One week before Miles was born our house suffered a tragic loss, one we didn't see coming. We lost our beloved 7 year old cat quiet suddenly and quite dramatically. She had been a little off, but we thought it was just the wood floors we put in, then, then she started having trouble walking and hiding strange places. We took her in to an emergency clinic immediately and it was all down hill from there.
I remember the day we adopted Gwen. We found her between rushed appointment and a dress fitting as Gray and I were planning our wedding. She was an amazing companion, and really bonded with Wes once he was born.
The end of her life was pretty hard on us too. This was our first go around having to make decisions between what was best for her, what worked for our finances and what we wanted was a challenging balance. It sucked. A lot. The worst part though, as a parent, was watching our son's face as we told him that she had died and then these past 6 months of him mourning, while not truly understanding the loss. He has struggled with the loss of his buddy who fell asleep with him in bed at night, who he played with and cuddled. His friend who kept him company while he was sick on the couch. She was always there.....and now?
We did everything all the books said we should do. We were supportive, loving and gentle. We spoke in concrete terms and we were honest. We reassured him that he had nothing to do with her death. We were controled with our emotions surrounding the death. We kept up our normal routine. But it has been a rough road for Wes, and a rough road for us to watch. He has still be crying one every couple of weeks about her, and says that his "heart is broken" (not sure where he learned that!), he tells us he is sad, and that he misses her.
Our poor sweet Gwennie
Well, today we took a plunge, and we adopted another family member from Rancho Coastal Humane Society. Gray and I have been discussing it for a couple of months, and I have been browsing the cats that come through online for a few weeks. I had it in my mind that I wanted an older kitten, and that is who we ended up with. We were able to talk about our needs with one of their (super patient) adoption counselors and the result is a sweet young thing, we have named Emily.
She is a perfect blend of what our family needs in a cat right now, and what our other cat needs. Wes has welcomed her with open arms....and Emily? She is doing okay...
She is currently in Wes and Miles' room while we go through the whole cat introduction thing. I was about to walk into the room to check on the boys when I overheard Wes talking to Emily (who has taken to sleeping on his bed just as Gwen did), and as I paused to listen, he was telling her "my Gwen died. I am sad. And we thought and we thought and we thought and I always knew we would find you. You are our family".
I think his heart is on the mend.