to tolerate open windows, she was an odd cat as she never really did look out windows. The one exception would be if we were outside. Then she'd call to us. She was odd in so many ways. wub.gif

She came to us with the name Isis. That was quickly changed to Tribble, primarily from the noise she'd make when pet. But within a week of having her in our home, I said "What do you think about calling her 'Banshee'?" I had never ever ever encountered a cat with such lungs on it. How she would wail!!! And the wail had only one meaning: "Touch me, touch me, touch me, TOUCH ME! HOLD ME! LOVE ME! PET ME!!!!" Often times it seemed she only stopped wailing when we were holding her. But more than that -- holding her and staring at her and petting her and talking to her!! She demanded your full attention, always.

My husband of course jumped on the name change. It was the most perfect animal-and-name match ever. If her language had been English rather than Siamese, I am sure it is what she would've called herself. But I also called her "Bug" and "Baby."

For the first entire year that we had her, when anybody would call us, they would all eventually ask "Do you have a BABY in the house?????" Always sounding fully confused because everyone knows we do NOT have a baby, in the house or otherwise. We'd laugh and say "Only a baby cat..."

One time, my brother called and it so happened that I had answered one extension and my husband another and we were both talking to my brother at once. The whole time, I found myself wondering "Why does my brother have a baby with him?" It was not until the end of the phone call that I realized that I was hearing what Banshee sounds like over the phone. She truly did sound like a baby cooing and waa--ing.

She could catch flies like nobody's business. She could catch them in the air one handed. It was truly amazing. In the two and half years she was with us, we never had flies in the house. at least not for long. It was just so funny because she was so darned cross eyed! I never could understand how she actually could even SEE the flies, much less catch them with her eyes crossed like that!

Her favorite toy came to be the foam off of the ear piece of a head phone! I don't know how she got ahold of the first one. But she'd carry it all over the house. Because she liked to cry continually and constantly, but also liked to carry this thing around and couldn't cry without dropping it, she'd carry it and make this little woofing sound. It was so funny! That first black foam piece eventually became unrecognizable and about 1/4 it's original size. When it disappeared entirely, my husband bought her a new set for Christimas. She loved the second set two, but not as much as the first. When people were staying at our house, we always had to tell them not to throw the "black foam that looks like trash" away because it was Banshee's favorite toy.

We had to keep her separated from the other cat. Though they were separated they became an odd couple of best friends. Banshee would take her foam ear piece and push it under the door to Velma. Velma would push it back. They would play through the crack under the door for hours, but never got to be together. If together, Velma would growl, Banshee's head would spin and she'd say "Are you talking to ME?" And then the chase was on. If Velma happened not to growl, Banshee would inch closer and closer ever so slowly until she was close enough to make Velma growl.

Banshee is not a big fan of the dogs. They are big dogs. But Hathor quickly learned that she could come to us for a pet when the cat was in our lap on the condition that she did not look at the cat. I do not know how the dog figured this out -- I never would have. But she would come and intentionally look away from the cat. And as long as she did, Banshee would not hit her or spit her. But if she caught a sideways glance, Banshee would attack. After awhile, at points when Hathor was near, Banshee would push her nose into Hathor's fur, getting the biggest noseful she could and Hathor would try to pretend the cat was not there. Of course, sometimes Hathor just could not resist giving Banshee a great big kiss.

Chata never learned how to fully look away. Banshee, top weight 10 lbs, would make this 100 lb dog run away with her tail between her legs. And this was really all without attacking Chata. There was no contact, just Banshee att*itude. Days like that, I'd call her "Psycho kitty...."

Banshee wanted to be as close to you as she possibly could. To accomplish this, she was fond of crawling up your shirt. She would take any route she could find-- down through the neck hole, up through the torso hole or sideways through the sleeve. Once there, she would cuddle up and purr her motorcycle hum purr. Sometimes, this could prove very embarrassing. Even at our visit to the emergency vet last week, she decided that she could get away from that man and get close to me by taking a dive down my shirt. I think the vet got an eye full, but there was not a lot I could do to stop her.

She had an OCD called "pica." Pica involves the eating of non edible items. Her very favorite thing to eat was my husband's socks. Never my socks, oddly enough. And she didn't care if they were clean or dirty. Her second favorite was fleece blankets. Her third favorite was the buttons on the clothes you were currently wearing. She never went after buttons that were not on your body. Cats are hard to train. Rather than spend the effort, we just learned to keep socks, and blankets and buttons away from her. She learned to open the dresser drawer to get the socks, so we took to keep them in another place entirely...

My brother once asked "Do you ever get the urge to duct tape her mouth?" He was joking, OF COURSE. But that is how loud she is.

It was only about a month ago I said to my spouse "It makes me sad sometimes, how much she loves us." He said "I know..." She would gaze at you while she was in your arms and purring so loud and so hard and she would make you feel like nothing else existed in the universe except you and that only you could make her happy. It made you feel guilty for having other things in your own world, for existing outside of Banshee.

She is the only cat who has ever pet me. And she did it often. You could hold her in any position. She loved to be held like a baby on her back. She would fling her legs above her head and purr and beg "stroke by belly." You could give her raspberries and she'd just keep purring. You could stroke the bottom of her feet and she liked that too. But she would also pet you in return. She would reach out and stroke your face. This was not an accidental brush of her paw against your cheek-- this was an honest-to-god petting. She would also lick us. This is outside of the regular cleanings she gave us (mostly, my husband's arm). This is outside of wanting to taste something that may have spilled on us. Sometimes, she would lick us as an affectionate kiss.

