meeko

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This weekend, we had to say goodbye to our cat, Meeko. She was, as Jared put it, “the best foot-warmer, sink drinker, and bathroom buddy ever.” She was all those things and so many more.

Jared already had Meeko when I met him, and his obvious love of her was one of the things I immediately dug about him. It took a long time before I ranked anywhere near him in her eyes — I could be petting her, feeding her treats, but if he got up and walked away, she’d jump off my lap and trot on after him. Nothing personal, I know, he was just her world.

Little by little, she came to love me — not as much as Jared, of course, but I think I became a very close second. In the last few years, after he started traveling more for work, she started falling asleep over on my side of the bed. A purring cat is better than a warm glass of milk when it comes to facilitating relaxation and sleep, let me tell you.

In addition to loving those of us who fed her and scooped her poop, she also loved sunbeams, balls of paper, chewing on plastic bags, running water, and curling up on available laps.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember that we almost lost Meeko a year ago. Her kidneys were failing, which is pretty common in older cats, and she was having some crazy thyroid problems. We got her stabilized (although she continued needing a pill twice a day and fluids injected a couple of times a week), and, well, we got an extra year. We knew it was borrowed time, but that doesn’t make it much easier when you see the end coming.

We spent her last morning petting her, feeding her tuna, and memorizing her sweet little face. She died very peacefully in the arms of the person she loved most in the world. For that, I’m thankful. I’m also a little surprised at the different ways she made herself part of my day, and all the ways I’m missing her.

I knew it would be weird to work without having her lay on my desk, batting pens off the side and drinking out of my water glass. I assumed it would makeĀ  me sad to look over at where her cat tree and litter box were. I didn’t realize I’d tear up every time I went into the bathroom and didn’t have to wait for her, or how I’d turn the sink faucet on — just a trickle — for her to drink and then realize she wasn’t there.

She was pretty talkative, too, and every time I hear a strange noise, I look around to see what she needs. The kitchen is sad because she’s not standing in the middle of it, staring at us and willing us to give her food or a new water bowl or attention or who even knows what she wanted. When I let the dogs out in the back yard, I realized I could leave the door to the screened-in back porch (which we got for Meeko) open, because we didn’t have to worry about her getting outside.

The first night I slept in our bed without her, I kept thinking I felt her jump up on the bed. Jared found himself being careful when he moved so as not to kick her.

The dogs know something is up — I don’t know that they really realize she’s gone, or, if they do, if they, like, miss her, but they definitely had their own little dynamic. Mainly, Meeko was in charge. They could come up and sniff her, and even put their noses right on her, as long as she wasn’t looking at them. If they approached her head on, forget about it — she’d let them know who was boss and encourage them to find another route. They always listened.

This is going to take some time to get used to. And even though it hurts, I’d rather have the pain that goes along with the memories than forget about her easily. She was just a tiny little thing, but the hole she left behind is bigger than I can explain.

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This time of year is why I live in Florida. We’ve had several weeks of amazing, sunny (but not too hot!) days, meaning my non-work time has been filled with charity kickball tournaments, bike rides (yes! I learned how to ride my bike!), outdoor lunches, swimming, and trips to the dog park. In short, it’s been amazing.

It’s also been a little overwhelming, as I’ve been pushing other things to the side in order to have a little extra play time. And then, factor in the fact that I’m spending an hour a day or so on tri training, and this time of year is when I start doing a lot of work for the Puppy Hill Farm gala, and, well, it’s a lot. And then I went and scheduled things for almost every night this week, and … well, I cried today. No real reason. Or a million reasons, depending on how you look at it.

The crying couldn’t feel more stupid, though — the things on my plate have all been fun things that I look forward to, and it’s not like I’m falling all that far behind in anything but housekeeping, which, if we’re all being honest, isn’t exactly my strong suit to begin with so you probably can’t even tell the difference. I know that tomorrow (or even tonight, most likely), I’ll be back to my normal happy, chipper self, but for the time being … I’m just not.

But! You know what cheers me up? Cute kitty pictures. And we just got a cool new thing to review (don’t worry, I’ll cover it on Paw Nation in the coming weeks), and Meeko is adorable. So, enjoy! And tell me what makes you feel happy when your body is trying to be sad.

Meeko Sunny Seat

Meeko Sunny Seat

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It’s been a tough month or so around here for Meeko as many of you know from Facebook (if we’re not FB friends and you’d like to be, just shoot me a message on there telling me how we know each other and I’ll accept). Between thyroid issues, kidney problems, bad potassium numbers, refusing to eat and serious dehydration, we were scared. She spent a partial and a full day at the vet getting fluids, came home with a catheter for us to flush, was force fed more times than any of us care to remember, but … she’s better. Not perfect, not totally out of the woods, but she’s eating and drinking and knocking shit off my desk again.

I couldn’t be happier about that, to be honest. But, to get her (and keep her) there, we’re having to do some doctoring. We’re giving her subq fluids, which, let me tell you, is no treat for anybody — in fact, while Jared’s out of town, I’m having someone come over to help me, but we only need to do it once every other day, so no biggie. And she’s got meds to take, which isn’t a big deal when she eats them in pill pockets (which, YOU GUYS — this is the most genius thing EVER). She was refusing for a while, but she ate one tonight and I’m hopeful (SO hopeful) that this continues, because have you ever forced a cat to take a pill? Yeah.

All along, we’ve made a point to keep reminding ourselves that we don’t want to put her through anything more than is necessary — her quality of life is the biggest concern, and she is 14, after all. But man, now that her eyes have a little sparkle back in them and she’s yowling at me for food, I’m beyond relieved that she seems to be pulling through.

Squeamish as I was when I was a kid, who would’ve ever thought I’d be able to put a needle in my cat and give her fluids (although J has done it far more than I have)? It’s amazing what you can do when you need to, you know? And it’s been quite the education, which is nice since the only other education I’ve really been getting lately is learning about real estate in other countries by watching House Hunters International. Which is also important.

Anyway, Jared and I (and Meeko, too) are really thankful for all the kind words and messages we’ve gotten regarding our kitty’s health. Now, if y’all could start praying for fewer vet visits, Meeko and my bank account will be really, really grateful. Like, really.

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I had some help when I went to wrap my presents this year.

cat christmas wrapping paper

Meeko, the Christmas kitty

Are you done shopping for and wrapping gifts? If you are, could you come lend me a hand? Meeko is actually a terrible (but adorable) little helper.

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For those of you who are interested, there are still some quotes that haven’t been identified on this post. And I’ll give you some hints. In no particular order, we have a Miracle, Holiday, Life, Scrooge, and Muppets. If you’ve already guessed, now is your chance to come in and pick up another one!

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