So, it’ll be 8 weeks this Wednesday and though I’m still having my grief bombs here and there, I’m actually becoming really close with my other cat, Archie.
There is a misconception that when someone loses a pet that they should get another pet straight away to make themselves and their remaining family members “get better” faster. Although I am sure there are exceptions to this rule, as there are to every rule, I am not this exception.
I look at Archimedes as this poor, innocent soul. Someone who needs extra care all the time and constant reassurance. He needs to be ON my person at all times to feel safe. He sleeps in my hair. While I have been his “mother” so to speak in the eight years that we’ve been blessed enough to have him, Kassie was his security blanket.
I would often see him having a hard time with his anxiety, and then look over at her, even if she was sleeping, and immediately feel okay because he could see that she was still there. Often, she was not allowed to have any personal space because he wanted to be touching her. If you have ever seen their (once mutual, now individual) Instagram page (@archimedespatrick), you’ll be able to see how close they were as family members. It is gut-wrenching to see him look for her for comfort now that she is gone.
And, while Kassie of course doesn’t look super happy to have any of that happening, she still allowed him to take comfort in her, to take her personal space and her sleep, never hissed or made him piss off. She accepted that he needed extra help. For this, we are forever grateful.
Here’s the catch, folks: Archie hates other cats. We once had to babysit our clinic cat, Wendy, and he wanted to murder her. He was so aggressive and mean and I had never seen him like that. She wasn’t even doing anything. This adds to my hesitation in getting another rescue at this time (although I do know that eventually thing would work out - it’s a lot of work and energy.)
The most important part of all of this, is that none of us are really ready. Scott and I browse rescue sites and while we want to be ready to allow another poor soul into our lives, we just can’t.
Two days ago, Archie had to have last-minute (not quite emergency) surgery to remove this huge growth from his left hip. This grew over the bridge of time that we have been grieving our girl. Here’s the thing about Archie - his anxiety is so bad that when he gets stressed, his immune system drops out of the race. He gets infections, respiratory issues, and this time, where he got a pain injection (or possibly a bite from our dearly departed), he grew a mass that seemed like it was the size of a twonie, but once the surgeon extracted it, turned out to be five times that size underneath. He has also lost 18% of his body weight since losing his best friend, so that was also scary since getting him to eat has been the worst.
We’re waiting for the histopathology report. I refresh it at least twice an hour. Sometimes more. He’s been on meds that make him funny, he obviously can never walk again because the gown he’s wearing made his legs disappear :P
In trying to deal with grief bombs and recovering surgery patients, I also took an online course today about heart disease in cats and dogs. It really helped me understand exactly what happened to Kassie. I’ve got so much more information to ponder upon.