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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Precious: beloved friend, companion, Rest In Peace

It's been a very tough three and a half weeks for all of us here.

As some of know, our female Himalayan Sealpoint, Precious, began showing symptoms of neurological disorder (central vestibular disease) several weeks back. We monitored her, and cared for her the best we could since that time.
We took her on five different vet visits plus a visit to the Tufts Hospital for Small Animals just outside of Boston. We learned that her condition and prognosis was not good, but we still continued to try to find an answer and a cure up through her last days.
She continued to deteriorate, and I was feeding her four times a day by syringe, and in the same manner providing her water, and giving her medications. It was a painful exercise, but one of love and devotion. Our dear Precious provided us unconditional love for eight solid years. And had it helped, I would have fed her in the same manner for the rest of her life.
The full story can be found here in much greater detail.
People who have had and lost pets will understand what we've been through, and there is no definition of sadness that fits how we feel today. The sadness is horrific, and beyond words, and the void is real. Some people do not understand that our pets are members of our family, and the bond with them is real and unbroken. These wonderful creatures come into our lives and provide us with an incredible amount of joy and happiness. They are both our children and our wise-adults all at the same time, depending upon the scenario.
But nothing is entirely free in the balance of this Earthly existence. Our furry friends have a much shorter circle of life than we do.
They remind us of what is important in life. And we can tend to take for granted the notion that some things will be the same every day, or that some people and pets will be around forever. And when something tragic like this happens, we are harshly reminded of the unpredictable finite aspects of our existence.
This morning, my daughter was seeking out Precious; calling her name and asking for her over and over. We told her that Precious is in Heaven. Of course, for her, Heaven could be another room in the house where she is hiding. She is two and a half, and doesn't yet fully understand all of what's happened. I may have taught her the importance of caring for animals, but the lesson of death is something she can learn sometime in the future; she doesn't need that hard and complex lesson today. I certainly don't have all the answers, and struggle myself about what happens after death. I know what I'd like to believe, and for now my wife and I will have to cling to that notion regardless of how absurd it can seem.
Precious is at the Rainbow Bridge this Thanksgiving. While it doesn't give me any real satisfaction because she is not sitting with me here, it's a start in the healing process.
Usually, you don't see this kind of writing from me. But even The King has his weakness (or strengths - depending how you look at it).
I know a lot of you read this column now that I'm linked from everywhere. Please take this Thanksgiving Holiday to remind individual people how important they are to you. You think they know because you think it, but there is nothing like a word or two to confirm it.
For pet owners, please heed my warning from our sad experience; three and a half weeks ago, Precious was a spry as ever, playing, meowing, scampering around, grooming me late into the evening, and doing all the things that she was expected to do. And today, she is gone. Make time for them even when you are busy. You never know when they are on the very end of their short cycle of life.
Precious, thank you for eight wonderful years. We love and miss you. When the day of my passing comes, I hope to see you once again and hold you in my arms and give you gentle pets and hugs. In the meantime, we will take care of Presley; he misses you too.


Joe Visconti said...

Sorry for your loss King

Judy Aron said...

So sorry for your family's loss. I know how hard it can be. Consider donating some money to Fidelco or an animal shelter in honor of Precious, as that might do some good.

Elliot Check said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. We've been there and I know it's not easy

The King said...

Thank you, Joe, Judy, and Elliot.

Your support and empathy are appreciated. It's really a terrible void.

Judy, I will be doing some work in that direction, including volunteering my for an animal related cause. There are a lot of options, I'll need to see what best works for my schedule.

The Connecticutian said...

I'm so sorry! I love my two cats with every fiber of my body. I know how difficult it is to lose one you love.