Sep 16, 2013

The Long, Hard Summer

School is back in session. The kids have settled in with their new teachers and new routines, I've finished a few key projects and have a small amount of.. dare I say it?

Free time.

Little guy is in Pre-Kindergarten, this year.  He's only going part time, to help him adjust to what will be full time kindergarten next year, but the few hours we have apart each week are just amazing.  He's having a blast with his new friends, and I'm starting to recover my sanity after what was a pretty rough summer.  Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy having my kids home, but this summer will go on record as being one of the more difficult we've spent as a family because of two major tragedies.  

The first was the loss of our little old lady cat "Maggie".  My husband and I rescued her from a shelter about 17 years ago when we were still in college.  As a kitten she had been hit by a car and had some brain damage, but it was minor.  I remember the first time I saw her sitting on a little shelf at the back of the cage looking so dainty.  I knew instantly that she was for us.

She turned out to be a very mellow and tolerant cat with a sweet face that matched her disposition.  She chirped with eager anticipation at the birds she spied out our windows.  She was a skilled hunter who would seek out, destroy and eat any fly that dared to enter our house, and spent her free time basking in the sunlight.  She was also capable of the most unusual vocalizations that scared the begeezus out of us on more than one occasion.  She actually learned how to meow "mamma" after hearing our twins call out for me, and was known to wander the house at night calling my name in a human like voice.  It was eerie, but amazing.

This May, she got very sick, and we almost lost her.  She was diagnosed with advanced kidney failure and we were encouraged to consider euthanasia, something we could not bring ourselves to think about at the time.  With medication and IV fluids she rallied and was better for a while.  We  vowed to hold on to her until her suffering outweighed her happiness.  We providing supportive care, a special diet, and all the love and cuddles we could.  We watched her very closely for any sign she was in pain.  By the beginning of July she was telling us it was time to let her go.  We scheduled the appointment to have her euthanized and tried to prepare ourselves for what would come.  

Two days before her appointment, we were hit by the second tragedy of the summer.  My otherwise healthy cousin passed away very suddenly from a blood clot.  Out of respect for her immediate family I won't go into detail, but it was an event that shocked us all and left us shaken and bewildered.  Within a weeks span, I buried a family pet that had been like a child to me, and a dear cousin who left us far to early.  

As a family we've managed to carry on through our sadness.  We find moments of happiness where we can in the simple things; picking berries, taking long walks, and visiting family and friends.  Time will help us heal our hearts.

According to the  kids, having new kittens doesn't hurt either.


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