It’s January 5th, 2013, and my beautiful Princess died today. She was eighteen years old and had been struggling with health issues for over a year, but yesterday she began passing blood with her urine and was having difficulty breathing so I knew it was time for her to go. I arranged for Animal Services to pick her up in the afternoon and today she will be put down. It was heartbreaking to see her go as she has been with me through thick and thin and was a constant source of comfort.
I originally brought her from the SPCA when she was a kitten. My eldest son had been bugging me for a cat and, being a cat-lover myself, I found it hard to say no and so my three kids and I took a trip downtown to the shelter and, out of all the kittens there, they chose Princess. As you can see from her picture, she was a very pretty cat, but also very stubborn as cats often are, and very independent as cats often are, but very friendly, and she enjoyed being one of the family.
My strong attachment to her stems from the fact that, as we purchased her just one year before my teenage daughter became pregnant with my first grandchild, she has been in the home throughout my years of raising my mentally disabled grandchildren.
She was there when my daughter ran away from home and refused to return. She was there when my daughter returned home due to her pregnancy. She was there when I returned home after coaching my daughter through her first delivery. She was there when each of my baby grandchildren were brought to my home to live with me. She was there whenever I returned from the family courthouse during my stressful years of seeking custody of my grandchildren. She was there as I changed numerous diapers and bottle fed babies, and struggled financially and emotionally each month trying to make ends meet and to find services to help me with my grandchildren’s disabilities. She was there when the children started kindergarten through to when the three eldest celebrated becoming teenagers. She was there when I broke down after returning from the police station where my fourteen year old grandson was charged with criminal activity. She was there as I sadly packed up his possessions and saw him taken from our home and placed in foster care. She was there to watch me age and to age with me. She was there whenever I cried when feeling overwhelmed with responsibility and would climb on my lap to console me.
Only other pet lovers will know how I’m feeling today. I know I won’t always feel this way, but today is a very sad day, full of tears over the passing of my beloved Princess. I haven’t told my grandchildren yet. Instead, when they came home from school yesterday, I told them she had to go to hospital and that we would know the outcome by the end of the week. That way I have a few days to shed tears and grieve until I feel stronger and more able to be there for them when I tell them she is gone and they shed their tears.
Dear Princess, I love you so much and will miss seeing your sweet face every morning. Sleep tight – Mom.