Nov 20, 2008

Partly cloudy with a chance of rain

We've had four days without Ellie now.

Nick is not affected, seemingly at all. Nathaniel is asking a LOT of questions about death and disease. He's very concerned that anyone or any animal can be struck at any time. He also wants to bury Ellie in our backyard so that if we "forget what she looked like, we can dig her up and look at her." I had to explain that this isn't really how it works.

This very thorough child has also been probing the circumstances of Ellie's decline and death:

"Mommy, when did you VERY FIRST notice Ellie was feeling sick?"

"Mommy, why did you take Ellie to the DOCTOR instead of the HOSPITAL? Maybe if you'd taken her to the HOSPITAL, she wouldn't have died."

"Daddy, what exactly HAPPENED when you got Ellie to the doctor? What did they do to try to save her? How did she feel? Tell me everything that happened."

I love that he's trying to audit our thought process and the actions we took when we realized she was sick. But when he gets into Q&A mode, I feel a little like I'm a suspect on CSI or Law & Order. I've done a lot of second-guessing myself this week, so to have a 5-year-old Monday-morning quarterbacking is like adding insult to injury.

I still have many sad moments every day, like yesterday when I pulled a shirt out of the closet that apparently Ellie had brushed up against sometime recently. I had to use the lint brush to get her fur off of it, and it brought me to tears. I imagine there will be many more moments like that in the near future, but as we get farther away from it, it will get easier.

Grayson is sad that we lost her, but he feels like it was best that she went on to her Great Kitty Reward, because she hadn't always been the healthiest cat on the block. He felt that she would have suffered more with varying ailments if she'd lived longer, so he has a peace about it at this point. We have enjoyed reminiscing about the early days with her, when it was just me, Grayson and Ellie, because that was so long ago.

Scout is being very "needy" right now. When we drive away from the house in the mornings, he's sitting at the front window watching us go. As I get in bed every night, he jumps up and snuggles in behind my knees and asks to be petted. He's stopping the boys in their tracks as they walk through the house, rolling over on his back in front of them so they'll pet his tummy. We're all trying to give him the extra attention he apparently needs right now; it's interesting to actually watch a pet adjust to a loss. I'm not sure I can identify it as "grief," per se, but I can say it's an intense loneliness for him. He's been her partner his whole life (we had Ellie first), so this is a whole new world for him.

All in all, I suppose we're doing better than I would have expected, but I hope we have Scoutie with us for a long time. I don't want to go through this again anytime soon.

2 comments:

*Jen* said...

I totally can relate to this post minus the 5 year old Monday morning quarterback. :-)

I had my kitty cat, Spot, for 10 years. I rescued him from a neighbor who decided that she didn't want to take care of him anymore.

He had seen me through lots of good times, bad times and everything in between. He loved me unconditionally, and I felt the same for him.

Learning he had cancer was a serious blow. But I went through the motions of trying chemotherapy before realizing that his condition was actually worsening.

Putting him to sleep was *THE* single most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life. I'm tearing up at even typing this now.

My other kitty cat, Callie, is going through similar emotions as Scout. It is sad to see her walk around the house and thinking to herself, "Where is that other furry four legged creature?" Heck, I walk around still looking for him sometimes until I remember he's gone.

Hang in there!

Katherine said...

Jenny, Grayson had told me about your cat a few days after it happened. I told him on Sunday night he needed to call you to commisserate! I meant to email you to tell you how sorry I was about him ... I know that it was extraordinarily hard for you. I am thinking of you!

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