Thursday, August 24, 2006

another death in the family

My mom phoned last night. My parents had to put their kitty "Bits" down yesterday. Kitty had not been doing too well. Earlier in the summer she swallowed a fish hook. She had surgery to remove it, but she's never quite made a recovery.

Everyone called her Bitsy. Super duper big huge fat orange tabby kitty...hardly what I'd call a "Bits," but I think my dad named her for computer Bytes, actually (my dad was The Original Geek...but I didn't get that gene).

I'm pretty bummed out. Bits wasn't my childhood cat while growing up or anything, she came along after I was out of the house....but I did live at my parent's house for a year when Jacob was a born while I got ready to buy a house, and I also spent a few months at my folks after the accident while I was recuperating. Bitsy was a total sweetheart. What I loved most about her was that she was ridiculously tolertant of MyFK when he was little and didn't know his own strenght (whereas my cranky kitties were not). Actually, come to think of it, she was tolerant of his big-kid love, too.

Anyhow, last night mom was too upset to really even be able to talk about it...she just called to let me know that it had finally happened. The big dilemma now is how to tell MyFK, who was totally attached to her. We all think he's going to be very upset, even though he is amazingly at peace with the whole "circle of life" concept. My concern is having to explain the concept of euthanizing to him. I've talked with him about death quite a bit, but I don't think I've ever gotten into a discussion about preemptively putting something to rest, nor have we gotten around to discussing "right to die" issues or anything at this point (and he's the type of kid who will make the leap to wondering if anyone is ever going to put him asleep, and then he'll start asking about people's rights and suicide, and and and...)

So I'm open for suggstions.

It's a been a rough year with kitties :-(
One thing I have not discussed on this blog is that one of my own two kitties went missing in April. I've kind of been in denial about it. It's been too upsetting for me to discuss, and half my brain still believes she'll come home some day.

I spent quite some time this morning pouring through my digital photos. I have not one single photo of Bits. I have hard copy, sure...but no scanner. But I have nothing digital. I haven't had the camera even a full year yet, but you'd think in a year I'd have at least one picture of this cat. I had this same predicament with TheMIG's kitty New Mew last week, too--no photos.

So the other day I took out the camera and took shots of my cat, Tramp.

He aint exactly Mr.Photogenic.

He was not happy with this sitting at all. Damn crank-pot.

But at least I now have something.


Mouse said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of another kitty.. I hope y'all are holding up ok.
As for MyFK- do you have to tell him HOW it all went down? I'd not get into it any more than the kitty has passed on.. but that's just me.

jodi said...

My only advice would be that however you decide to break the news to him, make sure that you tell him the truth. When I was ten and we moved to a new house, our aging cat (who had become incontinent) went to live on the farm of a musician my dad knew. Shortly after the move we were told that Max had run off, and assured that he had likely found a cozy new home at a nearby farmhouse. I was an adult when I found out that he had in fact eaten rat poison, being a spoiled house cat who didn't have the necessary life skills to make it on a farm. I still haven't completely let go my resentment, not only at the unfair situation that my beloved Max was put into, but also the lie that my brother and I were told.

I'm so sorry to hear of your disappeared kitty, as well. I know firsthand how much that hurts, not knowing. This might sound a little harsh but when my Angus didn't come home, I found it easier to tell myself that he had likely been hit in the nearby busy road and cleaned up by the city before I could find him, rather than to make myself crazy worrying about where he might be. And in fact that is most likely what happened, but thirteen years later I still sometimes worry about him. Sorry, I know that's no consolation. But I feel your pain, and I'm sorry you're feeling it too.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your kitty sadnesses.

Carol said...

Is it possible to tell him that kitty swallowed something cats weren't meant to eat, and never recovered from it? (you could even tie in how it's important for kids not to eat things that they aren't supposed to, if you think it won't scare him too much) and tell him sometimes pets, especially when they get older, aren't able to bounce back from eating something nasty the way they might if they were younger. I think I'd leave the details purposely vague and use "I don't know" a lot.

My heart goes out to you all. Didn't George Carlin say something about how pets are "little tragedies in the making"? You kind of know you're signing up for heartbreak given the relative lifespans, but on some level, you decide that the joy that they bring to you while they are here is worth it. Cold comfort right now, but I hope you can remember all the happy, snuggly times soon and be happy for the time you had together. I still grieve my kitty but I do find solace in knowing that we had a happy life together and she was the queen while she was here.


strangelittlemama said...

Well, when we had to euthanize a kitty a while back, I explained that the kitty was going to die very soon no matter what we did, and that the vet was able to give the cat some medicine to help her die more quickly and with no pain, so that she wouldn't suffer any more horrible pain. I explained that it's not fair to make animals suffer through pain, since we can't explain it to them or somehow help them make peace with it, so the kindest thing is to make the dying process easier for the cat.
They understood that fairly well, and they were younger then, too--- about 6 & 3.

I'm sorry. It's so hard when our animal friends take leave of us.

Gray said...

I'm really sorry to hear about Bitsy and your own cat. Being tightly bonded to my own 20 year old cat, I can appreciate how hard this must be.

When my daughter was your son's age we had a little "service" when her hamster died, with candles and a discusion of his virtues and life. It was touching and provided some good closure. She dealt with it well, and at age 15 still remembers it as an important but positive life event.

Anonymous said...

Oh, gad, I'm so sorry!!! Ugggggghhhhhh.

(I have to say, though, that I feel you have sorely mischaracterized Tramp. He is totally photogenic. Look at that nose. Look at that perfect little nose.)