Somewhere over the rainbow…..

Somewhere over the rainbow…..

A week ago today I woke up and was afraid to open my eyes….

 

A week ago today after much coaxing, I finally willed myself to look at Alex as I prayed for a miracle.

 

There was none…

 

A week ago today I saw what I was afraid I would see…. That the trip to the vet, the day before, didn’t help my sweet precious boy, and that his condition didn’t improve – in fact his condition worsened.

 

A week ago today I didn’t want Marc and I to have to make the difficult decision that I knew we had to make.  I was afraid we wouldn’t have the strength.  But we didn’t have to worry.  Alex took the responsibility away from us.  When he cried out we immediately knew what he wanted and needed.

 

                                We listened…… We helped…. And our little boy rested…..

                                                                And now he is at peace….

 

For those of you who have followed Alex and me for a while, you know that he was an amazing cat.  He was tough, a fighter and a trouper.  Two summers ago he had major stomach issues.  We thought for sure we would lose him.  But with help from Marc’s cousin, the most amazing vet in the world, and our local vet plus some cortisone shots, prescription A/D and C/D food, and some Pepcid’s we cured him.    Then last summer Alex developed a tumor on his tail.  Our local vet wasn’t totally supportive of the surgery, fearing that Alex’s age would make him a poor candidate for an operation. We took a chance and Alex not only pulled through the surgery he thrived.

 

Alex, better known as the tailless wonder, proved that tails are overrated!  He had the best year of his life after his amputation.  He was happy, playful and friendly.  He enjoyed every second with us and us with him.  He made it to his year’s anniversary of his surgery before his decline really became apparent. 

 

I don’t think Marc and I wanted to let ourselves believe that this year’s health crisis would end any differently than the others.  We wanted yet another miracle for our little man.  We tried to ignore the fact that when Marc’s cousin, the vet, visited from out of town a few weeks ago that he looked at Alex differently. I know that he realized the end was near for our boy…. But I am thankful he didn’t share his feelings with us.   

 

When we brought Alex to the vet last Sunday Marc joked that our miracle kitty finally found his kryptonite.   Our vet laughed but the smile didn’t reach his eyes.  He tried everything he could for Alex, but I think in his heart he knew that his attempts wouldn’t help.  Marc and I were the only ones who still held hope.

 

Animals are beyond smart, and Alex was no exception.  When he first started getting bad we found that he peed in all the floor air conditioning ducts.  We couldn’t understand why.  We thought perhaps that he wanted his smell to linger.  But last Sunday night, as we watched Alex pee on the floor, unable to reach his litter box in time, I realized why he picked the vents…. When he made it to a vent his urine went down – acting as a urinal – preventing him from having to stand in a puddle.

But more amazing is where Alex wanted to spend his final days….  The recovery room….

 

Last year, when Alex had his surgery Marc and I huddled up with him in a spare bedroom, that has minimal furniture and doors that can close.  Alex stayed in that room for weeks until he healed and his stiches were removed.  As soon as Alex started to deteriorate he headed to the recovery room.  He spent most of his days and nights there (we slept there with him).  He barely wanted to leave the room.  Also, during the last few days of his life Alex never closed his eyes.  I think that he feared that if he did he may not be able to open them.   I really  that believe he felt that the room helped him last time he was so sick and that he hoped that it would help him again.

 

It did… when our vet came to the house to help Alex find peace; Alex was laying in the recovery room.  With the vet’s help, and Marc and my love, Alex finally found rest.  Alex finally found comfort.  Alex finally found an existence with no more sad and no more hurt.  Sure, it wasn’t the recovery that Marc and I hoped for, but it was the recovery that Alex needed.  No more pain….

 

This week has been extremely difficult for both Marc and I. We are heartbroken and can’t stop our tears.  We loved Alex so much, and will continue to love him always…. 

