back ground

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I have lost my Mr. Spencer!

This is a very hard post for me to write.  I lost my sweet Aggie Mae 2 weeks ago tomorrow and during the night I lost my Mr. Spencer, my 11 year old cat that I love dearly. It seems that he never recovered from loosing Aggie. He loved her dearly although she never felt the same toward him outwardly anyway. Spencer was diagnosed last April with Kidney problems. He had been loosing weight since about September and we were worried a bit but he seemed fine. But after Aggie died he went down hill so fast. He stopped eating, he looked so sad and all he wanted to do was sleep. He didn't play with his favorite orange stuffed mouse or follow me around much. Tuesday, January 14th I took him to the vet. They checked him out and he was very dehydrated. They tried to get blood and he would have nothing to do with it so they wanted to keep him over night and give him fluids and get blood the next morning. Well, they put him under and he quit breathing, they got him back and the blood work came back better than in April but still bad. They called me Wednesday afternoon and asked if I would come in and see him, they thought he might eat if I came in. Michelle went with me and we got to be with him and hold him for a while. At first he hissed at me but when he realized it was me he came right over and ate, then kept laying on my arm and licking me. I felt so good and was so excited to go back on Friday and bring him home. Well, Friday morning I got a call from the Doctor saying he had died during the night. I am heartbroken. I know that I was meant to go see him yesterday and say goodbye. When I whispered to him that I would be back to get him tomorrow it was like he knew it would be for good, he went back in the corner and laid down. 

I know that people who don't like cats will not understand the sorrow I am going through. When you have these little creatures living with you for so many years they become a part of you and the family. They were with me 24/7. They were indoor cats although they liked to go out with us in the summer for short periods of time. They were always around, we would go down stairs to watch a movie, they would come and sit on our laps, we would go to bed, they would come in and lay on the bed with us, we would eat, they would eat, if company was over, they would come in the room and join in.
"Beware of people who dislike cats." - Irish proverb
No disrespect to those who don't care for cats. To each their own!

 Our first grandchild, Sydney, was born June 6th, 2003. What a joyful day for us. Well, the day after she was born, Doug went out to empty the garbage and heard a kitten crying, loud. He looked over the fence and saw a little tiny yellow tabby kitten. His eyes weren't even opened yet. We supposed that he was abandoned by his mom and the only way he knew to survive was to cry for help. Well, we brought him in and took him to our vet. They said we could try to feed him with an eye dropper but it would be like a new born baby and we would have to feed him ever 2-3 hours. I will admit I mentioned just taking him to the human society but Heather begged us not to. She said she would take care of feeding him at night and we helped during the day. Before we knew it he was a healthy BIG cat.  We named him Spencer Atticus, yes, after one of my favorite characters from "To Kill A Mocking Bird" Atticus Finch. We had Cally still and she tolerated him, but Aggie never did accept him. She would hiss at him and swat at him all the time. 

This poem is so appropriate with how I feel today. I am so grateful I got to raise Spencer and have him as my "sweet boy".

A Pets Prayer
If it should be, that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then, you must do what must be done
For this, the last battle, can't be won.
Don't let your grief stay your hand,
For this day more than the rest,
Your love and friendship stand the test.
We've had so many years,
What is to come can hold no fear.
You'd not want me to suffer, so
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me where my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me to the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you'll see it is a kindness you do for me
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.
Don't grieve it should be you who this thing decides to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years,
Don't let your heart hold tears.
Author Unknown

"Happy is the home with at least one cat" - Italian Proverb

I love you Mr. Spencer and will miss you deeply!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Well, I am on a roll, I have wanted to post a picture of my sweet grand babies. They were all here last week and I wanted so bad to get a picture of all of them together. Well, you can imagine how that went after we had had a family party with lots of fun, food and goodies.
From left to right, we have Kyle Bowman, now he looks excited to be there, doesn't he. Next we Owen Stewart pulling his brother Jacob's ear, Sydney Hillman is happy, she loves holding her cousin Gretchen Hall who by the way wasn't happy about the whole thing. Then we have Ethan Hall, now doesn't he look happy? Jane Bowman found a toy that she is showing off and Payton Hillman is just happy to be with her cousins, Kate Hillman on the other hand didn't want to be there at all, how can I tell? You can see her mom's arm and leg in the picture trying to make Kate stay on the couch. This picture makes me laugh so hard, each one of these children are so precious to Doug and I, we love them so much and are so thankful they are in our family, even if they don't act like they are to happy to be there.

