Thursday, November 22, 2012

giving thanks 2012, and a sad day

I got home from my writing retreat on Monday, unpacked, walked right out the back door to the barn, and tacked up the Big Bay for a ride. He was ready for some attention and it went really well. Tuesday I went out with the same idea but when I went into his front stall door with the halter, he walked right out the back door and kept going. Down the paddock, through the gate, down the hill in the front field.

I'm not sure if he was mad at me for leaving for a week or just wanted to hang out instead of ride, but I let him make his choice and I spent the time grooming Salina instead.

It was wonderful getting a week to write and relax, and it was wonderful to come home again. Going away always makes me thankful for my family and all they do when I leave, and for this farm, which is such a great place to come back to.

Today I'm thankful for all the good memories I have of our sweet polydactyl cat Moomintroll. He came to us around age 13 or so and the vet said a few months back that he suspected Moomin was 18 or 19 now. He had seizures when he arrived, but lived a good, mostly healthy life until this year when he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.

The past month has been hard and he's been in a state of decline. Yesterday was a good day for him and last night he snuggled in with me and husband the entire night. This morning around 4 a.m. something happened - he woke with a huge jerk and when he got off the bed he had lost the use of his hind legs. He became increasingly agitated, so at 5 my husband and I went to the emergency vet with him.

He had a severe arhythmia and most likely 'threw a clot' - which caused the paralysis. He came back to his full feisty self his last few hours of life after being somewhat docile these past few weeks. He ended up purring in our arms as we said goodbye. And now he has joined Keats and Chase in the back yard, under the butterfly bush.

Although I'm really sad, I'm also aware today, again, how much love and joy these animal family members bring to us, and no matter how hard it is on days like today, I would do it all over again.

Moomin was a complicated character but he was also the most loving cat I have ever known. I'm going to miss him.

Give your family members big hugs today and enjoy whatever way you celebrate this holiday. We are cooking up a storm and enjoying the doling out of home-baked horse cookies, Corgi biscuits (and the biggest turkey neck I have ever seen) - it makes me happy that Moomin got his special kit-meow Thanksgiving yesterday - I made chicken broth and he got all the niblets of chicken, one of his most favorite things.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm so sorry about your sweet kitty. He had a wonderful life with you and your family. Glad he got his favorite treats yesterday.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Those special treats for the critters sound awesome. I'm sure they will love them.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry for your loss - but, as you say, we should be thankful for every day we get to share with each of our animals.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

So sorry to hear that Moomintroll passed on, but glad you got to share love with him until his time came.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family - two legged and four legged!

Victoria Cummings said...

Billie - I know you're going to miss Moomin, but what a lucky kitty he was to have been with your family and been so loved. Sounds like you are having a wonderful holiday. All the best to you and your loved ones!

billie said...

Thanks, all. It's been both a tough and wonderful day. This afternoon I went out and gave out horse cookies and then spent an hour mucking. There is something about mucking - the sheer never-ending-ness of it - that brings me back to center. No matter what happens, the horse manure has to be cleaned up and composted. Life goes on.

Strawberry Lane said...

So sorry about Moomin. I'm thinking how wonderful it was that he had his favorite treats and his last night in bed with you collecting lots of love. We all have so much for which to be grateful. Sending you the best.

billie said...

I haven't written this anywhere else but wanted to say that each time I've lost an animal friend I have felt his/her spirit near me right after losing them and onward.

I speculated when Moomin arrived to live with us that he had lived with an elderly person who died and Moomin got out and just found his way to a new home. He was clearly someone's beloved pet, and no one responded to our flyers or messages left with vets, etc.

When he said goodbye to us and moved on, I have not felt him at all in the house. He was a fixture - rarely went outside and was very vocal at mealtimes and also a constant companion at bedtime. It initially puzzled me that I haven't felt any little bit of his presence.

But then I realized - if my theory is true, Moomin had someone very beloved to him who has already passed on, and of course it would be true that he would go immediately to them and catch up. I so hope that's true - I really do get a warm feeling when I think of him sitting with his first family, whoever that was, telling them all about what happened when he arrived at November Hill.

Thanks so much for the good wishes. It does help!

Máire said...

How very sad and what a great age. I truly believe their spirits sty around so I am sure his knew just where to go.

billie said...

Thanks, Maire - I feel he is with his first person so I think you're right - he knew where to go, they were waiting for him. He had a good long life.