I know today is April 1st. This means that I should be starting a 30 Day Drawing Challenge with some fellow bloggers. This also means, I’m supposed to start my re-release of my “30 Days with Autism” blog series, in hopes that the third year is the year I finish it.
My cat died this morning.
It was not uncommon for Bellatrix LeStrange to go days, or even a week or more, without eating. She did this several times a year and was always okay. Not this time.
The kids have been obsessed with weighing and measuring things lately, so they naturally moved on to “How much does Bella weigh?” when they tired of weighing themselves and each other.
She was around eight pounds two weeks ago.
She was just 4 pounds this past weekend.
My cat literally starved herself to death. For no reason I can find, Bellatrix stopped eating about ten days ago. I had just refilled her food dish and she wouldn’t touch it. After a few days, it seems she also gave up on drinking water. Again, this was not uncommon and she’d done it many times over the four and a half years we had her. She was always fine. This past weekend, when I had taken note of the weight she’d lost, I began to cry out for help.
I texted my mother, my friends with cats, I even took to a group of Army wives on Facebook. We gave her chicken (boiled and raw), salmon, cat food, cat treats, milk, water, I even scrubbed her bowl out to make sure there was nothing on it that might be effecting her appetite. She wouldn’t touch any of it. She had been using the litter box, so she must have at least been drinking some water.
With Spring Break over, the kids were off to school this morning, bright and early. We were running a few minutes behind, but I decided to check on her before we left. I could see she wasn’t breathing. I didn’t need to touch her to know her body was rigid. I barely touched her fur to feel the chill on her body. I began to cry, but not sob. That comes later, when the kids aren’t around. I ushered them into the car without a word to suggest anything was wrong. I was still crying and Little Brother asked if I was sad. I told him I was crying because I was just so very tired from Spring Break and I took them to school.
I was able to hold it together for about 45 minutes. Long enough to get through speech therapy and put in the money for our Autism Walk T-shirt order. I went home and sobbed. I cried hard and ugly sobs. I feel like I cried for hours, that’s probably because I did. My friends, my husband, nobody knew what to say. I dug the hole in our backyard by myself for a while. Got it nearly eighteen inches deep before the panic and the stress and the tunnel vision got the better of me and I almost threw up right there in the yard.
I had a brief snack and then had to get Sissy from school. Watching her bound out of the building and run to me with a huge smile on her face, I couldn’t help but think, “I’m about to destroy her perfect little world.”
She took it better than I thought she would. Getting emotional a few times, but handling it with her classic optimism. A friend and her family came over to help us. Her husband finished the hole in the backyard while we tended to the children inside. I took each of them aside and explained it. For Sissy, I explained that now Papa (my late father-in-law) would have a friend in Heaven now. For Little Brother, I told him that Bellatrix had to go fight the dragons and that she would be gone forever. He replied, “But she doesn’t have a sword?” True to form, Little Brother is my own personal comic relief.
I took the cat outside, bound in a towel and three layers of bags, wrapped in a paper bag so the kids wouldn’t have to see her like that. We, Sissy and I, went out back and said a prayer over the cat. Then together we shoveled the dirt back into the hole and went back inside.
My friend was still here, and the kids played for a bit, then I took everyone out to dinner. I needed to be with people and have something positive today. We spent quite a bit of money, but the fun, friends and good time were worth it. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are worth their weight in the most precious rubies.
So my beautiful kitty is gone, my husband isn’t here to comfort me and I’ve been crying literally since 8:15 this morning…
I will double post tomorrow all the good stuff that April has in store for me and you, but for tonight, I leave it here.
RIP my dear sweet kitty.
August 2008-Easter 2013