September 14-15, 2010
I was so not feeling well Tuesday morning when I woke up. I ended up calling in sick because of feeling so poorly. Wows, I needed to be better by the time we had our dance class, so I started to take some medication to assist me to get through and at least be able to make it to our lessons. As the day progressed I did feel better, I was so excited. That evening was an evening I had been waiting for a year now, to continue our dance lessons. On our way to the class, my stomach started to get sick again. I was so afraid that my left knee would not make it through the lessons. I did not want to let Todd down, I did not want to know that I will never be able to do this again. I thought I was actually going to be sick again from being so nervous. The music began and we were given our first reminder of the night. My heart was pounding with excitement now. I walked away that evening on Cloud Nine. I was on a natural high. Oh sure, we fumbled and we were rusty and I did not anticipate anything differently but I DID IT! I overcame this ongoing pain in my left knee and was able to dance again and make it through the entire lesson. I had so many emotions going on, thrilled, pleased, accomplished, as well as the others I listed above. I was truly thrilled, THEN we came home. Once I walked in I noticed one of the cats had thrown up in the living room. This time it looked a little different. I asked the boys if they had any idea which cat did it. Joshua answered he was pretty sure it was Libby. He said that she was acting funny. I asked him what did he mean and he said that she was over by our entertainment center in our room and looked funny, she kept backing her rear end towards the entertainment center and making a weird howl. He said they picked her up and she cried out, so they let her down and then they found her laying on her side in the hall with some sort of liquid behind her on the carpet. I went to look for her and found her asleep so I did not see what they were talking about. I told Todd and we both thought that was odd.
Later that night a couple of hours after we came home and shortly after Todd left for work, I found Libby in our walk in closet. She tended to rest there often, but remembering how she was sick, I thought I did not want a mess in there, so I went to her and gently moved her. She cried out when I barely touched her. I then watched her move ever so gingerly and what Joshua had described with the entertainment center. She was haunched over, she acted like she wanted to sit but was not doing it. I watched her finally fall over to lay on the floor. I then went over and petted her, when I touched her belly, she cried out. Something was wrong with our poor Libby. I called for Kera and asked for her to call her to come, Libby always went to Kera when she called her, Libby didn't get up at all. I then called Todd and told him I thought Libby needed to go to the vet in the morning when he came home. It was 11 pm by this time. I told him I would keep my eye on her. She kept wanting to hide under the bed or behind the couch. I remember someone telling me that when cats are ready to die they go and hide. Near 1 a.m. it was very obvious that Libby was in a lot of pain. I could not handle seeing her like this and did not want her to suffer. I called Todd and asked him what he thought about me taking her to the ER Vet. He gave me the name of the place that was open 24 hours and asked for me to make a call to them. I did so and then called him back, we both decided it was time for me to take her.
I did not want Kera to come with me. She is a very emotional person and sometimes can be dramatic and I knew this would be to tough for her to handle. I remembered what it was like when we had to make the horrid decision to euthanasia our dog, Jordan. Noah was there with us, he was only 2 but it was hard on him and he remembers to this day that morning. All the boys do. I promised myself then that I would never have a child go through that again, not even my step daughter. I called Kera when I was half way to the ER Vet and explained this to her. I knew she would be mad but I did it for her. She did not want me to make an decisions. I told her I would not that it would be her Father. She said she wanted to have a say in the decision as well. I told her that I would keep her informed but it would be her Father's decision. We arrived to the hospital and I was told immediately that Libby was dehydrated and that she had not drank anything for at least 2 days. She told me that Libby's bladder was hard, that that is why Libby stopped drinking. When cats are in pain from a bladder, they automatically will stop drinking to prevent more pain. She told me that she needed to do a urine analysis to determine if she has any crystals in her urine or if it is some sort of bacterial infection. When Libby was 3 she had a blockage with crystals in her bladder. She had an operation then to correct it, but she was prone to this now that she had it I was informed by the doctor. Libby was brought back to me while they waited for the results. She did not want to be held, so I put her down. She immediately went to a corner of the room and threw up two times. I then picked her up and kept petting her in her favorite spot near her ears. She looked up at me and gave me a soft meow. I kept petting her and holding her close to me. She was purring a lot. The doctor had told me that cats will pur when they are in pain too, I wanted to believe it was because she was happy, but knew down deep that probably was not the real reason. The doctor came in and told me that there were not enough crystals in the urine create the blockage, she felt that it was some sort of stone. She also mentioned she had a lot of other sludge in there, whatever that meant. She then told me that this is rare in female cats but when it does occur it is hard to treat them because of the way their plumbing is made. It would be a risky operation with Libby being 12 years old. She had a chance of not making it. She said our choices are either the operation or euthanasia. This is something Todd and I feared, hearing the doctor made me sick to my stomach. I was hoping that she would come back and tell me that it was a bacterial infection but deep down I knew it was something serious now the doctor just verbal confirmed my fears. The doctor left the room so I can call Todd and give him the information about Libby so we could make the decision for what was best for poor Libby. It was a very hard call. Poor Todd could not get away from work to come with me. I knew this was going to be tough on him. Libby is one of his babies. I gave him the dreaded news and he asked me what I thought, if I thought that we needed to put her down. I cried and answered yes, she's in a lot of pain and we do not have a guarantee that she will make it through the operation. He somberly said then that is what we need to do, he would call Kera and talk to her. I asked if he wanted me to go get her and he said he will call me back.
