Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 2, 2013

Just last week, I saw my little Allie improving to the point that I was insanely hopeful that her condition was, perhaps, in some sort of remission.  Friday, however, her back legs started giving out on her and she was walking as if she were slightly tipsy, and it broke my heart.  I attributed some of the weak leg problem to the B-12 injection I had given her on the right side.  She hid from sight most of that day and this continued into Saturday.  The only way Allie would even drink some water was if I would reach behind the bed, gently pick her up and take her to the bowls I put in the bedroom for her.  She picked at her food but gulped down water, then proceeded to the litter box (I have one set up in the bedroom), but she didn't even bother trying to cover anything.  Allie would finish her business and carefully exit the box.  It was heartbreaking to watch.
Most of Saturday, I was wrestling with the final decision I had to make for my youngest girl, but I knew what needed to be done for her.  By late the evening, my mind was at peace.  I would wait until Monday, which also happened to be Emmi Sue's one year anniversary, so Allie would be at our vet's clinic, a place she was already familiar with, rather than new surroundings which would frighten her.

Sunday was an oddly beautiful day for both me and Allie.  For the first time in weeks, she came out of the bedroom on her own and tried to open the cabinet door, where she goes to hide when she is afraid or just wants to be left alone.. and it's also right next to where I sit when I'm on the computer.  I helped her open the door so she could slip inside, where she stayed for quite a few hours.  Every couple hours or so, I would open one of the doors just to make sure she was alright, not knowing if she had chosen to be near me as her final resting place or not.  Eventually, Allie left the cabinet and inched her way into the bottom opening of the kitty loft, one of her favorite places to nap.  I was beginning to understand that my baby understood that her time was almost over and she wanted to lay down, at least one more time, in her favorite places.  I loved looking down at her when she was in the kitty loft.  I knew she was comfortable, and she could hear and feel me directly next to her.  It was a good day/evening.

Over the weekend, I'd wake in the morning (yes, I was really waking up much earlier) and first check to see if Allie was alright, which mostly meant that I checked if she was still breathing and not in despair, which I did throughout the day/night.  The wonderful thing about my little baby is that all I had to do was reach down and touch her, and she was purring.  When I'd stop touching her, as long as I continued to speak to her, the purring continued but was even louder if I said her name.  It meant so much to me that even though Allie wasn't feeling well in the least, it only took Mommy's voice and touch to calm her and make her happy.
When I awoke Monday morning, I looked in on my baby and then make the phone call to Dr. Carolyn Kemmerer.  I wasn't going to put off this decision, knowing it was the right thing to do.  As I had told Allie just the night before, Mommy was going to give her one final gift and that was to not let her suffer.  When Emmi Sue had been ill just last year, I had done so many things wrong without even knowing it.  Even though I had done everything out of love, I kept her alive for ME, not for her.  My babies aren't alive for me.  They are alive for themselves, simply giving me the incredible blessing of being their mother in the process.  After my beloved Emmi Sue passed away, I promised Jinger and Allie that once they no longer had any sort of quality of life, I would never allow them to hurt for such a long time.  I would know when the time was right and let them go in the most peaceful way possible.

The appointment was made for 4pm that day, making it easier for me to take my little AllieBug straight to the animal hospital for cremation afterwards.  My clinic has cremation facilities on site, but I needed to have the beautiful paw print made, as I have from Emmi Sue, and the hospital was where this was done.  It's such a lovely reminder of her little back foot and I treasure it deeply.

Mom and Dad met me at the veterinarian's office, as I needed my time alone with Allie in the car.  They both looked so sad, so very old to me.  I had them each hold Allie so I could take a few pictures, and I'm so glad I did.  Those photographs already mean so much.  The expressions on their faces really do say it all.  My Allie was very loved, mostly by her abuelita.
When the time came for Dr. Kemmerer to start the first injection (it was to relax Allie, which could help her even fall to sleep), I asked my parents to please let me be alone with my baby.  Mom especially looked surprised, but I explained that I knew that if she stayed with me she'd be my mom, and today wasn't about me.  It was about MY daughter.  I needed to be able to speak to Allie, sing to her, try to calm her mind as I was sure she was frightened, cry as much as I wanted/needed, and not be comforted by anyone.  It wasn't about me.  After I said all this, my parents understood.  Mom even gave Allie two kisses on her forehead, which she has NEVER done before.  It was all very sweet and touching.

