2014-03-07 - 11:29 a.m.

I was supposed to have been stronger for this loss than I was the others. When Bubby died I had taken mental notes on what to do, what not to do when this occurred again. I knew that I had to not cry at the emergency vet because if I cried I would lose it and the whole ordeal would become jumbled and confused in my memory and I would wonder forever if I had done the right thing or if I was just so emotionally overwrought that I was making the wrong decisions. I knew to not listen to any music while driving to and from the emergency vet so that I wouldn't have a song that would forever remind me of the incident. Unfortunately every time I hear a certain, beautiful song by Pearl Jam I instantly tear up and have to get far away from it because that song was playing when I turned on my car after having Bubby put to sleep. I also knew that I had to bring Bear's body HOME with me that night. He was cremated the following day but I knew that I couldn't just leave him alone at the vet while he was still warm. I agonized about leaving Bubby there. I had nightmares about it. So I brought Bear home that night. I opened the box frequently throughout the night and rubbed his head like he liked and felt his body get colder and colder. I needed to do that.

So I had all these things in place. And I called in sick to work and I slept and I watched TV and I went through years and years of pictures and made a photo album for Bear on my Facebook and I cried and I thought that I was doing so well. But really I think I was just in shock. Because I woke up on Wednesday with the full on panic/horror/depression that I had with Bubby. I had to go back to work yesterday and I was a disaster. I can't keep a thought in my head for even one second. I'm a shell of my usual self. I can normally handle the entire bar, three tables and making drinks for the four servers for their tables with no problem at all. Last night I could barely handle just my bar. I forgot to bring a salad out to somebody, I forgot to get a drink for somebody, I couldn't remember anything the servers were calling to me. Usually I can be waiting on somebody while making a drink order for another table and have servers calling things to me all at the same time and I never falter. It's scary to not be in my mind.

So here's what happened with Bear. Friday was a totally normal day. Absolutely normal. Bear did his normal things, there was nothing at all concerning about the day. I went to work and around seven I was watching the camera and the cats were all pacing around. Which is weird. I felt an initial alarm at it but it was busy and I didn't really have time to think about things. I checked back about half an hour later and they were still pacing but not as badly. I sent Eric a text to see if he was home because "the cats are acting weird" and he said he was out with friends. I checked again about an hour later and things were normal on the camera. I thought that maybe Ernest had been acting like a jerk and causing trouble or something. He's been known to pin Toby in corners for a long time and he growls the whole time and acts like an idiot. Or, I thought, maybe another bird had gotten into the house. I never once thought that something was wrong with Bear. Not once did that thought cross my mind. I got out of work around ten thirty and I went to Meijer and did a little grocery shopping. Then I got home and made a quick peanut butter sandwich and ate it and then I went to do my normal cat check. Which is when I stepped in a puddle of blood. I turned the light on and found the floor covered in puddles of blood and Bear was no where to be found. I finally found him behind some boxes, alive. Covered in blood and alive. The blood had obviously been vomited up because his face was bloody and there were no wounds on him. I called Eric to come home immediately and I sat there. I sat there holding him, hoping that he had just waited for me to come home before dying. But after about fifteen minutes it was apparent that I needed to get him to the emergency vet. So we did. I knew that I needed to put him to sleep and yet I somehow ended up deciding that we were going to save him. Even though I've known for a year now that there is something wrong with him and that he is likely full of cancer. So we were going to put him on fluids and prepare for a blood transfusion (the vet believes all the blood was from an ulcer caused by the medicine he was taking for the cancer). But he went into an attack when they tried to draw blood. We were called back immediately and he calmed down a bit. It was apparent though that I couldn't put him through any attempt to save his life. He was on borrowed time at this point anyway. Saving him that night might have given me another couple weeks with him but he was definitely at the end of his life. Looking back on all those photos from the past we saw just how much Bear had changed this past year. I scratched his head while Eric held his paw and like that it was just over.

He was such a good cat. Everybody loved him even though he had a tendency to curl up in any lap and purr away and then just randomly bite you. He was gorgeous and hilarious and we miss him. This morning I woke up to find that it's rather warm out. I opened the doors for the cats and grabbed a jar of cat nip to sprinkle on the ground outside for Bear. And then I realized he wasn't here. That I wouldn't hear him thunder down the stairs. (I can usually tell who is coming down the stairs just by the sound of their feet on the wood. Bear had the most distinct coming down the stairs noise.)

So that is is. I'm trying to get used to my days without him. There's a certain amount of time freed up now that paralyzes me. I got home from work last night and I usually have to get his medicine ready and find him and give it to him. Then I have insulin shots to give to Oscar and Smudge. It's usually about twenty minutes of work doing those things before I even take my shoes off. So last night I walked in and realized that I only had shots to give and it just seemed too easy. It felt like there was a void.

I have the day off today. I had asked for a light week this week before anything had happened with Bear which is good. I had planned to use my light week to work on getting my shit together and mostly so I would have time to go to the gym. All I have to do is go for one week consistently and I know I'll get back into my old routine of going regularly. But I just never have time. So I was supposed to have all sorts of time this week except now I just spent most of the week in bed watching TV. So today I must go to the gym. I must, I must, I must.


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