Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DAMN HEIDI

This is a post that I didn't want to write.
I share a lot of things here, but there's many things I don't.
I don't talk about all my pets.
I try to mainly focus on Blue and Jimmy Chew
with the occasional side story.
It's not that I don't love all my critters, I do.
But I think it can get rather confusing for people if I talk about them all.
I have several cats, and ok ,to be honest Harry and Ghost are at the top of my list
but I do adore the others.
So... I don't know if I've talked about Raini, ever.
If so, it wasn't recently.

I adopted her 16 years ago when she was almost 6 months old.
I adopted her as a favor to a co-worker.
I used to work at the Humane Society back then and the girl who ran the Cat Area
had fallen in love with Raini. Her actual name was Loraina but...
Anyway, she begged me to adopt her.
We were over loaded with black cats and Raini was growing up at the shelter.
A kitten about to become a cat.
She had come in with a stump for a tail.
We never knew the story of that.
So I took this kitten/cat home and she stalked me everywhere.
She would leap off high surfaces with her claws out and then jump onto me and drag the claws 
down my back, my arm, my leg. I was covered in long scratches.
Then she would leap onto my shoulders and drape herself around the back of my neck like a collar.
I would wake up in the middle of the night, feeling like I was suffocating and realize she was across my neck.
Every time she did one of these things I would yell "Damn Heidi!"
Heidi being the co-worker who talked me into adopting her.
Another co-worker, who is a good friend of mine, pointed out to me that I never actually called her Raini but instead she was "Damn Heidi".
So, back then I had a lot of cats.
Cats that were in a sort of underground railroad system at my house.
Cats that the Humane Society couldn't or wouldn't take.
So that meant old cats, disabled cats, and mostly black cats.
I even had feral cats.
I found farm homes for the ferals. 
I had quit the Shelter and had started working at the vet clinic and Doc's now ex-wife helped me find homes for all these unwanted cats.
She had a lot of cats too. 
Rescues.
So, she would pay for them to be fixed and vaccinated and we would find homes for everyone.
Eventually all my cats either passed on or found good homes and I was just left with a small handful of those I dearly loved and Damn Heidi.

That was years ago.
and slowly Damn Heidi turned back into Raini.
She never got very big, she was just this tiny little cat who loved the dogs.

She would still wrap herself around my neck when she could but mostly she loved her dogs.
Many times I would find her giving massages.
She loved Vera.


Vera is a sweetheart poodle of mine.
But she loved the other dogs too. 
She would try to lay on top of Blue but he'd just stand up to get her off.
She would find the dogs sleeping and she'd run and lay on top of them and go to sleep too.
Here she is with Jimmy.



So...
Last June her ear started to smell.
I took her into work and she got a medicated ear treatment.
It's a waxy substance that stays in the ear for 2 weeks.
Most times a retreatment is required 2 weeks later and her ear still had this odor
so she was retreated.
Then 2 weeks later, she was treated a 3rd time.
After those 2 weeks, I kept cleaning her ear everyday but the odor was still there
and then it got stronger.
Doc reexamined her again and he could now see a growth deep down.
He did surgery on her and got pieces of the growth. It was very hard to get at.
2 weeks later she had a second surgery and he got more....
and then the odor was so bad that it started making people gag.
She had a third surgery and more was removed.
And once again, the odor was back within days.
At this point she had turned 16.
I said, no more surgeries.

I continued to clean her ear out everyday and it was always full of...
I won't go into detail but it was really bad and gross.
I kept her at work in the cat room because she was shaking her head a lot and the horrible stuff would fly.
I had to clean the big window she liked to sleep near, several times a day.

But she was good about the daily cleaning and she liked the other cats.
I even found her massaging the old cat in his bed.

Then I came into work this Monday and noticed that she was squinting.
I showed her to the several co-workers and we all thought that the growth was bigger.
I took her up to the Office Manager and she felt it and was surprised how big it was.
I took her to the other vet at our clinic and asked for his opinion.
A second opinion.
He said that cats just sometimes get these polyps .
He said for it to be removed, that I would need a surgeon who specialized in that kind of thing.
I guess they cut open the side of head and lay open the ear canal and, anyway...
I told him that she was 16.
I could see him wince a little.
One of the techs said that the surgery was VERY expensive.
Then the vet said that many times the polyps grew back again after the surgery.
I said ok, and carried her back to the cat room and cried.

Yesterday, as I cleaned out her ear, removing a lot of gunk,
I looked at her little face and her squinted eye.
Tuesdays are my double shift day. The day I stay after everyone else leaves and I take care of the boarders.
All the appointment's were done for the day and I went and got the vet tech that I consider a friend
and asked her to come back and look at Raini.
She looked at her and looked at me with a sad face and asked what the two vets had said recently.
I told her.
She thought it was a quality of life decision.

I asked her to see if Doc could stay a few minutes longer to "let her go".
Lily came back then and my friend returned to say he had said Yes.
So they went with me into an exam room.
I wanted to just have the people who really care around me.
Doc said he felt I was making the right decision.
And my friend, Lily and I all cried as she left this Earth.

