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Sep 2, 2011

My Sweet, My Lovely

my sweet, my lovely Sputnik
taken August 29, 2011

Albert Schweitzer, who was left-handed, sometimes wrote prescriptions with his right hand, so as not to disturb his cat, Sizi, who liked to fall asleep on his left arm.   He once said,
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
My sweet Sputnik was with me for nearly 14 years. She had been diagnosed with Mammary Cancer just over a year ago. The Vet who gave the diagnosis predicted she would live about 3 months without invasive surgeries. I researched the success rate of surgery for that type of cancer. The possibility of prolonging her life seemed low for her given stage, as I read this type of cancer often returns even at the site of surgery.

Just shortly before hearing about Sputnik, I had returned Home as my Mother had been diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed emotionally.

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
~~ Carl Jung

3 months later, my Mother's kidney surgery was successful and she was adjusting well to her weekly chemo treatments.   I had some room to reflect.

Surprisingly,  Sputnik was also doing well.  I took her to a different Vet who confirmed the diagnosis of the previous Vet.   However, the prediction of how long she could live was more hopeful.

I once again struggled with the surgery question. She would need at least two surgeries which would remove her mammary chains. To really improve her chances, she'd need chemo treatments. And if the lumps returned, then I would be faced with the surgery question again.

And to put her through all that with no promises but a hope that she would have maybe 6 more months or maybe longer?   I struggled with this decision. And every pet owner chooses yes or no for different reasons. For me, I didn't think Sputnik would understand these surgeries and, when I thought about her quality of life, I couldn't see putting her through them.

”You don’t heal from the loss of a loved one because time passes, you heal because of what you do with the time.” ~~ Carol Crandell

I was glad to hear that I'd be able to bring Sputnik home for burial and not have to cremate her. My husband and I buried her in the quiet of night, beneath the stars.  The following days were filled with shopping for plants that would attract hummingbirds and planting a dedication garden at the spot where we buried Sputnik in the back yard.  Rest in Peace, my sweet, my lovely, Sputnik.



Links that I found helpful:

http://maxshouse.com/feline_mammary_tumors.htm

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1523&S=2&EVetID=0

http://www.askthecatdoctor.com/cat-with-mammary-cancer.html

http://superiordpweb.com/articles/Sam.html

http://rainbowsbridge.com/Grief_Support_Center/Grief_Support_Home.htm 

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ccah/programs/petloss/petloss_resources.cfm

8 comments:

Poetic Artist said...

My dear sweet friend. I am so sorry about Sputnik. I know you will miss him very much..My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Katelen

Petra said...

oh, I'm so sorry. I have two cats myself, and the idea of losing them brings tears to my eyes right now...

Tracy said...

Oh, Juana... I am sooo, sooo very sorry for the loss of your beautiful Sputnik. Sending you uplifting thought during this time, which must be so hard. Our pets are our babies... Sputnik was such a gem in the crown of your blog here, Juana. We will miss seeing her. Your portrait of her is so tender & gentle--the love just radiates... Give Sputnik's garden a pat from me. :o) ((LOVE & HUGS))

Rosebud Collection said...

so sorry to read about Sputnik..I remember we had to deal with something like this a few years back..It is so hard, because these animals become family and we love them..Glad he has a beautiful spot..we did the same with our/daughter's cat.
So happy your mom is doing well..
Sending you love/blessings..Carolyn

Gallery Juana said...

Thank you for your hugs and comforting comments. I know you all understand so well how I feel.

Kathleen said...

So sorry for your loss, Juana. (((hugs)))

zendotstudio said...

I don't know where I've been but I'm catching up. Many hugs to you and prayers for Sputnik, whose lovely figure I loved to follow in your blog.

I remember when our cat got sick and died. I was astounded at the depth of my grief and at the quietness of the house.

Gallery Juana said...

kathleen, thank you.
Zen, you know well how I feel. And you're right about the quietness in the house.

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