Friday, June 14, 2013

Until We Meet Again

I feel like I don’t know where to begin. Life has been full and rich for the last few months, but it also has been bittersweet.

Our holding pattern finally came to an end, John was offered a job in early May in Boston and a few weeks later our small apartment in Little Rock was packed up and we were off. Just a week before the move, John and I went on a Caribbean cruise for a week. We really enjoyed the trip, it was fun to spend a week together in the sun before moving out to Boston.

Visiting Myao before we left for Boston
Shortly after we got home from the trip, we noticed our kitty was not acting normal. He was not moving much or eating, and started breathing heavily. He had been well cared for while we were gone, but a day after we got back we noticed he seemed a little off. We took him to the vet to be extremely alarmed that he had very few red blood cells. It looked like his immune system was attacking himself. Just for some context, this was the day before the movers came to pack us up!

We visited our sweet Myao at the kitty hospital the rest of the week, but his condition seemed to worsen. Ultimately Friday came and we had to head to Boston without him. I would be back the following week after Memorial Day for work, but it was definitely with a somber heart that we arrived in Boston. When I landed in Boston, we had a voicemail from the Vet. His kidneys were failing, and they were trying to get an IV without much luck. This poor kitty was very sick.

He loved being held like a baby.
When we arrived at the temporary apartment the company organized for us, there was a kitty bed waiting for us in the living room.  It was a little too much for me to handle. I really struggled enjoying Boston that first weekend, because I felt like we had left a key member of our family behind.

The following Tuesday came around, and I was back in Little Rock. I made it to the vet, and oh, my poor boy. How he was suffering. At this point, the vet told me he had a kidney disease that is sometimes hereditary in long haired cats. His heart wasn’t contracting fully, and there was no turning back for this guy. He needed to be put to sleep. John and I had been preparing ourselves for this over the weekend, but this still was so hard to hear. Not our sweet Myao? Our full of energy and love and snuggles Myao? The swing in his health happened so drastically.

So I cried and cried at the vets. I had brought his brush with me and I spent about 20 minutes just loving on him and brushing him. Even though he was extremely weak, and could only lay on the table and not even purr or stand up, I could tell he was so happy I was there and felt my love for him. Whenever I would put the brush down for a moment, he would struggle his little head to nudge it to encourage me to keep petting him.

Finally, the time had come. The doctor brought in the injection,  and as I pet and held him he drifted peacefully to sleep. I was so distraught the whole day, to say I was a wreck is a major understatement.  I made arrangements immediately with John’s parents to bury him that evening in their back yard The burial was simple. John’s mother and father and myself attended. John wished he could be there, but it was just not practical. John’s father read a poem aloud, and we said a prayer together. I wrote a sweet note to Myao, and buried it with him. We planted a rose bush over his body.

As much as it was such a hard day, I felt so much peace after burying him. It has been a few weeks now and I honestly haven’t cried at all until just writing this out.  I am grateful to have had such a great friend in my life, and especially for the time we were able to have with him even if limited. I am so grateful for my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that I can find peace and comfort in hard times through my understanding of life after death. I strongly believe that we will be with this sweet little kitty again, and I find comfort knowing that he received so much love while he was in our home.

Slowly I am adjusting to life in Boston.  Our big challenge right now is finding housing, but we are hoping to find something this weekend. Things are definitely looking up, but we sure do miss our kitty. As John likes to joke – I am sure he is in Heaven preparing our celestial home, and probably getting fur all over it.

So farewell sweet friend, until we meet again. We miss you. 


  1. I'm truly sorry for your loss, Kristin. There have been times when just the thought of losing my dog has made me cry, and I know how much happiness an animal can bring to a household.

    I am also excited for you and John and your new life in Boston. I hope you love it and have fun there!

  2. I'm so sorry about sweet Myao. Such a loving, happy kitty. We are thinking of you guys!

  3. Oh I'm so sorry, Kristin!! That is so so sad. You were a wonderful owner and friend to him, and he was so blessed to be in your family!

  4. Kristin,
    I know exactly how you felt with your kitty! We had this beautiful, and much beloved cat named Tiger (or Mr. Fluff, or Fluffer, or any number of endearments), a creme-colored, flame-point Himalayan mix that had lived with us for 12 years (through most of our lives making our blended families work). In Fall 2009, Dan had taken the job he has now in Boston (teaching at Northeastern University School of Law), and I was still teaching writing at Edinboro University (near Erie, PA), and for 2 1/2 yrs, we had to deal with having him either at Slippery Rock, where our house was (in PA), or in Boston. One time when I was at a long weekend in Boston, I had our good friend's son take care of Tiger, or so we thought, but apparently he hadn't gotten the message or he forgot or something, and he hadn't gotten fed for 4 whole days. I felt so terrible. Not that he didn't have enough fat on him, but still... Then one week in late winter 2011, the electricity went out in Slippery Rock on a cold winter day, and I didn't get home until late, maybe 8 when it was dark already, and I couldn't find Tiger anywhere. He must have gotten really scared and I found him hiding in a front closet where he never hid before. It's possible he was trapped there...? After that, he seemed to go downhill pretty fast, and he ended up having cancer of some kind in early June that year. The last month (May), in fact, the last few days I was teaching my classes, I had had to drop him off at the vet for an overnight stay for IV and dehydration treatment, which was our last-ditch effort to get him into fighting shape again, and I showed up at my class a bit late, explaining to my students tearfully what had kept me. I was surprised at (probably shouldn't have been, becuz they were always pretty decent people, my students) the outpouring of sympathetic responses I received from then. I had even made a video that week of calling in our cat from our wonderfully spacious back yard (, and they all wanted to watch it (probably to kill more class time!). Anyway, short of ridiculously expensive and not-very-hopeful medical treatments that might extend his life a few more months, we had to decide on that or put him to sleep, which we did, and boy, was that a somber day. Dan and I cried and cried most of that day, and were low most of that month. Even though we have a nice fat cat we like a lot that we named Mr. Butters (a cute formerly feral Maine Coon breed that is exceedingly needy and ironically, a fraidy cat around strangers), he just isn't the same as Tiger. One time Dan gave a talk that I should make available online somehow, on animals in the afterlife, and it was fantastic. Made us really think about it, and I believe that that "Rainbow Bridge" (did you get info about that at the vet?) isn't that far off from what we'll encounter. If you don't know what I mean, ask me sometime in church. Hope you can get another kitty here or maybe already have. I know she/he won't be the same, though.
    p.s. It's weird, though, both Dan and I would say we were more "dog people" than "cat people" but we've only been able to have cats in our adult lives. And do/have loved them dearly. Someday, we'll get those dogs we want, too.

  5. Kristin, I'm so sorry about your sweet Myao. I'm just now getting back to reading some blogs, so I apologize for being so late to respond. I love you, dear. <3


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