Thursday, July 17, 2014

Saying Goodbye to JillyBoo

I know a lot of people think pets—especially cats—are replaceable. You wouldn't leave work because your cat is sick. Or be unable to get anything done because her breathing is labored. Yeah, I know I probably should have stayed more put together when JillyBoo didn't come inside one night in mid-July and then still didn't show up the next morning, but I couldn't.

Eric finally found her in one of our window wells and she wasn't breathing right. He put her in the car to take her to the vet and we learned she had pneumonia. In July? After a night at a animal hospital and an oxygenated kennel (and I don't want to talk about how much money), JillyBoo wasn't getting better. She couldn't breathe and her lungs were so full of fluid she wasn't sleeping, just lying there wide-eyed breathing so heavily it hurt to watch her suffer.

I left work a red-faced mess, and we put her down. I spent the rest of the day so upset I had a difficult time breathing myself. (Anxiety attack for a cat, really?) But I loved that cat. She was a real part of our family, and it is a real loss to us.

We buried JillyBoo in the back yard near our shed. You'd think we could have put a pet dying in perspective since we've lost much more significant things around here. Like a daughter and a father. But it doesn't diminish loss or grief. In a way, I almost feel like I was reliving a little of some of our previous loss. Maybe that's why it hit me so hard. I sometimes think I've gotta stop loving things that can die. But then what's life? Isn't the point to be able to love and be loved?

Yeah, I know, I'm waxing sentimental and am still not over losing JillyBoo. She really was an awesome cat who I adored. We got her as a kitten in 2010. I remember exactly the moment we found her. Eric had finally agreed to letting us get a cat and we wanted a female, Siamese mix with blue eyes. I'd been looking around for a week or so when the girls and I headed over to Petco and there she was—exactly what we had been looking for. She was sick with a terrible cold when we first got her (which I wonder may have weakened her immune system all along and caused her to die so early at just four years old).

So in an attempt to heal a little, here's a photo gallery of our beloved cat, JillyBoo:

She had a terrible cold when we got her (could it have been pneumonia then?)

Portia dancing for her audience (JillyBoo as a kitten)

JillyBoo did not like wearing things—she'd lay there and not move
(Bianca once bought her a dress for Christmas and that was torture.)
She loved sitting on our footboard and looking out the window
She LOVED spending time outside.
A selfie I found on my phone 
We're all missing her so much. We did end up getting a new kitten in an attempt to heal. This time it seems a little easier not to love so hard. This little guy is a handful. I don't think he'll be able to live up to our JillyBoo. We loved her so much we did try to replicate her...although not replace. He's a similar Siamese/Tabby mix Seal Point.

The Sarge


Susannah Harper said...

Very well written. I'm so sorry for your loss and finally understand it with finally adopting our first pet. They become a part of the family and the memories you create together.

Erin said...

I'm sorry. I always loved your cat. I loved that she was bigger than Tigger and scared Tigger too! Sorry for your loss.