And then it was time to begin.  Carolyn (Kemmerer) placed the blanket I had brought under little Allie's body so that if/when her bladder/bowels released, she wouldn't mess all over me.  I really didn't care except that we were going to the animal hospital afterwards, so not being covered in excrement was probably a good idea.

I was amazed how Allie just lay back in my left arm, looking straight into my face.  She looked so peaceful, despite how troubled she must have been.  The doctor told me it usually took ten minutes for this medicine to relax the kitty, so she would be checking in with me.  I spent those ten minutes singing her the songs I've sung to only her her entire life, telling her how much I have always loved and adored her, how I'll miss every little thing about her, and how she will forever be the baby to me, no matter if I adopt one million kittens.  Even though it makes no sense, I've always told her that she's the baby of all the babies in the world to me.

You are my Allie, my only Allie
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know, Al
How much I love you
Please, don't take my Allie away
Please, don't take my sweet Allie away.
Aaaaaallie, Allie Marie
Allie comes and I wanna go home
Al.. she's my Aaa-aaa-allie
Allie comes and I wanna go home.
Allie angel, how I love you
And I'm never, ever gonna let you go
I love my baby Allie, my baby Allie, my baby Allie
I love my baby Allie
And my Allie loves me
And my Allie loves me.

When Carolyn came into the room after ten minutes my Allie was still very alert, so she said she'd give us more time.  I could hear her out in the lobby talking with my parents, and I appreciated it so much.  I could make out a lot of what was being said, mostly about how we used to own a fantastic ice cream store and how my dad is awesome at making one-of-a-kind pieces out of wood.
My focus then went back to my baby, who was twitching quite a bit, but I knew that was to be expected.  It reminded me of how my legs get when I start to relax and the MS doesn't allow a peaceful relaxation.  Her legs were kicking and one of her arms would stretch out involuntarily.  I just hoped none of this was causing her any discomfort.  I kept right on talking with her, but more softly now as I knew she needed to sleep if at all possible.

The entire time Allie lay in my arms, I couldn't take my eyes off her breathtaking face.  Every little detail of her face, gaze, fur, whiskers.. will be engraved in my mind for all eternity, as will this time I spent with her.  It was absolutely beautiful to have this time alone with her.. in the exact same room, as I requested, that Emmi Sue had been in countless times before the kidney disease took her from us.  I had tears rolling down my cheeks, but yet felt total peace as I knew my AllieBug would never know such pain.
When Carolyn came back in, maybe twenty minutes later, I knew it was time.  As she shaved one of Allie's front arms, I started to bawl, but then stopped long enough to whisper to my baby, "AllieBug, you'll be fine, honey.  Emmi Sue is waiting for you so don't be scared."  Then the injection was given and a few seconds later, Carolyn let me know that there was no longer a heartbeat.  I know I cried that much harder when I heard this, feeling a million emotions all at once.  My little girl, the one I called my youngest, was really gone.  How did this happen?

It all seemed so unreal.  Just three months ago, my Allie was perfectly fine, still running passed me as I was on my way to the bathroom, to jump on the bed so I could give her belly rubs.  And now, now she was no more.  I didn't question whether or not I did the right thing, but the reality of her no longer being here was, and is, almost too much to even conceive.

After Carolyn helped me wrap my precious baby in the blanket, I carried her to my car and placed her in the seat next to me.  My parents drove behind me as we made our way to the animal hospital.  I was glad to be alone as I needed this last little journey with only my Allie.  I spoke to her, put my right hand inside the blanket and stroked her very soft, warm belly fur again, knowing our time together was almost over.  It wasn't until I pulled into the hospital parking and my dad opened my door that I broke down and cried hard, really bawling over losing my youngest girl.  I held her tight against me as I tried to calm myself down, knowing I had to pull myself together at least this one last time.

