Took little Bobbers in to get that respiratory infection he couldn't kick taken care of. The vet was curious and suspicious as to why a normally healthy cat couldn't kick a regular infection, so he ran a test, and sure enough… Bob had contracted feline leukemia. Corey and I made the decision to put him down then and there, mostly because any money we can spare goes to treating my diseases, and he was just gonna be sick and miserable until he died. That's not fair to him. So, as much as it sucked, they euthanized him right then, with me holding him in my arms.

It was awful. Not because it wasn't quick and humane, but because I lost another child within 4 1/2 months. Bob's brother and litter-mate, Cortes, died on February 6th, and Bob wandered the house and property for weeks, crying for his brother, his favorite playmate and closest friend. That made it really hard for me to deal with Cortes's death, not to mention the incredible suddenness of it. He was fine that morning, he ate the antifreeze, two hours later he had been euthanized and was dead. Same with Bob. I had this horrible premonition when we took him in, but I kept trying to shake it off and chalk it up to worry, you know? But I knew there was something seriously wrong. I just knew. I know my cats. He cuddled up to me the night before, but I regret having been out of town all day and spending our last day together away from him. We had one last night together, though. Then the appointment, and within half an hour… boom. That was it. It was devastating.

Fortunately, Corey had the day off and was with me, so after I relinquished Bob's tiny, limp body he took me home and watched an episode of Cosmos with me while I ate cake I had bought the day before from my favorite bakery. I felt some better afterward, but my grief has stayed with me, and at that time worry was also gnawing at the edge of my consciousness as well, because we had to take the other two cats to be tested for feline leukemia, which apparently transmits incredibly easily via saliva. Bob and the other cats weren't very close, so there was little to no grooming going on, but all of the cats do share the same food and water dishes, which could totally pass the disease on to the others. I was going crazy with worry and fear and grief, making sure that I spent time with each of my kitties… in case it was the last time. I was really worried that Juneaux would be sick and I would lose him, because we've been together for so long, and been through so much… he's been the thing that has kept me alive/kept me from attempting suicide several times, and he is the thing that kept me going during my deepest and most miserable times of depression while beginning and trying to deal with the abuse and PTSD in Idaho. He is as near and dear to my heart as my family, and it would destroy me to lose him before he dies of old age.

Corey reminded me that I'm going to lose Juneaux someday anyway, but I told him that there is a huge difference between losing him to old age and losing him to tragedy. It's the same for people. It always tears you apart, but it's just… different.

Took the cats in late yesterday morning, and all of the employees and doctors were very kind and respectful, since they knew I had lost Bob just two days ago. Our regular vet was in that day, so she came back in after testing the two cats and asked me if I wanted the good news, or… the good news? I wasn't sure I heard her right the first time, so I was kind of silly and stunned, asking the same question a few times, but yes-- both Juneaux and Fancy have a clean bill of health. I made sure to get them both vaccinated against feline leukemia right then and there, though we still don't have enough money to cover the other vaccinations. I think they'll be okay. The vet said that one thing that worked in their favor is that they are adults, so their immune system is fully developed and stronger than Bob's was. Also, they don't get into fights regularly like Bob did, so less chance of catching it from other cats. I think that applies to rabies and distemper, as well.

I'm feeling better, emotionally, after having that relief of good news, though I am still grieving hard over Bob. Not constantly… and it's a little easier this time because there are no other kitties wandering around looking for him and crying, and also, Bob used to be out and about for large portions of the day, evening, and sometimes night, so it really just feels like he's out somewhere and he'll come back later. He wasn't constantly underfoot, so I'm not constantly reminded. That helps. I don't know if it'll be counterproductive in the long term to healing, but it feels better right now, and that's kind of all that I care about.

Went to a farewell party for two friends who are moving across the country (stop moving away, mofos!), and it was nice. I enjoyed myself, though for a while it seemed like everyone was just kind of wandering around more or less bored… but V, one of the other women, she insisted that everyone start playing these games that she brought, and that totally made the tone of the party so much better. I fell asleep during the second game, which is kinda surprising because it was super loud and lively, but when I need a nap my body will just go for it, and I had been putting it off all afternoon because I'd been out and about and busy. The man of the moving couple didn't quite seem like himself, which was weird, but then I've never been around him when he's drunk more than one or two beers, so that could be it. It could also just be the stress and grief of moving, especially moving away from such good friends and such a tight community such as we have now. I hope they can find the same happiness where they go. I had a bag of gifts for them, and he texted me later and said that it was a very touching gift, and thank you immensely. That made my heart smile, even if it is heavy that they're leaving. I care about them a great deal, and they have made it clear that they really like Corey and I, so it really sucks that they're moving. It is hard to find a couple our age to hang out with that aren't ghetto assholes or druggies, or with an obviously unhealthy relationship dynamic, and that's just way more drama than we want to expose ourselves to. The moving couple had so many of the same interests, and they have a zero-drama-tolerance philosophy, like us.

So I'm grieving two things. Three, if you count the memory of Cortes's death that's now super fresh and in my face again. I ate some italian food that I probably shouldn't have on Friday when we went out to eat (I begged for Italian over sushi, and now I'm paying for it lol), and now my guts are in a huge uproar. Probably because I ate the leftovers last night when I returned. My intestines sound like water gurgling down a drain pipe. It's definitely a weird sensation. I just wish I could get off of the damn toilet! That's where I'm living today, apparently. I know that my sadness is a large amount of my gut problems. I always have gut problems when I'm stressed out by anything… and losing what to me was legitimately a child, albeit furry... I consider the cats to be like furry human toddlers. That's about the age and communication level we're at together. Also, being unable to carry or bear children of my own… they are truly my surrogate babies. And I've raised most of them from infancy, if not birth. Bob and Cortes were both babies I raised from birth, and Juneaux was only a few months old when I found him. I feel that I have a right to grieve as much as any mother grieves over her lost human child. So, that being said… I know why my guts are all jacked up. Death, loss, stress, grief, loss…. so much loss… I'm just so glad that Corey understands my grieving process and is there to back me up and comfort me when I need it. Love that man.

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