I felt like I was going to get sick while I waited for him to call me back. Poor Todd, he was not even going to get a chance to say goodbye. It just did not seem fair. About an hour later both Emily and Kera arrived. The girls were both crying and very understandable, however Kera...well Kera is a very very emotional person and sometimes does not think before she acts. I knew this would be too hard for her. Emily was very embarrassed of her and was yelling at her behavior. I felt so bad for Emily, Kera, and poor poor Libby. It was after 2 when the doctor told us that Libby did not have a heart beat any longer. It was tough on each of us. I did not want to cry in front of the girls. I had to be strong. I called Todd and told him and let him know that Emily wanted to go and see him. I carried Libby out to my car in the box that she was placed in. Kera was concerned that they just tossed her in and I promised her as soon as we were home I would check the box. I did as I told, there was Libby laying in the box so peacefully. She looked as if she was asleep. Kera stayed up with me for a while because she need to talk. Emily called us later and told us that her Dad was having a hard time with this because he did not have the opportunity to tell her Goodbye. We told the girls we would bury Libby after school when the boys came home.
That day seemed to drag. Joshua called and he needed me to go pick him up. Matthew called and said he wanted to be there, so I went and picked him up after I picked up Joshua, I also had Noah with me.. I told the boys what happened with Libby. As I finished the drive we were very quiet. The girls were home. Ethan was home. It was time to start. I woke up Todd. Matthew and Joshua were God sends to Todd. I do not think he could have dug the grave for Libby, the boys did it. He would laugh a little with some of their conversation while they dug. The boys were joking trying to get through what they were doing. They had to break through several roots and they also accidentally cut a cable line (to this day we still do not know who's it is, so we are thinking it must have been a dead cable line.) The hole was large enough and 3 ft deep. I went inside to get Libby. The girls had a card that they wrote to her and signed everyone's name to it. They also picked up flowers. Todd opened the box so he could pet her one more time and say his Goodbyes. My heart tugged, then it was Kera's turn to pet her, then Emily, then Noah, and Ethan, Joshua, and finally Matthew. My heart was so heavy, I looked over and Noah had tears streaming down his check. I went to hug him, he told me he chose to wear black that day for Libby. I nearly lost it but I had to be strong for all of them. Kera placed some dirt on the box and Emily shortly after her, the boys then started to fill in our sweet Libby's grave. The mood was different, we all were so quiet. After the boys filled in the grave there was a some dirt left over and Todd asked me if we should put it in the compost bin, I took the shovel and told him that we needed to pile it on the grave because it will settle, so I started to drag the rest of the dirt to make a pile over her little grave. Once this was completed the girls placed the flowers into the ground and we all stood there for a little longer.
I never cried until two days later when I went into Hy-Vee. I walked in and went past the Floral Department. I thought to myself, this is where the girl picked up the flowers for Libby. I just started to cry right there in the Floral Department. I managed to make it through my shopping but people looked at me as if I had some sort of plague. I will miss you dear sweet Libby. You will always be in our hearts.