As I spoke to the young lady at the desk, she noticed that the last time I had brought one of my girls here for the same thing had been exactly one year prior, even before I pointed it out to her.  I had already placed Allie "comfortably" on the counter, mostly so my parents could see her sweet face and say good-bye to her one more time.  I kept running my fingers through her glorious fur and looking into her eyes, since no matter what Carolyn did, her beautiful green eyes refused to stay closed.  Allie looked absolutely gorgeous and completely at peace.  I wanted to hug her so tight and make her heart beat again, but I knew it was impossible.  It was time to let her go.  The lady kept saying we could have more time with her in another room if we needed, but I insisted that no, if I spent more time with her it would break my heart.  With a dozen more kisses on her forehead, nose, hands.. I whispered to Allie that this was the last step of her journey.  Soon we'd be together again, but she had to do this on her own.  I was in a thousand pieces as the lady slowly walked away with my little angel, telling us they'd call me in a week or so when her ashes were ready for me to pick up.

After leaving the animal hospital, I realized that for years I had been a very good kitty mom, but it took that night to make me into a mother.  A mother puts her child's needs above her own, and this is what I did.  I would have preferred to keep Allie with me for as long as possible, but that would have been for me, not for her.  She was more important than my needs.  I finally grew up.

And Miss Allie, I will love you each and every day for the rest of my life.  You were always my secret angel, my protector, my magic healing girl, Mommy's perfect little Bug. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

I've found true love.. in a 5½ month old kitten named Sammy ♥

I'm just going to jump back into writing, no apologies, no excuses.  

Three days ago marked 10 months since my Emmi Sue passed away, and to say this year has been insanely difficult would be a tremendous understatement.  Then came last month when I did something I didn't believe I'd be able to do for a much longer time, but on Tuesday, September 17, I adopted a 5-week old kitten whom I've named Sammy.  He is absolutely adorable, loving, active!, sweet and very attached to me already. 
Sammy jumped into this basket a few days ago and allowed me to photograph him.  He's so beautiful!

I hope Allie and Jinger will like Sammy soon, or at least learn to tolerate him a bit better, but there have been actual moments of peace and quiet in the house the last few days.  VICTORY!  I don't expect them all to be best of friends any time soon, but I sure hope the hissing and "play" fighting doesn't last too much longer, assuming the fighting is just play.  

I haven't exactly thrust Sammy onto Jinger and Allie, though.  They're 15-year old cats (76 in human years) and I'm respecting this as much as I can.  The first week, I kept Sammy in the bedroom while the girls had free range of the rest of the house, then I'd switch their places for a few hours so he'd get to run around and use up all that pent-up kitten energy!  It also enabled me to get them all used to each other's scents, which really has gone over well.  

To my surprise, and utter delight, I turned around one evening to find Allie and Sammy on the sofa together.  No, they weren't directly next to one another, but much closer than I would have anticipated in such a short time.  He just wants to play and get close to the girls.
Yes, Sammy really does fall asleep with his leg straight up in the air.  He sleeps in the strangest positions ever!
 Adopting a black cat wasn't something I thought I'd ever be able to do, but that day when I found myself at the animal shelter, a black kitten was all I could think of taking home with me.  Just as Emmi Sue had chosen me to be her mommy, Sammy reached out of his cage and touched the top of my head as I leaned forward to look at the other kittens, even though he was the first who had caught my eye.  When I first held him in my arms, he was a bit hyper so I had to put him back in his cage but when I went back to him a few minutes later, Sammy was very calm and just sweet as can be.  It was at that moment that I knew he was the one I had been waiting for.. he was the one who was already healing my broken heart.

There are many things of his that remind me of Emmi Sue, such as the way he sticks his tongue out and doesn't even realize he's doing it, but for the most part, Sammy is just Sammy.  He has black whiskers and they're not too long, as opposed to Emmi Sue's extremely long glow-in-the-dark white whiskers.  His ears are very tall, almost like a jackal's, and his arms are extremely long!  His sleeping positions make me giggle and I try to photograph him but as soon as he hears me, he moves.  Darn it! haha  
He wasn't sleeping here, but Sammy has been know to catch some zzz's in this position.
All I know is that this little guy is exactly what I needed in my life.  Sammy's so sweet and loving.  I can't wait until my three children can play together!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Here comes the heat again and.. he ℒℴνℯs me!

