Surviving The Loss Of A Pet - Ode To Abby - Cats With FIP

Abby on the
counter in the kitchen

Losing a pet can be one of the most devastating events to happen to a person..If you have ever gone through the loss of a pet that you loved dearly, you know what I am talking about.  These sweet creatures are God's way of giving true unconditional love.  They don't care how you look, how much money you make, if you haven't brushed your teeth today, or even if you yelled at them for scratching the couch.

I have lost a number of pets through the years.  None of the losses was ever easy.  But losing my 5 year old Abigail was the worst. 

Abby was the sweetest, funniest, most beautiful little cat I ever had.  She was a petite tortie long haired domestic cat.  Her eyes were the color of perfect Colombian emeralds.  Her  mouth was so tiny I could barely see in it to check her teeth.  She was so feminine a true little girlie girl through and through.  When she walked down the hall her tiny little back feet turned out like a well trained ballet dancers, and her full, gorgeous tail splayed open like the feathers in Vegas showgirls headdress.  She walked with such poise and grace the I would call her my Vegas show cat.  Occasionally I would put pearls around her neck, much to her dismay.

Her tail was just a bit too short and she would catch site of it in her peripheral vision, much to her annoyance.       
She would squeak and chase that tail in frustration.  I hoped that she would eventually get used to it, for her sake, and she did.  Abby was also very timid with strangers, especially men.  Hearing a man's footfalls would send her running to hiding place, a lower ledge of a side table covered with a floor length tablecloth.

We used to have a special time everyday in the afternoon when I would give her a brushing.  Abby would jump on top of the highest perch on the kitty condo and let me brush her all over.  If I forgot her brushing she would let me know by rolling on her back and chirpping at me until I got the message.  She loved getting her face and head brushed, and even enjoyed long strokes down her back.  Her sparkling eyes would look at me with a soft contentment.

At night Abby would chase me into the bedroom and jump on the bed behind me so fast that occasionally I didn't realize that she was there and almost sit on her!  After rubbing up and down against my upheld arm she would settle on my left shoulder.  Her butt firmly entrenched, her sweet tail would flutter onto my face.   In the morning I would find her sleeping on my flipflops beside the bed.   Then she would follow me into the bathroom and sit like a meerkat while I gave her adoring strokes on her head.  Her pretty eyes would be smiling.

Biffy and Abby approving the table setting

My second cat at the time, Biffy, would chase Abby in some pretty rambunctious play.  But Abby was quite adept in getting away from his roughhousing. She would often run and hide in a kitty bed that was enclosed, she was soo cute!!!

If you didn't get the idea by now I really loved this little animal. I lost her three years ago to FIP (check out the link to see an FIP article)  I had never heard of it at the time, and I spent unbelievable amounts of money with her in the best animal ICU in the area.  I also had a Reiki healer going into the hospital to work on her.  Despite suffering from two autoimmune diseases at the time, I was in twice daily contact with both her vets, and made the 45 minute trip daily to see her.  But despite all the best efforts, after two weeks she succumbed to the disease.

I was shattered.  A primal scream came out of me after I got off the phone with the Dr. telling me she had passed away. The hospital had called at 11:00 the night before to tell me she had a grand mal seizure.  They asked if I wanted to come and see her, the implication being that she would not last out the night.  I chose not to go in, believing that I would go the next day and stay with her till she passed.

I was overwhelmed with guilt.  For a solid 18 months afterward I could not speak about her without crying, not just getting teary eyes, but crying.  Did I let her suffer?  Was she angry with me not being with her in the end?  I just couldn't forgive myself for letting this precious little fluffy ball of love and joy die.

Finally I came to terms with what happened.  I realized that I had done everything humanly possible to save my little girl.  I knew that she knew it too.  And that she loved me.  Only now she was with my other beautiful pets in heaven.

I  finally, only recently, researched FIP, and I found that it is 100% of the time fatal.  Only this past year have some new protocols been put into place that can offer any hope what so ever.  Once I read that material, I knew that I had done everything that I could to help little Abby.  I didn't euthanize her because she loved life so much, I just tried to keep her pain managed and let God take her.  I made tough decisions on my own about a creature I shared my everyday with.  I listened to my heart and to the best Vet in the world (I took her to Randy Caviness at the Integrative Animal Health Center in Bolton, MA, a homeopathic and conventional practitioner).  I still miss her terribly.  But I now have two new additions to the family, a silly little boy named Samuel Oscar.........
Sam taking a nap

and a little stray that showed up on my door step just as Abby went into the hospital named Kitty Kitty. 

Kitty Kitty looking cute

 I believe that God gives us trials to make us stronger, and losing a beloved pet was one of the worst culminations of a seriously bad time in my life.  Now I have three crazy four legged little boys to look out for, and although I miss Abby dearly, I have come to terms with it and have focused on enjoying what He has given me. Although I must admit to my eyes tearing up while I am writing this.

If you are broken hearted over losing a pet, there are some wonderful books that can help you deal with you grief.  

Chely Wright

I have had several odd things happen to me in the past few weeks that made me think of the plight of Gay Men and Woman in America and indeed the world.

First of all let me say that I am a straight, white female that lives in the Northeast.  So I am already a member of a relatively privileged segment of society.  Strictly by accident of birth.

In the last several weeks two specific eye openers occurred.  The first was a bit embarrassing.  I was  looking at a church  website I saw that one of their staff's profile said that a woman was living with her wife and 3 children.  I at first thought it was a typo.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.....she was talking about HER wife.  OOHHH.  Okay, she is gay.

Then I was watching a movie about Chely Wright.  She is a well known country and western star that at the age of 40, finally came out as a  gay person.  The movie illustrated this woman's internal struggle with coming out in a homophobic industry and risk loosing her fans and indeed, possibly her career.