Damn Heidi



28 comments:

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Such a hard decision. I went through it before too with my dog. So hard to do, but the decision is really already made by a power higher than us and then we just have to come to terms with it and let them go. If there is a special spot in heaven for good hearted people, you will surely be there in the center seat!

CheerfulMonk said...

It was the right decision, but still heartbreaking. A beautiful post.

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Sharon.
XOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Jean.
XOXO

Anne Specht said...

Boo hoo Cindi. That is the hardest thing about loving a pet...I always feel like I am playing God when the decision comes down to quality of life. Be rest assured that she is in Cat Heaven (or maybe Dog Heaven because she loved dogs so much)with lots and lots of well loved, cherished and sorely missed companions that I believe, will be seen again one day. The love of a pet and memory never goes away. And you especially, have a big heart to make room for more. Take care of yourself and best wishes for a happy, healthy and productive (I kind of said productive as a reminder to myself :>) new year.
Fondly xox,
Anne

Debby said...

I am so very sorry for your loss of such a sweet, dear friend.

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Anne
And I hope you have a good productive year too!
Xoxo

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Debby.
Xoxo

Vicki said...

Oh... that last goodbye.
My heart goes out to you, Cindi.

Even though we are faced with - and must make - that decision, it will never be easy.
The loss takes some getting over.
Time, my dear friend. Time.
Only thing that heals.

XXXXX

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Cindy, I'm just crying my eyes out over her. She reminds me so much of our Clara even though she doesn't look like her. You are a sweet angel, and sweet Raini must have found a place beside the poodles by now. We lost Clara last April and she loved Francis more than anyone else. He was her baby. Grooming him, following him around the yard, waiting for him to come play. Your poor heart. All four of our kitties are rescues. xoxo Su

tammy j said...

no words from me.
tears.
you're so strong. and kind. and animals' best friend.
i had words after all.
love you.
xo

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Vicki
XOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Su,
I'm so sorry about Clara.
I like that thought, that Clara and Raini have found their poodles.
XOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Tammy.
XOXO
love you too.

Ellen said...

So sorry Cindi.....it's so hard, we love them so much and she had been with you a long time.
I still miss my dear old William and Sooty.....and my little rescue cat is already 14-15 so will have that pain again one day.
Sending you love, and thank you for sharing the beautiful photos.
Ellen xx

Anonymous said...

Cindi,

I am so sorry about Raini. I have a 16 year old dog who has started having some health issues and it has made me think about the fact that she is not going to live forever. And it doesn't matter how long we have them. When they die, it's always too soon.

You obviously did everything anyone could for Raini. You gave her a home and a chance to live a normal life away from the shelter. In her own weird way I'm sure she was grateful to you for that.

Grace

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you so much Ellen.
XOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Grace!
I know what you are going through...
I have Rosie and Squeak who are both 16
and then several right behind them.
It's frightening to think about.
Thanks!
xoxo

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I am so sorry ... I know that's probably not enough to say, but I really am. Your post reminds me of our first cat. Lucy lived almost 20 years, and was the meanest cat that just barely tolerated us. We took her to Alaska and brought her back 10 years later. I could never get rid of her because I knew no one else would put up with her. I loved that mean old lady cat that wouldn't let me even pet her, just like you loved your girl. They were rare gems in their own ways. God speed to Raini ...

leslie said...

c.,

oh god. i loved this post, but oh god. i am so sorry.

xo,

l.

Doreen@househoneys said...

The days we have to say goodbye to our fur babies are some of the saddest days we will ever know. I'm so sorry Cindi. I know how hard it is. She was a special cat, I can see. The pictures of her with the dogs are precious.

xxx

Cindi Myers said...

Kim,
Thank you.
It DOES mean a lot because I know you GET it.
XOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Leslie!
xoxo

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you Doreen!
XOXO

Gillian said...

It’s hard. I had tears for her and you just reading that!

I had a cat once that really was an appalling creature to everyone but me (and she wasn’t actually that nice to me either) but I still loved her and I cried when she went. She lived to 17 years… out of spite mostly. Her name was Ruby.

Cindi Myers said...

Gillian,
I love that name, Ruby.
That was my little dog's name.
Yep, you understand how the most annoying cat can somehow worm their way into your heart and leave a hole when they are gone.
Thanks for commenting.
xo

sassypackrat said...

Oh Cindi! I knew of your loss from Facebook I think but hadn't yet read your blog post. After so recently losing Binks I just couldn't handle anyone's loss. But I felt I was being a bad friend so I sit here bawling my eyes out reading your post, sharing in your loss and feeling your sadness.

Raini had a great life with you. You did so much for her, much more than I think a lot of people would have. Those fur balls just claw their way right into our hearts and stay there forever. Hugs!

Cindi Myers said...

Jen,
I'm so sorry to bring it all back to you again.
but Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot to me.
and I am SO sorry about your Binks,
I know she knew that she was greatly loved,
and now, greatly missed.
xoxo