 

I can’t thank you all enough for all the support you gave us, especially after Alex’s passing.  Each and every comment touched my heart and my soul, as did the Facebook messages and tweets.  I received so many beautiful emails, where you shared your stories of loss and offering me compassion for mine.   And the tributes that were posted online about Alex were amazing.  I know that he would have loved them just as much as I did.  I tried to add all of them to a linky on my post last Monday so that I can easily visit them often. If I missed any, please add or let me know.

 

I am still blown away that Alex’s fiancé and love of his life, Gracie, shut down their blog for a week to join me in mourning.  As I told Gracie’s dad Terry in an email – they are family.

 

And you all are the best friends I could ever ask for.  It doesn’t matter that I may have never met you in person or spoken to you on the phone. You are great friends, who have helped make a very sad and difficult time a little easier for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you…

 

 So many of you wrote the same comment last week… “Run free Alex.”

 

Every time I read it, I cried…. First sad tears and then happy tears…. Because he deserves to run free and pain free…

 

Until we meet again Alex…

 

Run Free Alex…. Mommy and Daddy love you….

 

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Hilary Grossman

Hilary Grossman is the author of Plan Bea and Dangled Carat. By day, she works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her "characters." She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She's been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball - she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on the beach in Long Island. To find out more of what Hilary is up to check out her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HilaryGrossmanAuthor

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86 thoughts on “Somewhere over the rainbow…..

  1. As always, you will make everyone cry. But, those who knew Alex personally knew how much he was loved and how lucky he was. He was an amazing cat and we will all miss him tremendously.

    1. Loretta – Thanks mom… I don’t mean to make everyone cry, but I can’t help it lately….Alex was an amazing cat and you are right, he was so loved and was very lucky to have us – as we were to have him… We miss him so much (and I know you do too) – and we always will….

  2. Well that was sure a fabulous tribute to Alex. Well done. We are still sending many purrs and many hugs too. That is one of the hardest things to do and you did make the right decision. Cats will tell you when it is time. And we are glad that you listened to him. We know he is up there watching over you, that is for sure.
    Chin up, time for a walk on the Beach.

    1. Marg – thanks… It is amazing how he did tell us it was time. And I am so glad that he did. This way we listened to him and we did what he wanted and needed instead of us doing what we thought was right. We don’t have to second guess ourselves because he told us what he needs…. I am sure that you are right – that he is looking over us – we sure do hear his “sarcastic” voice and smile

    1. Nani – thanks I tried… He was a beautiful cat, with a beautiful soul who deserved a beautiful tribute <3

  3. What a sweet tribute to such a wonderful kitty. I have had you and Marc on my mind literally all week and know that you will eventually find some peace. You have so many great memories and those will be with you always. Let yourselves feel the emotions and know that we are all supporting you and loving you through it all. Hugs.

    1. Beth Ann – thank you so much… I really appreciate your love & support… I am so thankful that alex “wrote” so many blog posts because I know when I am in a little less of an emotional state I will read them and they will make me smile and remember all the good times… I have watched a few videos and looked at pictures and they have helped… marc & i can’t stop crying – but it is good to get it out – as you say.. Thank you so much for the support. You are a true friend. Big hugs…

  4. The end of a life stinks, but it can be incredibly poignant, cementing the pain in a deep abiding love.

    Your connection has always been very apparent, and I thank you for sharing it with us. As someone who fosters kittens and then sends them out in the world with out being able to control the homes they go into (for the most part) it helps to hear of people like you who care so much. When and if you are ever ready to open your home to another kitty, they will have hit the kitty jackpot!

    1. Connie – thanks…. You are right.. Marc and I had a very strong connection to Alex. The funny thing was that until I met Marc / Alex I didn’t like cats (not one bit!) I was always a dog girl. I fell in love with Alex and then he made me fall in love with felines… I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for you to foster kittens and then have to let them go…. You are an amazing person! I am sure one day Marc and I will be ready for another cat in our life…. And you are right, it will be nice to have another innocent creature live the life of leisure and happiness that Alex did…

  5. A beautiful tribute to a very special boy. We know the pain you feel. It’s almost 2 years since our Sniffie left for the Bridge and we still miss her every day. We know Alex is smiling down on you and is proud that he had parents who cared so much.

