Monday, December 16, 2013

Where We Shouldn't Be

We were supposed to be on the road Monday, driving 450 miles (724 km) south to see my mom. She was discharged from the hospital on Saturday and is home recovering fairly well. We were going to spend a couple of days with her to be part of her care giving team.
You might be wondering why we're not there. I'm embarrassed to admit that we stayed home to look after our aging cat Bonsai whose health suddenly took a precipitous drop over the weekend. We called the vet to talk about euthanizing him, but had second thoughts when he rallied and moved about more steadily on his wobbly legs. We felt bad asking our neighbors who had already agreed to do cat care to check in on a cat that may be dying. My mom was absolutely adamant that we look after Bonsai a little while longer before we headed south. When I called her Monday morning, her first question was, "How's the cat?" I said, "No way, first question is how are you?" She sounded really well, much stronger and truly like herself.
But still, I think it is absurd that we are here and not there. It seems crazy to be taking care of a cat instead of my mom. But making the decision to end Bonsai's life now so we could leave was much too hard to do. My family was quite insistent that we stay a little while longer.
So, we stayed. It was a warm and beautiful day here. Lovely things happening in the sky. Things we would not have seen had we been on that long drive south. But as beautiful as this amazing atmospheric corona is, I'd much rather be looking into my mother's eyes.

Road trip planned for Wednesday, whether Bonsai survives or not.

28 comments:

  1. Having just gone through losing a cat and having to finally make that decision because she was terminal and it was just a matter of when, I think you totally did the right thing to be there for your cat. Your mom understands and you can go there when your fur kid doesn't need you. There is no underestimating the importance of pets in our lives. You have a great mom who understands that :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I lost my old dog Moki the Sunday before Thanksgiving. He had a huge mass on his spleen, the spleen had ruptured and he was bleeding internally. Because I didn't take him to the vet at the first indication that he didn't feel well, he suffered great pain for several hours unnecessarily. He was the sweetest cuddle-bug of an old man. He deserved to die painlessly in his sleep.
    Your mom needs to see you, but she's okay for now and she knows that Bonsai is utterly dependent on you. You made the best decision you could and your mother is supporting you that decision.
    The coronas are spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
  3. ((( Bonsai ))) Robin and Roger, what a crazy time. I am so glad your mom is doing better! It's good you have a couple days to sort things out with Bonsai.

    Please give him a scritch from a fan, and tell your mom that I'm so glad she is feeling better and home!

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh goodness. Poor kitty. Poor you guys. What a choice.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ach, such tough decisions, but you made the right one. Your mom's improved condition and insistence that you look out after Bonsai tell the story; there is a time to do what you feel must be done. It just wasn't quite yet. I'm glad your mom is better and I'm glad Bonsai rallied. Still sending all those positive thoughts your way.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Difficult decisions must sometimes be made, no matter what. Poor Bonsai......I know how hard it is to lose a beloved cat. I hope he can be serene at the end - and you as well.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great that your mother is well enough to tell you to take care of Bonsai; at least the kitty will have a peaceful death no matter what, since you can arrange it for him. And you will be able to see your mother soon.
    Sending our regards to you all...

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's a tough decision. Of course, the decision to put down a beloved pet is a hard thing, too. It is good that your mother is so understanding. We'll be thinking of you, your mother, and your cat.

    ReplyDelete
  9. stuck between a rock and a hard place. I've been through the agonizing ups and downs as to whether or not to have a beloved pet euthanized. It's never easy, and of course if they show signs of rallying, how can we see them out?

    You will be valuable members of the care team whenever you arrive. So glad to hear your mom is doing as well as she is.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So glad to hear your mom is on the road to recovery.
    And Bonsai, well, he's a survivor as you've seen through many a close call. Maybe the old sweetie has another one left in him! :-) lindaj

    ReplyDelete
  11. too much happening at once. ugghhhh. glad for the good neighbor. glad for the improvement with your mom's health (and her and the family's understanding of the situation). glad bonsai has such devoted parents he can count on. hope you have a safe trip and that bonsai's condition improves enough that you can be away a few days without overwhelming worry. be safe. sending love.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Broke my heart when I had my cat put down, worst thing was it was on Christmas eve. Lousy Christmas that was

    ReplyDelete
  13. You obviously got your kind heart from your mother. I am so sorry Bonsai is on shaky legs and hope he rallies once again so you will feel OK about leaving him. I know you so want to be with your Mom but she understands, Bonsai would not.
    Sending only positive and caring thoughts for all.

    ReplyDelete
  14. O the agony of trying to figure out what your karmic role is at any given time. To be here or there. Then there is the heart that aches and breaks from joy and/or sorrow. Bonsai and your Mom are lucky to have you both. They both seem to be in good hands. I can't help you here but I send you love for your journey. Stay well.