Emmi Sue has been gone for a little over 6 months.  As I look around the room and no longer see her slumbering peacefully, it still seems unreal that it has been so long, yet life has, somehow, moved forward despite her not being with me anymore.  My little girl will never be forgotten as she is part of what makes my heart beat every single day.

Summer is upon us once again, and with the warmer temperatures come a slew of MS symptoms/problems.  It's at times like these when I'm more thankful than ever for having central air conditioning in my home and a car that also has a/c!  I really could not make it through the summer months without it.
Along with heat intolerance comes extreme fatigue, although they can be separate issues, too.  I've found myself terribly mentally fatigued the last 3 months or so, but it does get worse as the temperature rises.  I find myself becoming easily confused and even losing my patience much quicker than usual.  I try to warn others that this may happen in order to avoid arguments, but it doesn't always work.
Ahh, but now comes the good part of this entry.  If anyone has been wondering how things have gone for me and my new love, well.. we will be celebrating two months as a couple on June 20!  Kevin came to visit me as planned and I'll be going to visit him soon.  I really can't wait to see him again and meet his mom, sister and two adorable cats.  And yes, he does have central a/c! 

I have never felt so at peace, yet equally excited beyond belief, with any man in my life.  Kevin keeps me laughing while touching my heart like no other.  I love him with everything I am!  He is absolutely wonderful.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just eleven more days!

I've been terribly worried that my MS may be kicking in again, for the first time in quite a little while.  My right hand is extremely weak, my fingers are ridiculously numb and my right leg/foot aren't responding too well, yet I am choosing not to overreact to any of this.  Life has been too fantastic to allow anything to bring me down!
Kevin, the man I wrote about in my last entry, will be here in Illinois with me in just eleven more days.  I still can't believe all of this is happening in my very mundane life, but love has struck both of us very hard, so meeting in person is more than necessary.  Not one of these days at a distance has been wasted, though.  Oh, I should mention that Kevin is in Alabama, approximately 800 miles south of where I live.  
May 24th cannot arrive fast enough!  I can't wait to look directly into Kevin's eyes, rather than gazing into my webcam while pretending to be looking at him.  To be able to put my arms around him, kiss him, do normal every day things.. it will all be so wonderful!  We're not yet sure what the future will hold for us, but more than likely, one of us will be moving to the other's state, so I believe it will be me relocating to Alabama.   Wow, who would have thought?!  I won't jump too far ahead just yet, but we both know it will be in the cards very soon, and I'm still floating on Cloud Nine. ♥

Monday, April 29, 2013

❤ Finally, there's true love for me ❤

It took me a little over four months, but I have finally begun to heal from the loss of my Emmi Sue.  I moved the two pictures of her that I had sitting on my computer keyboard onto the entertainment center, which I feel was a very good start.  Since doing that, the tears have been less frequent and I am definitely moving on, yet Emmi Sue is still on my mind, yet in a less painful manner.
I love everything about this "meme," except for the god references.  Still, I love and miss my baby and felt it was perfectly appropriate.♥
The typical way my body reacts to stress, especially extreme stress, is for my body to go into a pretty severe MS exacerbation (flare-up) almost exactly three months after the stress occurred.  Miraculously, this hasn't happened this time around.  During Emmi Sue's illness, my MS left me alone and even allowed me to drive after seven months of not being able to do so.  As she became more ill, my MS left me alone so that I could take care of my little girl and I can't thank my disease enough for that.  Now, almost five months since I've held my beloved baby in my arms, the MS still hasn't attacked me any more deliberately than before she left me.  I fully expected a full force attack, but it has left me alone.  I never thought this would happen and I'm grateful for this "favor."  Jinger and Allie deserve their mommy at her best, even though it has taken me a few months to find myself again.
In my life, I have known many kinds of love, the greatest kind being between my kitty-daughters and me.  I am, in no way, belittling the strong relationship I have with both my parents, but nothing compares to the closeness, trust, unconditional love my girls feel towards me and me for them.  It's a bond that knows no end and never holds any anger nor disappointment.  It has always been love in its truest sense and one I could not live without, nor would I have survived the last decade if my girls were not in my life.