I cannot imagine what sort of torture it must be to live with a very important part of your fundamental being, hidden.  Chely happens to be a very successful performer, but what about the average person.  The secretary at your doctors office.  The cashier at the local pharmacy.  The paralegal at your lawyers office.  How many of these folks cannot openly talk about their loved ones for fear of prejudice or some sort of retribution?

It seems that one has to first come to terms within their own heart about their sexuality.  Once they have been able to accept that they are gay, how do you tell family and friends?  It is no surprise to me that "gay enclaves" exist, such as Provincetown, MA.  These are areas where a gay person can walk with their loved one hand in hand and even kiss them publicly (like straight people do) without being stared at or denigrated.

I think that gay men and women have a lot more pressure on them, by virtue of an act of God, that made them be more attracted to their sex.  So along with the normal pressures of everyday life, gay folks have an additional strain that straight people cannot comprehend.

Yet despite this pressure there are so many highly productive gay people in every aspect of our society.  Doctors, scientists, engineers, teachers, athletes, that list could go on and on. This illustrates an ability to go beyond what life has dealt you and succeed.  I think it shows courage of a nature that is just not in the average straight folks vernacular.

If you would like to support the greater understanding and acceptance of gays worldwide, you may want to check out Love and Pride.  It is a company owned and run by gays, for every body.  Every purchase from Love and Pride goes to support organizations such as The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, The Mercury Phoenix Trust, and Marriage Equality USA.  So do a little public service while you shop.

Click on this banner to be taken directly to their website.
Love and Pride

Online Dating  - What's It Like?

Image By Viking 1002

Want to try a dating site online but don't know what to expect?  Well like many people these days I have found myself single.  I have no problems going out on my own to meet men, but I thought I would give the online sites a try.  I looked into the highly publicized sites that are shown on TV as being able to find the best potential partners for you.  I found the questions lacking in substance and despite the endless inquiries, did not feel like my personality was really "evaluated".  Besides, it cost money.

Then I tripped onto Plenty Of Fish,, and had a go.  Before I even completed my profile I had two guys wanting to talk to me via instant messaging.  What a riot!  I eventually ended up meeting and going out with several very nice men.  No super hot romances at this point, but certainly I never have to spend a weekend night alone if I don't want to!

Some tips for success on Plenty Of Fish

1. Make your profile creative.  Put down interests beyond fitness and shopping.  Do not be afraid to seem intelligent.  I am a bit of a wiseass and it reflected in my profile.  A bit sarcastic is good,  but never be nasty.

2. Be careful about putting out too much information.  Unfortunately there are people that would like to take advantage of you.  So be smart about how much contact information you reveal.

3. Never say you are looking for a Knight in Shining Armour.  Besides being sooooooo over done, most men find that intimidating if not totally lame.

4. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable ban them from contacting you again. (Plenty Of Fish has all sorts of blocking options) If they really bother you report them to the admins at POF.  They run a tight ship and want a healthy site.

5. Inevitably someone will insult you.  You are in a public forum.  Don't take it to heart.  Not everybody will like you.  I had one guy call me arrogant and selfish after exchanging two messages with me.  Yikes!!!  I know I'm a bitch but was amazed how quickly he figured it out!  Actually his anger scared me a bit.  He was off my list in a hurry!

6.  I never put up a picture of myself.  Although they say you get more communication with a picture I had more than I could handle without one.  If you don't use a picture think of a famous person you resemble and describe yourself from there.  Be honest....but it never hurts to ramp up your good points.  Do not put up a photo that is from 20 years ago.  Unless you have a painting in your closet that looks like shit you have probably changed too much to pull it off.

7.  Dust off your funny  bone.  Everyone loves to laugh. so give them a reason to laugh.  When asked why I don't have a picture up I said that it was too hard to crop out the horns and my third eye. 

8.  Don't be afraid to send out greetings to guys who sound good to you.  When sending a greeting mention something from their profile that you thought was interesting.  In will give the guy much more incentive to get back to you.

9.  This is for the guys that that may be reading this.  Do not send a message to a women that just says HI, or my other favorite, got a pic?  BOORRRIIINNNGGG.  Be witty or funny. If you can't do that ask her a question about herself.  

10. Don't get discouraged.  If you meet a few dull people consider it experience and try again.  There are lots of sweet, lovable, attractive people in the world looking for some companionship.  It's free and it's easy.

Plenty Of Fish can be a fun site and it has a lot of good people on it.  But remember, it is a free and very public site so there may not be as many people on it that have your particular interests as a more select site might have.  And I am afraid that the more select sites are usually ones that require a paid membership.  However, Plenty Of Fish is a great way to get your online dating skills honed.  Who knows, you might even meet the person of your dreams.

Erotica - What Women Love

Erotica - What Women Love

Do you want to spice up your love life?  Do something a little bit daring?  How about some very naughty literature?  If you have never read any Anais Nin you are in for a treat.  Far from any Penthouse Forum letters, Anais Nin's erotica is deliciously sensuous.  These are books you can keep out in the open without embarrassment.

                                                      Little Birds by Anais Nin

They are written by a creative, imaginative women.  Despite and maybe because of the fact that they were created some time ago, (nearly 80 years) they have a languid provocative tone not generally found in contemporary adult literature.  

                                          Fire: From A Journal of Love by Anais Nin

Delta of VenusLittle Birds and Fire all contain vignettes of circumstances that end up getting orgasmic.  And not in the blatant big tits and blow jobs of today.  This is literature that partners can enjoy together, and maybe get some ideas from.

                                                   Delta of Venus by Anais Nin

To say much more would be disclosing the treasures found within these books.  After all isn't anticipation half the fun?  Pick up these books and have a hotter time between the sheets then you have in a while. 

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