|Purred: Wed Apr 30, '08 7:13pm PST |
|You are not alone. My mother passed away early in 1996 and Winkie, the only real pet I had ever had, passed away that October from cancer. He was 13 and I'd had him since the summer before 4th grade. He was an indoor /outdoor cat, ate store bought cat food, and died from a vaccine-associated sarcoma.
About 3 weeks after Winkie crossed, we adopted Bobcat and Rufus. We decided they would have "only the best." We fed them Science Diet dry food, they were indoor only, and they did not recieve any unneccessary vaccinations. Rufus was a month shy of his 9th birthday when he was diagnosed with GI lymphoma. I gave him the best possible care I could afford (some would say that I couldn't afford), and he survived 29 months before he crossed at the age of 11. I did everything for him and he still didn't live as long as Winkie.
This past month I've adopted 2 new babies. I agonized over whether or not I should adopt after Rufus' passing. At first I thought that I should wait until Briana crossed because I felt like she could go any day. I read a dozen cat books before deciding that I needed to adopt for me, even if Briana didn't like it. She's a scaredy cat and could never be the kind of lovebug I wanted, so I decided it would be fairer to her to let her be herself instead of trying to change her or resenting her for not being Rufus.
I kitten-proofed the bedroom before I adopted the first one so he would have a safe room. They will be getting expensive high protein dry food. They have one new cat tree and will be getting another. "Only the best."
Yes, I've changed. Yes, I worry about them much more than I ever did with previous cats. I think it was Rufus' illness more than his crossing that changed me -- both for the better and for the worse. Now I know what the words compassion and commitment really mean. Rufus taught me about bravery and patience and forgiveness. Winkie was my childhood friend, but Rufus was my baby. I loved them both, but I was more devastated by Rufus' crossing.
I worry about Briana and Bob and Jack and Hamlet. Briana is almost 10 and has never been sick, but if she ever got outside, I would never see her again. If she ever got sick, I could never give her the same level of care that I gave Rufus. She wouldn't allow it.
My brother has custody of Bob and I know he doesn't care for him as well as I would. I don't know what I would do if he became seriously ill. I have my own 3 babies, but I'd feel guilty if I turned my back on Bob.
Jack Matt is a little devil, but I love him and I made the commitment to him. I'll do whatever I have to do to keep him with me.
Hamlet has a heart murmur that I'm praying he will outgrow. I'm amazed how much I love the little guy already. He's has some of the best qualities of Winkie and Rufus with his own special quirks.
OK, I've rambled on long enough. Yes, I worry more than I used to, but I also know how much I'm capable of giving.
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