I have been in love beyond reason twice in my life.  The first time was at the age of 24 when I met Boris in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and the second was at age 35 when Magdy and I romanced for two and a half years over the internet.  I honestly don't know if he and I would have survived if we had met, since we were from such different cultures, but the love was absolutely there.
Now comes my confession.. I just lied about the amount of times I have been in love.  I am thrilled to announce that I recently met the man of my dreams via Atheist Mingle!  His name is Kevin, we're of the same age (I just turned 44 and he'll be this age in less than a month and a half), he also has two cats, twice divorced (as I am), no children (like me), atheist, and the list goes on and on.  I honestly felt I would live my life alone, which was fine with me as I was content with my single situation, yet now that I've met Kevin and started this amazing relationship, I can't imagine ever being without him again.

Kevin lives in Alabama and I'm in Illinois, so we are spending most of the time communicating via Skype, messaging on Facebook and phone calls.  That being said, we're "together" a good six or more hours daily, which is just phenomenal to me.  Even though we haven't known each other too long, Kevin has already taken days off next month to drive up to see me, so we are 26 days from being together for the very first time.  We are both crazy excited to see one another face-to-face and start our future already.  Ahhh, my life feels as if it's finally heading in the right direction and I don't have the words to describe how I'm feeling.  I just know that Kevin and I are deeply in love and are living for the moment we can melt into one another's arms. ♥                           

Monday, March 25, 2013

Me and Atheism.. a perfect match!

It has been a long time since I've written anything on one of the core aspects which makes me who I am, which is Atheism.  I've recently joined quite a few groups on Facebook, all centered on Atheism, and I wrote an introduction about myself last night on one of these group's pages.  I'm going to use what I put in that post here, being that I feel I did a very good job at stating many aspects of how I view things there.
"Believing" was making me feel icky inside, for lack of a better word.  No matter what I said or did, I could never be good enough for that god.  I could ask and beg for forgiveness, which I did every damn day, but nothing ever changed.  It was a never ending, torturous existence which led me to a deep depression and suicidal thoughts and actions, more times than I wish to remember.  Having jesus' death on MY hands is a terrible thing to have thrust on you!  It wasn't until I really took a look at my life and what it had become, and realized how religion had no rational thought behind it, that I was able to breathe, for maybe the first time in my life.  And this is coming from a very irrational woman!  But to place my life in the hands of a god, it needed to make some sort of rational sense, and it was no longer there for me.  I was finally free to be myself.  AND, I could finally love myself for who I am, which I was never able to do at any point in my life before.  This is what Atheism means to me.  Being able to love who I am, without fear of any sort of retribution or punishment in life or after death.
I grew up in a catholic household, went to catholic school for 12 years, and never thought to question anything until I was around 20 years old, when I became Agnostic.  I embraced my Atheist self around five years ago and, surprisingly to most, my parents have never tried to change my mind.  Both my brothers are also non-theists and I've often told my parents to not take our lack of xtian belief as an insult to them, but rather as a compliment to how they brought us up.  None of us were ever afraid to tell them our doubts and subsequent rejection of what they feel is the "truth," knowing they would love us just the same.  My parents rock, they really do!  My mom will always be one of my best friends and I'll forever be Dad's princesita.
I think the first time I openly told my parents I was an Atheist was after my dad had had a heart attack and he, my mom and I were in my home during the summer a few years back.  Dad stubbornly announced he'd be outside doing some yard work for me, even though the temperature was well over 100° and humid as could be.  Mom and I kept insisting he stay inside, which he, of course, ignored.  Moments later, he came back inside as it was too deathly hot to do anything in such weather.  I asked him to please listen to what I had to say.  I told him that back when I had been diagnosed with MS at the age of 21, he (and Mom) would have done anything to protect me from a life with this disease because HE is my father and that's what a loving father would do for his child.  In the same way, Mom and I were trying to protect him from himself by asking, no, pleading with him to not overdo things in such hot weather so soon after a heart attack.  We were trying to protect him.  I told him I would give my life to protect him because I am his daughter and love him more than any other man in the entire world.  And then I added something to the extent of, "Dad, would god protect you from dying if you were out there having another heart attack the way Mom and I are doing right now?  No, he wouldn't.  This is why I can't believe in that god.  he's not real, but we are.  If you call on us, we'll respond.  Can you say for certain that your god will?"  I already knew I was an Atheist but had never voiced this to my parents until that moment.. and have never looked back since.  My parents know I'm an Atheist and accept me as I am, as I do them, and for this I am eternally grateful.
I've chosen not to do any reading on Atheism, which may not be the best choice, yet I arrived to this point without the influence of science or other books on the subject.  If I were to read anything on the subject of Atheism, I'd be afraid to gain an actual hatred towards religion (which I have no love for, anyway), since I'm around my parents quite often.  Without having good arguments to use on them, I'm better able to bite my tongue and just roll my eyes at their chosen ignorance on so many things.  Luckily, my parents attend catholic services, yet are definitely more straight xtian (as they concluded after being questioned by both my brother and me), so they are much more open minded.  They fully support gay rights and equality for all, a woman's right to choose (although this one was very difficult for them to embrace as easily), and other issues one would hardly assume any xtian would support.
I have become a much better person since walking away from all things religious.  I've been able to embrace myself, the good and the not so good, and accept that it all makes me the woman I am.  MS is horrible, losing my Emmi Sue still haunts me and knowing I will never see her again is painful beyond belief, but it's all a part of life.. MY life.  And the truth is, life is grand.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fifteen years since you meowed your way into my life....

