365 Days

365 Days.

It’s been 365 days since I lost him.

It’s been 365 days since I lost my best friend.

It’s been 365 days since I had to make the hardest decision in my life: the decision to put him to sleep.

It’s been 365 days since I put to sleep the cat who laid with me every night since the day I adopted him.

It’s been 365 days, yet I still cried when I found his old collar and tag in the drawer of my desk last week.

When I adopted Percy, then Cheech (his brother was Chong), I was questioned on whether or not I would still want to adopt him because he had a heart condition. He had a grade 5/6 heart murmur. I was told he could live a full life, or he could last a year. Considering the fact that I too had cardiac issues, I was a little offended at the notion that someone wouldn’t want him solely because of his heart issue. Of course, I took him home, and he was the most loving, social, and intuitive cat.

Over the years, he laid with me during some of the roughest times I’ve faced – physically and mentally. He was my baby. He was my rock. It’s been 365 days.

On December 13th, I took Percy to the vet. It was his first time going to the vet since we relocated to New York. I noticed he had some increased effort when breathing and seemed to be breathing faster than normal. The vet was amazing. She was incredibly caring, responsive, and gave me the most information she could. They did a chest x-ray. She brought me in and showed it to me – it showed his entire abdomen had built up fluid. She let me know he would need a chest tap and to spend the day with them. I left him there and she called me back shortly after I left to let me know I needed to pick him up and immediately take him to the animal hospital. She did the chest tap, but it wasn’t the fluid she was expecting – the fluid was filled with blood. She did another tap, still… all blood. We took him to the animal hospital in Manhattan. We could have kept him alive, but the fluid could build up within a matter of hours, or a matter of months or years, and there was no way to tell which it would be, and medication wouldn’t necessarily help him. I could have taken him home, but come home from work the next day to him passed away. It didn’t seem like it would be fair to do that – to prolong his life for my own benefit, to hang onto him for one day… while he suffered.

On December 30th, we went to the shelter and rescued Lincoln. He’s brought a brightness into our home when it felt so empty after our loss.

It’s been 365 days, but I had a remarkable 2118 days on this earth with him, and each of those days makes up for each day without him. I went into his adoption ready to rescue a cat who may or may not make it through a few months, and I got 2118 days with him. For that, I am thankful.

These last 365 days have been filled with so much. So many laughs, so many tears. In these last 365 days, we’ve gained some, and lost way too much. We lost Percy. We rescued Lincoln. We lost Caleb. We decided to make the leap and move to DC in January 2019. I will face the next 365 days with my head up, my heart full, and ready to face the adventure each of those days brings. Thank you, Percy, for showing so much affection to everyone you encountered. Thank you, Caleb, for showing us all the best way to live and reminding us every day how important it is to live with light, love, happiness, passion, perseverance, strength, and hope.

365 days. 

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