Last night was a very tough night for me. Around 7PM, while I was on my way home from a meeting for Peanut's choir booster club, I got a phone call from Hubby that Gizmo had passed away.
Little Gizmo had been sick. We knew that on Sunday. He was having a really hard time standing, wasn't eating, and was sleeping all of the time. Hubby was able to get Gizmo to the vet yesterday morning, but the prognosis wasn't great. We found out that Gizmo had some kind of issue with his spine, either brought on by an injury or some kind of abnormality. The vet was unable to give a definite answer on what caused the problem, or if it was even fixable. We do know that Gizmo had not suffered any injury that we were aware of. Their suggestion was to send him home with some steroids and some pain meds and make him as comfortable as possible. He would either start to improve, or he wouldn't. I wasn't really happy with that prognosis, because I didn't want Gizmo suffering. The vet had said, though, that there was a possibility he could recover... so we just had to take the chance.
Well, he was made very comfortable when they got home, but apparently the problem was far worse than the vet thought, because he wasn't able to make it. Hubby said all of a sudden he seemed to be having some difficulty breathing, and then he just went. Quite quickly, and seemingly quite peacefully.
Gizmo was such a great little kitten, and I am just heartbroken. But, my heartbreak is nothing compared to Jelly's. As soon as I got home last night, Jelly rushed to in to my arms and sobbed. Jelly had requested that Gizmo stay in his cat bed until I got home, and he did look peaceful laying there. Of course, when I saw him, my own tears couldn't be contained and Jelly and I sobbed together. We decided to bury Gizmo at the very end of our yard under a shade tree. I wrapped Gizmo up in the towel he used to sleep on, and Hubby dug the hole. While we stood there, poor Jelly was just a mess. I can't even imagine how hard it is on her. This is her first loss. I mean, her guinea pig died when she was younger, but she wasn't near as attached to the guinea pig as she was to Gizmo. Once Gizmo was laid to rest, Hubby covered him over and Jelly went about circling the little grave with rocks. She wanted it to look special, be special. Not just a dirt pile that would slowly get lost over time. That cat sure did capture Jelly's heart.
And that's what made him such a great kitty. When we first got him, he was so little, so weak, and in pretty bad shape, but Jelly nursed him back to full health. He slept with her every night, and she spent all day carrying him around like a baby or playing with him like one. They would chase balls together, he would sit and watch her color, and they would snuggle together for hours on the couch watching TV. Even though we only had him for a few months, he had become a part of our family. He was her fur baby, and Jelly truly loved him. And to see the heartbreak in her eyes was devastating.
She ended up crying herself to sleep in my arms, last night. I let her sleep in my bed, with me, because her bed was too empty without Gizmo.
Someone else in our house is also feeling the loss, and that would be Katniss. My fur baby. She has been by my side since I got home last night, and I can tell she is missing Gizmo. She snuggled with me in bed last night, but kept getting up and wandering around...almost as if she was looking for Gizmo. Katniss had spent a lot of time being very motherly to Gizmo, bathing him, snuggling with him, following him around to make sure he didn't get in to any trouble. I can only imagine that Katniss is also hurting from the blow of losing him.
I am thankful the kids still have a couple of days before they have to go back to school, so Jada has some time to grieve and get over her loss. Going back to school will also help keep her mind off of him. She asked me last night if we were going to get a new kitten, which I had expected. What I didn't expect was her response when I told her she could have another kitten if she wanted one. She told me she needed to wait a while, that she didn't want to forget Gizmo or replace him. How heartbreaking is that? I don't know many 6 year olds that have such a mature mentality when it comes to the loss of a pet. But, that only further shows how truly loved Gizmo was and how much he meant to her.
I know that eventually, Jelly will want another kitten. And we will get her one. Of course, we will be a little more selective and try and find one that is much healthier than Gizmo was when we first got him. But, I know that Gizmo will never be forgotten and can never be replaced. I hate that Jelly had to face this kind of loss at such a young age, but I know that she will remember him and cherish the time that they got to spend together. She will forever know that Gizmo loved her just as much as she loved him, that she took him in when someone else threw him away, that she never gave up on him despite how sick he first was, and that he spent his final days being loved and cared for in the best possible way.
So, in closing, I just want to say Rest in Peace, sweet Gizmo. I am thankful you are no longer suffering, that your pain is now gone. And while we go through the pain of losing you, we will go on knowing that we loved you and you loved us. You will always hold a special place in Jelly's heart, in all of our hearts... and you will never be forgotten.