Yesterday would have been Emmi Sue's 16th birthday, and 15 years since she came into my life.  I don't even think I need to say what a difficult, emotional day it was, because it was a living hell for me.  I relived the day she chose me as her mommy over and over again, remembering how tiny she had been that first day of our meeting.  I think I described it best as I was chatting with a friend on Facebook, as I said:

"I never knew how much I could hurt until I lost my Emmi Sue.  I never screamed while I've cried, until I lost her.  I still do that to this day.  I honestly never knew pain until she was gone.  She was never a cat to me, nor are my Allie or Jinger.  I'm home all day, every day, and I've raised them as my children.  I don't know if I'll ever be the same again nor if I'll ever know happiness without her with me.  I'm so lost."
Emmi Sue, stretched out on Mom and Dad's (covered) pool table.
I really do feel lost without my little girl.  I can't even begin to explain it.  I understand most people have had some sort of loss when it comes to pets, as I did before losing my precious baby, but this was on such a different level.  I lost a piece of myself with Emmi Sue.  I'm not even sure this will happen with Jinger or Allie, but I don't know.  I just don't know.  Emmi Sue and I became so close through her illness and treatments that our relationship grew by leaps and bounds.  I will never stop seeing her as she was during those last few months, weeks, days.. so absolutely tiny, so frail, so needing me to hold her and cradle her in my arms.  There was nothing I wouldn't have done for her, yet I fear I pushed her too hard to live, or maybe she hung on to life just for me.  I'll never know the answer to this, but I do know that my Emmi Sue loved me as much as I will forever adore her memory.
Jinger finally snapped out of her sadness, for which I am ever grateful, but I can't seem to follow in her footsteps.  This sadness, what am I saying?  This depression is all-consuming and is taking over every part of my life.  Yes, I've learned, once again, to smile through my tears but I feel as if I'm a walking, talking zombie of sorts.  I'm playing a part for the world to see, as no one really wishes to see the person I have become.  There is a tremendous hole in my life, in my mind, in my heart, that'll never again be filled as the one who completed that part of me is forever gone.
Fuck!!!  I miss my baby girl so much and nothing will ever change this.  Emmi Sue, I don't know what to do without you here.  I need you more than you ever needed me and I love you more and more every single day.  Te amo, hijita mía.  Your Mommy. ♥