All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!

Circle of Life


With the good comes the bad.

My favorite cat (I know you’re not supposed to have favorites, but I do, and I’m not ashamed to admit it) is diabetic.  I’ve mentioned this before.  She is my bestie, my love, my girl.  As I write this, crying, she’s snuggling up and plucking my chest as she purrs with delight, nudging her head gently against mine.  Her diabetes have always caused us a lot of concern, but it’s been manageable and actually has been in remission for a long time.  I pay close attention to her though, even when her diabetes seem to be on a break.  Paying close attention has its pros and cons.  With the pros come the cons.

The con came last week when I weighed her.

I’ve noticed her seeming a bit thinner (for her – she started at 15 pounds!) and have I’ve sort of ignored it.  I had a cat prior to her (the BEAR, who was my very first kitty) who was a very sick kitty, and when he would lose weight, it meant bad things were going on.  I only had the BEAR for 4.5 years before I lost him to hypotrophic cardiomyopathy.  That was so hard on my heart (and his, obviously) and Lily’s weight loss spiraled my mind back to those days when the BEAR was so sick.  I finally weighed her last week and I figured that she’d lost about 1.5-2 pounds since her last vet visit 6 months prior.  This was not good.  I knew it.  Despite ignoring the vet reminder cards for a month to bring her in for her 6 month check, I knew it was time to get her checked out.  I scheduled an appointment that day for the following Monday, figuring that I’d enjoy the weekend before getting the potential bad news.

I got the news today.  When we went in yesterday, Dr. D seemed alarmed.  Lily has lost 2.5 pounds since September and although he’s thrilled with her diabetes remission, he just seemed concerned.  He mentioned that that type of weight loss is not good, and I said I already knew that.  We talked about the BEAR and what weight loss usually means, and I cried.  Dr. D didn’t say much to make me feel better.  I think he knew that things were not good, and he knows that sugar-coating is not my thing.  He drew blood and said he’d call me the next day, but that on physical exam she looks great, so if there is a problem, it should show up in the blood work.

Dr. D called today.  We will be going in for x-rays on Thursday to look for tumors – tumors that will likely be malignant but may not show up on x-rays.  I knew when he called that things were not good.  He didn’t pump me full of hope, he said he wants to do the basics to get a diagnosis but that things are pointing to cancer (likely lymphoma) and that the blood work would imply that it’s agressive.  God.  I asked if x-rays could wait until we’re in Florida and he said no, let’s do it now so that if they can treat her while she’s there for a week, that that would be preferred.  I agree.

People say things to me like, “I don’t get cats.  I don’t get how you can love a cat.”  But my response is, “do you get dogs?  Do you get animals?  It’s the same thing – it’s the same love – just for a different species.”  A very large chunk of my heart is aching right now, knowing what’s coming, and it’s debilitating.  Dr. D and I talked about treatment and he says that there really isn’t much to do but make the time she has (unknown at this point) as comfy as possible.  There’s no way to know how much time she has – it could be months, it could be a couple of years.  We’re already on borrowed time with her diabetes, so I don’t assume it’s a long time we have left together.  The minute her life gets hard is the minute I will let her go.  Just typing that is upsetting, but it’s the truth.  She’s been too good to me to go a minute longer than is comfortable for her.

So there it is.  We’re going to Dis.neywo.rld, and my favorite cat probably has cancer.  While we’re in Dis.neywo.rld, my favorite cat will be “at the spa” being watched over closely by people who love her and take good care of her, while I worry about her.

My dad, the realist when it comes to these things (even though he still can’t talk about losing the BEAR without tearing up), texted me, “:( but remember the circle of life.”  My parents can really irritate me, but I appreciate the realism.  I appreciate the reminder that this is all part of the deal when you have pets.  We love them for as long as we can, and then we let them go.  We sometimes have more time with some than others, but it’s never enough time for us.  Because of that, we do it over, and over, and over again because we love and need their companionship.

Lily is, and always will be, a great companion.



Author: Courtney

Hi, there, I’m Courtney. I never planned to stay home with my kids, but I got sucked into motherhood when my first baby came into our lives after years of infertility and multiple rounds of IVF. His brother followed closely behind, something we didn’t plan on after having such a rough road with achieving parenthood the first time around. My boys are IVF cycle twins, conceived on the same day but born two years and one day apart (they were both transferred on the same day in October, but with two years between them). My boys are the best of friends and my husband is a terrific husband, father, and most importantly… friend. He fully supported my desire to stay home (“I just wanted it to be your idea and not mine, I totally want you to stay home and raise our kids!”) and encourages me in everything I do. I am a lover of projects, spreadsheets, fitness, healthy cooking and eating, crafts, selling my stuff on FB (HA!), and the outdoors. If I’m active, I’m pretty darn happy!