    (((Hugs)))

    The Florida Furkids and Lexi

    1. FL furkids & lexi – It is such a hard thing letting them go… and I know I will always miss Alex everyday… I am sure he & Sniffie are now playing together looking down on us both with so much love…. Thanks for all the support… ((Hugs))

  6. Hilary,
    This was a beautiful tribute for sweet Alex.

    I wish I could take your pain away for just a moment but I know, in time, this raw hurt will turn into sweet memories. In time, when you think about Alex, your tears will turn into smiles as you remember his sweet face.
    Alex was loved deeply, he was cared for by wonderful pawrents , his life had meaning as he touched many hearts through this blog and he left this world surrounded by love.
    Blessings,
    Shawn

    1. Shawn – you are making me cry… thank you… I know you are right… Once the pain eases up a little (and I know it will) I will be able to smile and laugh. I have already started looking at pictures of him and smiled and laughed. We are trying to remember the good days and the fun times but it is hard… I am so thankful that I was able to share Alex with you guys and that you all loved him in return. This blog world really is an amazing place… Hugs…

  7. There just is never the right words, but we sure love you guys. Alex knew how much you love him, never doubt that. When you read what Gracie says on her upcoming Sister Saturday about the message she got from her Alex, remember she wrote it yesterday before we read your post today. Hugs to you and Marc from all of us.

    1. Brian – I can’t wait until Saturday to read Gracie’s post… I know that Alex knew how much we loved him and I also I know that Alex loved us (as he did his girl) but I do wish I could give him one more kiss… Speaking about love, I love you guys more than you can imagine. I am so thankful for your support and help. You have been the best friends a girl (and her cat) could ask for. I talk to Marc about you all the time. One day we have got to meet! Big hugs and lots of love to each and every one of you…

    1. Silver – thanks so much… It was hard to write – I made myself (and Marc) cry, but it helped getting my feelings out….

    1. Fuzzy Tales – while there aren’t really words to help, all the words that I have received (especially yours) have helped a lot… Hugs & purrs back XOXO

  8. Oh rats…I knew I shouldn’t have read this at work.

    I’m sending you and Marc many prayers for healing. It is so hard to lose a beloved furry, they are our children. It will get easier, but don’t push it. I’m sure Alex’s aura is still around and he wants you to remember him happily.
    {{hugs}} trish

    1. Trish – I am sorry… I guess I should have included a warning – it made me cry when I wrote it and Marc cry when I showed it to him. Thanks so much for your support and prayers… It means so much to both Marc and I. Our furbabies really are our babies (especially in marc & my case where we don’t have kids). I know it will get easier, but right now it is so hard. And you are right, Alex’s aura is everywhere – we “see him” everywhere we look and thanks to the last few weeks we smell him too 🙂 but it is funny, despite our failed attempts at cleaning, we both kind of like that…. Big hugs…

  9. this was one of the most beautiful and heartfelt tributes I have ever written.

    It was raw….as I know your emotions are right now.

    I could barely read it but knew that I must and I am glad that I did.

    We were honored to share your posts the past 2 years and honored to have gotten to know Alex through them. We are honored to not only call you and Marc our friends, but you are “family” as well.

    Sending you the biggest virtual ((((hugs)))) that I can find.

    Much love, Caren, Cody, Lenny and Dakota

    1. Caren – thank so much… it means a lot coming from you… you are right. Marc and I are both raw, but we are hanging in there. we miss alex so much… he was such a huge part of our lives and our hearts… I am so glad that I was able to share alex with you guys…. in addition I know that when I am less teary I can read all my posts and relive the good times and happy memories. I am so glad you are not only our friends but our family too (I so think of you that way) Big HUGS back…

  10. Through the tears the mom is typing for me. I am so sorry that sweet Alex had to leave. You loved him enough to let him go when he was ready. The furries do let the humans know when the time is right for them. Don’t second guess yourself. Keep him close to you in your heart and thoughts. As the days go by there will be less tears though they will never go away. Your heart will feel a little empty from the place he stole from you when you fell in love with him. That place will soon fill up with the happy memories that you two shared. Love to all at your place.