The Long, Hard Ride

I was thinking as Doug and I were driving to the Veterinarian with Aggie Mae yesterday (see previous blog) what a long, hard ride it was. That got me thinking of all the long, hard rides I have had to go on in my life. The thing that came to mind was the long ride after a funeral to the cemetery. I don't like those rides at all. I usually have a huge lump in my throat the whole time, that is exactly how I felt yesterday on the way to the vet. I remember when my dad died 29 years ago, I was 26 years old, 8 months pregnant with our 3rd child, we lived in Kennewick Washington and had a 10 hour drive to Idaho for the funeral. I was instructed by my OB to get out and walk every hour. Well, it was stormy, I had a 4 year old and a two year old that slept a lot and I didn't want to wake them every time we stopped. Needless to say, it was a long, hard ride. Let alone the pregnant part, I was going to say good bye to my father. I know these bumps in the road (long, hard road) help us grow. I just wish they weren't so often at times.

Aggie Mae, Our Valiant Kitty

Aggie Mae with her favorite person, Douglas and grandson Ethan.

Aggie Mae from behind, she is so pretty.
The wind was from the north, and on a January day in Idaho that meant it was cold. The sun was shining and it was mid afternoon when the graveside service began for Aggie Mae. There were two people at the service, Doug and Karen. They loved Aggie so much and were so saddened at her sudden passing. Harriet Agnus, that was her given name, but everyone who new her called her Aggie or Aggie Mae. She had come into the Hillman's life nearly 18 years earlier. She needed a new home and Doug and Karen took her in. The first time Karen saw her she remembers she was pouncing down the hall at Karen's sister, Barbara's house. It was love at first site. She captured the hearts of the Hillman children, except for Brian, I don't think he ever liked her. But she especially became Doug's best buddy. When he would come home after work she would run to him and and put her arms up for him to pick her up and hold him. Every time he would sit down she thought she had to sit on his lap. Some of her favorite places were in front of the pellet stove or the wall heater. She was always cold. She loved to sleep in Karen's closet, under the bathroom sink and in the recliners down stairs. She loved to go outside to chase squirrels and wonder in the raspberry's.You might wonder about the sleeping arrangements and her habits and what exactly Aggie was. Well, I am talking about an adorable, long haired black angora cat. The Hillman's had a 3 year old cat, Cally already and they seemed to get along great. But in 2003 when Aggie was 7 along came another cat that the Hillman's rescued, Spencer. Aggie hated him from the get go. To the day she died she hissed at him if he got in her way. Anyway, Cally passed away 4 1/2 years ago from a tumor and we knew Aggie was getting older, but she seemed in good health. She would run around the house and play with her favorite stuffed mouse. For a long time every time someone would leave we would come home to a green glove by the door. It was Aggie's doings. She would get the glove, howl and drop it by the door. I hope when I get to Heaven she can speak and will tell me why she did that. Thursday night, January 2nd, 2014 we had gotten home from getting a friend that needed a ride from the airport. Michelle, Doug and I decided to watch "The Hobbit". With Doug in his usual chair, Aggie jumped up to cuddle. A little while into the movie she suddenly jumped off the chair and couldn't walk. She took a few dragging steps and fell. She had had a massive stroke and her left side was paralyzed. Her head was cocked to one side and she looked so sad. Doug picked her up and held her until 3:30 a.m. We would give her drops of water but as the hours wore on she had a hard time drinking them. We knew that we had a hard decision ahead of us. We took her to the vet, and they confirmed it was a stroke. They said we could take her home and try to rehabilitate her by exercise and spoon feeding her 4-6 times a day and try to get her to drink water but didn't know if it would help. Doug and I talked about it and wondered how she would go to the bathroom, she couldn't even walk. We made the very hard decision of letting her go. To see our faithful little friend incapacitated was to much. We got to be with her as she passed and we both wept. The people at the veterinary clinic were so kind to Aggie and us. After she was gone they took her and prepared her for burial in what they called a bundle. It made me feel so good to know she was wrapped up tight. Doug was able to dig a grave for her right next to Cally's, to our surprise since it is winter. We went out by the grave, Doug carefully put her in and we said a prayer. We love you Aggie and are so happy we had you for as long as we did.I can't wait to hug you and talk to you in Heaven! Till then, you and Cally have fun chasing around.  :o)