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I Never Thought I Could…

Have you ever done something you thought you could not do? I did yesterday.

On March 18, 2013 our beloved cat, Cadenza, had to be euthanized. All of us knew it was “time” – even Cadenza knew. He had put up a brave and long battle with his final illness. He never suffered and received compassionate and loving care from our spectacular Vet, Dr. Bill MacArthur. Dr. Bill gave Cadenza quality and length of life and gave us hope in our fight against an illness we knew would eventually take Cadenza.

IMG00130-20100920-1824I will never forget that moment in Bill’s office when we knew Cadenza had gone gently into the sweet night. It was gut and heart wrenching. My husband, Louie, and I left numb and bereft but grateful for our 16 years with the best cat ever.

We miss Cadenza to this day, and though the pain of our immediate grief has turned into the softness of memory, I have not yet been able to think about getting another kitten. I also have never been able return to the office to say hello to Bill, who became more than a Vet to us throughout our routine care visits, our emergency care visits, and our final good bye.

Let me tell you about Cadenza. We got him when he was 2 months old. He quickly nestled into our hearts and our home. He was a little orange kitten, the runt of a large litter. He was delicate and shy with a sensitive stomach. Little did we know how he would meow like a rooster crowing when it was time to rise in the mornings. He greeted us at the door every evening – recognizing the motors on our cars from far down the street. At a moment’s notice he would agree to be picked up and cuddled. Our favorite place was the rocking chair where he purred himself to sleep in my lap. I think we comforted each other.

2012-05-21 20.06.06Cadenza’s favorite foods were corn on the cob (as we found out one evening when I left some on the kitchen counter a little too long), asparagus, and shrimp. We should have set a place at the table for him.

Cadenza’s stomach could not keep up with his appetite, and he had lifelong GI issues. We never minded that we had to re-carpet our house and eventually put down hard wood floors. There was nothing we would not happily do for our beloved cat who allowed us to live with him.

As he grew into middle and then toward older age and illness crept upon him, Dr. Bill provided loving, steady care to all of us. Until the end came.

I never thought I could go back into the Vet’s office again. It was too much associated with pain and loss for me. Until last weekend ….when our daughter’s cat, Willy, got very sick. Her family took him quickly to Dr. Bill – who takes care of our entire feline family. Without thinking, I knew I wanted to be there with her, her family, and with Willy.

And so Louie and I went to the clinic. Try to imagine 4 adults, 2 children, a vet, a vet tech, and Willy all in a small examining room. Fortunately, Willy only had a virus and is on the mend.

When we walked into the familiar waiting room at the Clinic, we were greeted with woofs and meows of animals with their owners. Bill came to greet us and gleefully showed us a short video of his adorable 6 month old son. I told him that I had not been able to come back to see him until today. Bill looked at me and said quietly, “It was hard, wasn’t it!”. He understood.

Life does go on. I realized that one of my saddest moments had begun to heal when I did something I never thought I could do. I went back to the Vet’s clinic.
Ironically, yesterday I read my horoscope. I hardly ever read those things. It said that I was going to do something different I didn’t think possible which would make me feel empowered. I don’t really feel empowered, but I do feel nearer to a sense of closure.

I hope you will share something that you overcame that you never thought you could. How did you feel afterward? I invite you to leave your reply below.

photo[1]Best cat ever!

Featured Image photo by metin.gul

Photos of Cadenza by Julie Nagel

  1. Steven Huprich 8 years ago


    A bittersweet feeling came over me after seeing a sunflower on your blog’s Facebook page. What an important image for me and my family as we leave our Michigan home and head west—to Kansas.

    This change has been especially painful. We started our family here, made dear friends here, and grew in ways we didn’t know we could. We have lost those who have been dear to us, and as you know, I lost my dear Shelby here. Some pets are just meant for some humans. I still grieve her, as I do those who are now asleep and those from whom I will be separated.

    But for us to grow, we must sometimes take risks and give up what has been comfortable. Selling our house and saying good bye has been so hard, but I anticipate a bright future in many ways. Everyone of those painful good byes has brought on new and exciting things, and sometimes even better things than we imagined.

    We grieve those relationships and things that can never come back—but hopefully that stop at the vet reminded you of all the great parts of living you had (and always will have) with Dr. Bill and Cadenza. And maybe you will know a little more about whether a new family member is the right choice.

    Peace to you.

  2. Lois Roberts 8 years ago

    I don’t remember how Louie and I became close friends after so many years, but if I was forced to guess, I would say it was Cadenza. .i think when it became obvious to both of us that we were cat adorers, a bond, unlike all others was established, one which only the like minded.could ever understand. . Cadenza was in most of our emails and through Louie, Cadenza was famous. I would speak to people , mutual acquaintances, colleagues and iwhen Louie inevitably came up in conversation, so did Cadenza. If they knew Louie, they knew Cadenza. I understand in my heart your love for him. I too have had it for Pickles, Daphne, Albert, Teffy, Simon. Pickles, Teddy, and Daphne are gone from our sight but not from our hearts. We remember them with no regrets, only love. We cherish every unique moment with Albert and Simon. We feel God has sent them to us.. I find myself holding one or the other and feeling so very grateful.. I will always remember Cadenza.


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