Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Cats of My Life: Penny

After her death, I went to two different therapists. One, a grief counselor specializing in the human/animal bond and the other one of the leaders in interpersonal therapy who dealt mostly with dysthymia (constant low-grade depression). Both agreed: She was my real mother.

I started a charity drive to help save her life, as when her cancer returned I was told it would be $1,000 a session of radiation therapy. I had already spent all my savings to have the first tumours removed, and that was supposed to be all that was needed.

Many celebrities sent me items in support, I was able to raise about $500, but by then it was obvious God was calling his favorite angel home. I found this on the way to work a couple days before the end:

There are so many stories. Stories of how my mother did try to kill her too.
"Honey, your cat fell off the balcony!" she called one day.

"How?" I asked.

"I don't know, I think the wind knocked the door open, lifted her up and over the edge. I heard scratching, and there she was falling down."

But God wouldn't let her go until I was ready, even though I still sometimes feel like I never could be ready for her to leave.

Other stories involve her wanting to be near me so much that she'd crawl into the bathtub with me, purring as the water wicked up her fur.

When my mother or that 'bad friend' R. would yell at me, Penny would get inbetween us and start just screaming her head off at the other person.

In that end, that's the memory. The cancer is there, but she was love. She was understanding. She was constant devotion and protection. She stayed up all night to keep the demons at bay so I could sleep. When my alarm went off in the morning, after our joint constitutional (yes, she always went to the bathroom the same time as I) she'd curl up on my pillow. She stayed in the doorways and fought back the shadows that lurk there and try to escape. She made me stronger.

And she fought valiantly to stay with me as long as possible, even as her body failed her mind never did. She'd stare up at me with her emerald eyes and crawl into my lap. The vets had never seen anything like it, no matter how many tumors she had (and they spread incredibly fast, even a doctor in Italy was interested because it just wasn't seen before) she still purred, wanted to be held, to love. After all, it was only her flesh that was dying, not her soul. And while the vets said that cats get angry and hide when they are sick, Penny never did. Because she was my angel. When we went to the vet that last time, she just lay her head in my palm and didn't fight. She purred, comforted by my touch. This, even though the vet had trouble finding a vein because of the tumours. She was going home, and knew that I was safe and she had done her duty.

Warning: This video may be disturbing to some. It's of one of her last days.

(Note to David: This is one of the posts I have had a lot of trouble pulling together.)


Amel's Realm said...

I couldn't help shedding tears while reading this post. It's just too overwhelming. You must miss her SO much.

BIG HUGS to you...I'm speechless...Glad God's sent ANGELS to you, Vic!!! :-))))

Victorya said...

Oh Amel, I was crying while writing it. It's why I've been putting it off. We first met when I was fifteen, and she died 11 years later. That's a huge part of me life, and she was such an anchor for me.

Victorya said...

And hugs right back to you! ((hug))

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

So tenderly written, with an ocean of love. Yes, she was beautiful, inside and out, just as you are, sweet lady. x

Amel's Realm said...

Yeah, I thought so, too, since it was hard enough for me to read, it must've been MUCH harder for you to write it.

Anyway, check out this link and go claim your Award:

Blogging Star Award

david mcmahon said...

Dear Victorya,

You found this post hard to write? It reads absolutely seamlessly and the images just lift the tale as well.

You have an amazing gift to be able to communicate.

We feel your loss. But we're all here to help, anytime.

Keep smiling


deathsweep said...

Vicky - it's always heart wrenching to lose love; but especially the unconditional love of a wondrous companion. A companion that makes our lives full. I hope your writing this helps you in some way. Your love for Penny is extremely obvious and will always keep her with you.


cherished79 said...

Victorya: I was almost in tears reading this, and didn't even attempt to view the video, sorry. I am not good with animal stories. I hold my little poodle (8 pound-toy) so close to me sometimes hoping he will never go, as he is 14 and we have had him since he was a puppy. They become so much a part of our lives, showing more love and respect to us most times than other people do.

Sorry for your loss. Thinking about you. Big Hugs, Deb

Victorya said...

Shrink: You're too kind! She taught me every kindess i know, I'm sure.

Amel: Will do! Thanks again, I think since I have Monday off I'll have time to clean up the blog a bit.

David: Yes, I've been trying to write this post since I began the blog and have a folder filled with starts and stops. Finally I just decided to go with pictures to say what I couldnt, and wouldn't have thought of that w/out your blog!

Death: Thanks for visiting, and yea, this helps in some way. Part of my therapy is 'exposure' therapy, as I don't know if I ever really dealt with her death before, I just did the 'if I go to sleep I'll wake up a year from now and it will be in the past' type thing.

Cherished (hugs) Pets should be eternal, shouldn't they? It's just not fair.

P I F F L A N said...

I have also started my journey towards making peace with my childhood...not an easy task.
Love your cats by the way :)

Rachelle said...

Dear Victorya,
I am so very glad Penny was there for you.
She was certainly an angel sent for a very special girl!
Bless you my friend, and I know you will see Penny again one day, just as I will see my friend Windy too!

heavenabove said...

Wow, Penny looks exactly like my Mom's past cat Kitty. My one brother and I would sneak Kitty in at night until finally we were caught and she kept Kitty for her own. Well, you know how I feel about animals and I'm glad you are able to share your experiences. Our friends are always with us, animal or not, even in their passing. You can bet that cat will be waiting for you on the other side.

Victorya said...

pifflan - thanks for visiting, I definately have to spend more time on your site. It's not an easy path, but a worthwhile one.

Rachelle: She was my angel I was eluding too before, I'm sure we'll all be reunited eventually. I can't imagine a heaven that doesn't include our companion animals.

heaven!! It's so nice to see you back here, I hope everything is okay.