She is Siamese and as much dog as cat.

My dogs won't eat their heartworm medicine plain. My husband has to hide it in cheese. When it is time for heart worm. he sings what he calls "The cheese song." When he does this, the dogs run into the kitchen and sit down to wait for a special treat of cheese. Banshee also runs into the kitchen, and sits down next to the dogs (who she does not care for) to wait for her special treat of cheese.

When we arrive home, she gives us as big a greeting as the dogs. And just as the dogs insist on being greeted in return, so does Banshee.

She loves to eat my husband's beef jerky. He is always careful not to give her much because of the spices, just a little tiny tiny piece, but she would go absolutely wild-- like a dog with its favorite treat.

She is an incredible, loving, awesome, special, wonderful, unique animal. I love her so very very very much. I cannot believe I only got to spend two and half years with her. How can she have FeLv? How can she have lymphoma? How on earth could this happen? Life can be so cruel; it hurts so much to lose such an awesome animal. But I am lucky and honored to have known her.
18 Nov 2007
This time, I don't even know where to start.

I joined this board over 4 years ago in 2003 when, over a very short period of time, my dog had to be put to sleep, my grandma died, my cat died, and the other cat had to be put to sleep. All unrelated, and though they all died of different things, for all of the old age played a role.

Eventually we rebuilt a new family with two dogs and two sister cats. The sister cats were not lap cats, so we got a third cat, Banshee. Then one of the sister cats died suddenly and mysteriously. We think it was a heart attack. So I was out here for awhile again then.

But this one is so much harder.

I was out on this board pretty much day and night in the summer of 2003. And I learned a lot about grief in that time. I learned about the guilt and how guilty we all feel. I learned to expect my denial and anger to come in bursts, not stages... I don't think I would have survived the period without this board, I really believe it saved my life.

And I don't want to be here again. It's not fair! I shouldn't have to come out here for 5-10 years at least.

But here I am.

Banshee is a very special cat. And she has FeLv and I DO NOT SEE how this is possible. We have no idea of her age, but she was dumped, pregnant about three years ago in front of a animal shelter. A rescue group took her in and tested her for FeLv because she was pregnant and they wanted to know what to do about the pregnancy. She was negative, so she was fostered and gave birth to a boy (just one) and they were both tested again and they were negative. We adopted her in March 2005. She was current on all her shots, so it was several months until I took her to my vet, but I wanted to make sure and tested AGAIN. I already had two cats in the house and one of my cats had died in 2003 of FIV and I wanted to be sure. She tested negative, and then we vaccinated her for FeLv. So HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN??? She is strictly an indoor cat...

My vet says that sometimes the virus can hide in bone marrow and lymph nodes. I don't know if that is true or not. I did read one article that said that a positive test generally indicates the cat will be positive for life, but a negative test does not mean the cat does not have it. I don't know.

So Banshee, who is an awesome cat, started acting very weird for her. She started acting kinda like a cat-- she usually acts like a dog-- so I took her to the vet. She had been sneezing and coughing and I thought she had a cold. But no, it's never that simple for me. He found a big mass in her belly and sent me to a specialist who could do an ultra sound. So that showed that there was a big mass in her belly but also fluid all around her lungs. Then the specialist vet was displeased with the fluid he withdrew. He didn't like how it looked. He said that the prognoisis for Banshee is probably bad and that it might not be worth it to get the fluid tested bc basically we are not going to learn anything that we can fix.It was $125 for the test. He told me to call back the next day and let me know if I wanted the fluid tested. So I called and told him that I want the fluid tested.

But then later that night, my vet called and said that the blood work he did is indicating that she has feline leukemia. I just don't understand how that could be. How is that possible? My vet says it is just a weird freaky deal. I mean, he knows she was tested before bc he ran the test. And he's been my vet for 20 years so he knows I don't do outdoor cats.

My poor little kitty. It's hard to see her like she is now. Her instincts tell her to hide. but she is not a hider. She is a lover. She is the noiseist cat I've ever encountered (thus her name) And her single desire has been to love her people. When you are near her, she cries until you pick her up. Then when you hold her, she purrs the loudest purr ever. You can hear that purr iin another room. And during that, she gazes at you with a gaze that says "You are the most wonderful being ever..."

So her version of hiding is to sit on top of the toilet seat. I've told her that is not really a hiding place, but -- she's just not a hider. She wants her people to be able to find her. She won't cry for me now, but when I hold her, she purrs like there is no tomorrow. And I hope there is no tomorrow...

I have to go hold her and cry some more now....

--Jennifer
1 Jul 2006
Last night I had the most wonderful dream about Freyja. It has been 3 years, one month and one week since she went on to the bridge...

And I never do dream of her or Saki or Electra who also went on in 2003. But last night, in my dream there was Freyja. She appeared out of nowhere. I was not really even in the dream -- at least not in any embodied state. It was just her, and she was young and happy and playful -- and so glad to see me (even without a body!) She was such a big soft pile of silky white fur. So So So So gorgeous. It was so joyous and so peaceful. And yet so real... And I remember asking "What about the cushing's disease?" Which I didn't actually say because I of course didn't have a body and there was no one else around and yet the answer came "She doesn't have Cushing's anymore."

The dream has stayed with me all day. I smile as I remember my sweet puppy dog (who was 14 when she left us... but always our puppy...) I will never forget her. Not even a little bit. And I took great great comfort in this dream. I will always miss her. But I DO believe she is ok and that I WILL see her again someday. I hope it is like it was in the dream....

--Jennifer
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