27 thoughts on “Circle of Life

  1. Oh Courtney, I’m so sorry to hear this news. She has been very lucky to have all of you as family. Lily has known (and will continue to know) a life full of love. We couldn’t ask for anything more for the furry members of our families.

  2. As much as I’m not a cat person….I am a dog person. And I totally get it when you get worried about your furries being sick. I’m terrified of when this will happen for my furries. I know so many people who just push their pets aside or forget about them after kids. My furries drive me insane sometimes, but they did that before R was here. I can’t imagine my house without them. I’m sorry you’re worrying about this. Poor baby….thinking of you and your furry….

  3. Aww, I’m awfully sorry about sweet Lily. She is gorgeous and clearly such a good feline companion. I am madly and deeply in love with both of my animals (a dog and a cat!) and knowing I will one day have to say goodbye to them just completely breaks my heart. At least with cats, you’re supposed to get a very long time with them. It’s so unfair that you lost BEAR so quickly! We’ve already had Milo for almost 5.5 years so to think of him being gone already is unimaginable. Hoping you get to enjoy Lily for at least a little while longer… 😦

    • Thank you, Shelley. It’s funny how we worry about how long we have with them, even when they’re young. I started worrying when she it Milo’s age, just because BEAR was that age when he died. We’ve been lucky – it’s been over 10 years now, but I’d like more. I’m sure I’ll have more time, just not sure how much. Ugh.

  4. Oh honey! Oh, I’m so very sorry to hear this. Sending you guys my love. xoxo

  5. I’m tearing up just reading this. I have 2 cats and absolutely LOVE them and the thought of them being sick and losing them is beyond comprehension. I hope the diagnosis for Lily is better than expected. She has been well-loved by you. She looks so much like our boy cat, they could be siblings. Thinking of you…..

  6. Losing a pet is so hard. Our dogs were our first kids, and as much as I want to kill them some days lately, I would still be heartbroken if something happened to one of them or they got sick. Unfortunately now with two kids, we wouldn’t have the money like we used to to maintain meds and treatment for very long should something be found. I hope you get the best case scenario after the x-rays are done, and you have much more time with her.

  7. Oh Courtney. I’m so sorry. I still can’t think of when we put out family dog down without crying and he died many years ago. pets are family and we grieve their passing. I hope you still have some good time with your sweet mews. Give her some good pets for me.

  8. Heartbreaking news. I am so sorry you are having to face this. Hugs to you and your sweet Lily.

  9. So sad! Losing a pet is seriously like losing a child. So sorry you are having to go through this. Focus on all the great memories you’ve had together. Thinking of you!

  10. I’m sorry that you are having to deal with this now. I hope that the good news surprises you, but I’ll be thinking of you and Lily regardless.

  11. Oh my, this is so upsetting… and look at that face! She is such a beautiful cat, I just want to smooch her right on the nose. Losing pets is the absolute worst, there is no easy way to do it. They give us so much and it’s hard to feel like we’ve communicated how grateful we are to them. All you can do is just shower her with cuddles and treats right up until the end and know that you gave her an awesome life — that’s all that matters, in the end. Hang in there.

    • It is hard – especially because they are SO LOYAL to us. I read someone’s condolences the other day for someone who lost a child, and it struck me as something that I will always say when someone young dies – or when a pet dies. It’s giving me great peace. “She has lived a whole life, her life, and you have lived it with her.” This is making me feel better about the situation, because I have been with her her entire life. But it’s still hard. 😦

  12. So sorry to hear about this. I’m hoping for good results and that she’ll be back to her old self sooner than everyone expects. I also love the quote you posted right above my comment here. That is a really beautiful thing to say.

    • Thank you, Em. She’s holding her weight, so this is good. I do think she may surprise us and last longer than they think, but who knows. She seems just fine.

      That quote… I will always remember it for various situations. I brings me so much peace in both my situation with Lily, and others’ situations that I read about.

  13. Oh so sorry to hear this. We spent a fortune putting our cat back together after she had a motor vehicle accident, and I was so glad to get a vet who understood cats because so few people seem to get them. Hopefully you get a good prognosis, and if not, hopefully you both can have some peace before the end comes.

    • Thank you! It’s nice to hear from others who understand cats. If what she has was treatable, we would do what we could. My vet and I just talked about that yesterday – that all pets are money pits because something always goes wrong with them and people these days just fix them up – because they’re members of the family. I’m glad you put your kitty back together!!!

  14. I am so so sorry to hear this. that much weight loss on a little kitty is not good. 😦 I really hope that you get better news than you expect and kitty stays around for a long while. Sending you hugs.

    • Thank you. We’re still waiting on some tests, but they’re as certain as they can be without a sure diagnosis that it’s lymphoma. Poor kitty. They are testing for one other thing that they’re hoping it is, but they’re not hopeful. Ugh. BUT – she’s doing well and that’s all I can ask!

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