    ReplyDelete
  15. rain-- "Fur Kid" I'm always going to remember that.

    ccorax-- So sorry to hear about Moki. Such a heartbreak. We do take on these responsibilities when we adopt a fur kid.

    kathy a-- It's been a lot to handle emotionally all at once. We will give him a scritch from you, and tell my mom of your good wishes.

    Miz S-- A terrible choice that kept us up most of Sunday night.

    John-- If my mom hadn't been as supportive it would have made it much harder. And, if my mom hadn't been recovering as well as she is, there would have been no choice. There is some relief in knowing that.

    kenju-- Bonsai has already exceeded his nine lives, and is now somewhere around 14!

    isabelita-- I think Bonsai is going to be around a while longer. We're going to hit the road and plan to see him when we return this weekend.

    Mark and Leah-- It really came out of the blue that Bonsai had one of his declining moments. We've been noticing that his health dips then steadies, dips then steadies. This time he was weird for two days. We thought he was having a stroke. Sent us into an emotional tailspin, with everything else on our plate. Thank you for your good wishes.

    Tara-- It's a tough road we walk we take on a furry companion. They depend on us fully for everything. We're hoping Bonsai will stay strong so we can get down to see my mom.

    lindaj-- It really does help that my mom is rallying. And you do know how many times Bonsai has come close to bidding us a final farewell. He is such a tough old man.

    Sky-- Yes, it's that overwhelming worry while we're gone that has me jittery at the moment. He is very attached to us. We are his very loyal servants. I'm hoping that he'll display resilient strength today to let me breathe a sigh of relief and get on the road with an easy heart to see my mom.

    Bill-- Once we let an animal into our homes and hearts, we have to be prepared to do the hard, but right thing. I would imagine it was a somber Christmas. So sad.

    Arkansas Patti-- It's true, my mom does understand and Bonsai only knows that he feels like crap. We are his faithful companions. We think he's strong enough for us to go. He'll let us know today.

    jsk-- It is agony. The kind of the thing we lose sleep over. I think we'll be able to get on the road, and Bonsai will have a few days of loneliness. He sleeps most of the time, and our neighbors are incredibly kind cat-lovers. If only I could remember how to breathe!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Glenn and I are similarly involved with Violet, our 20-year-old. She totters around, and mostly sleeps, but if we come into the room she makes the best effort to rouse herself and greet us. She does this day after day, and it's really hard to leave her.

    Still, we did make the 400 mile trip to Fairhope this past summer to visit my octogenarian parents. Mother has increasing dementia, but still recognizes us. My father is a kind of a jerk, and acted out in a reprehensible sort of way. We left a day early, but I can't say it wasn't because of that. We were worried about Violet too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Our kitties--how we love them, right? And it's always reciprocal. I hope Bonsai will rally oncemore, and that you are soon gazing into your sweet mother's eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Not absurd at all. You made a difficult decision and a brave one. Too many people would have thought, "well, it's almost time anyway." Yet you were brave enough to do the right thing and stay with your ailing cat. I'll be thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wayne-- It's so interesting how much these little kitty cats tug at our hearts. How is your Violet doing now? Hope all is well, and she is still able to rouse herself to say hello.

    Annie-- We are in the beach house in Capitola as I write this, on our way further south in the morning. Our neighbors will check in on Bonsai twice a day while we are gone. It's good. And tomorrow, I will see my mother, which is great.

    NCmountainwoman-- On Monday we left Bonsai, who went out early in the morning to sniff around, in the care of our very compassionate neighbors. He's old, but I made him promise he'd be there when we got back on Sunday. Cats always keep their promises, right?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hope you find your mother much recovered and that Bonsai's health will improve, too. How thoughtful your mother is to understand that your loyalty to your cat doesn't lessen your loyalty to her.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Minnie-- Thank you for such a profound understanding of our situation. Much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hope you have a wonderful visit with your mom! From what I have heard of her, she is just terrific -- I am so glad that she is doing well after the stroke.

    Know that if it had gone the other way for your mom, if she was doing poorly, you would have gone instantly. And also know that you have nursed Bonsai through a lot, and he is a constant companion. Sending love all around!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ha! My "prove you're a human" test included the term "disaffection." Which is kind of hilarious, since this is all about the opposite. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  24. We'll be in Laguna Beach over the Christmas/New Year's holiday. If you're in the area, any chance we could (finally!) sit down over coffee or lunch together?

    ReplyDelete
  25. kathy a-- It's really good to be here with her. We're glad Bonsai stabilized enough for us to feel safe to get on the road. Thank you for your wonderful support.

    Peter-- My mom moved to Thousand Oaks last year. We're staying with her at the Assisted Living Facility. So, no rendezvous this time. Maybe sometime soon, when we come down under better circumstances. We'd love to meet up with you and Ellie.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I can understand the position you were in and I hope both your mother and Bonsai do well. These darn pets really do dig into us. Really nice photos!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just checking in again; I hope all continues to go well. Positive thoughts flooding your way.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Pat-- All went well. Thank you for stopping by.

    John-- Thank you for your positive thoughts. We know they really do help.

    ReplyDelete