    1. Gracie – thanks to you and your mom for typing this despite the tears… I am so sorry that Alex had to leave but I understand that he couldn’t stay either. There is never enough time to spend with those you love.. But I am glad that he told us when it was time… it is amazing how smart you furries are… Little by little I am able to think of Alex and smile and remember the “good days” and put the last couple of weeks out of my mind a little. I am so glad I have so many pictures and blog posts to help. Lots of love back to you…

  11. I know it’s hard to see through the tears, but you said you prayed for a miracle but it never came. But it really did come, it just wasn’t what you were expecting. The miracle is the strength it took to be loving enough to help Alex on to this next journey. That kind of strength only comes with a miracle because it is such a hard thing to do. Hugs to you during this very hard time, I know Alex will always be in you hearts, and although it may take awhile, there will come a time when the memories will bring smiles not tears. Sending you love and prayers.

    1. Michele – wow… thanks… I never looked at it that way… but am so thankful that you did and shared. I read this comment yesterday and shared it with Marc this AM. it touched him too… It is such a hard decision to make but you are right.. having the love and the strength to help those we love find peace is an amazing thing, and the true act of compassion and not selfishness… Sending you love back

  12. Again – we are so sorry….. there is no timeline for this grief. Just when you think it is manageable, something happens. After Butterscotch died, I would still wake up weeks later expecting to see him sitting on the bed waiting for me to get the “f” up to feed him. 🙂 And then I would lay there letting it sink it that he was gone. I still expect to see Amaretto in the bathroom with her siblings. We love them so much that letting go is so hard…..but you did everything you could and that means so much. He was loved!!

    1. Random – you nailed it. I think I have stopped the tears and then all of a sudden they flow so fast and furious I dont know what hit me. This AM I went downstairs to make coffee and I forgot that Alex was gone – I went to the closet to get him a plate and food. I freaked when I realized… I think it hurts us so much because we love them so much… I am sure Alex, Butterscotch & Amaretto are all playing together now….

  13. I enjoyed reading about Alex’s adventures. He was a good cat. Coming from me, a dog, must mean he was a GREAT cat. I am sorry for you pain, but now you will carry with you the happiest of memories that Alex left with you.
    Love Noodles

    1. Noodles – Thanks.. coming from a dog that does mean a lot… and just as important, Alex loved his Noodle stories – so coming from a cat that must mean you are an amazing dog too!!!

  14. Oh Hilary. 🙁 I cannot stop the tears. It was such a shock when sweet Alex ran off like that. I was totally rooting for him to make it – a few more years, come Alex, you can beat this! Oh Alex. Bless his sweet amazing wonderful heart! He is a brave beautiful soul, an most perfect angel! Purrs and hugs to you and Marc and Gracie. Take care
    x

    1. Old Kitty – thanks so much.. I was rooting for him too. Every year he pulled through and thrived I expected the same result this time. I never allowed myself to think anything else… Which I think makes it harder and more shocking… He was an amazing man, so strong and tough with a big purrsonality… He will be so missed. I send a lot of love back to you and Charlie.

    1. Colehaus Cats – thanks.. I am sorry he had to leave but as many said, I am sure a part of him will always be with us…

  15. I know your hurting and the pain from losing a loved one is so unbearable. This is a beautiful post and Alex knows your love for him.
    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS))

    1. Debby – thanks so much… You are right.. the hurt & the pain is so intense but that only comes when you really love someone… And Marc and I really loved Alex… ((Hugs back!))

  16. Purrrrrssss }} to you & Marc.

    In time, you will celebrate Alex’s life more than you mourn his passing.

    In time, you will start laughing about some of his quirks, rather than mourning his leaving.

    In time.

    If you haven’t already seen this, it might help, a little. (bring a tissue)

    The Rainbow Bridge

    1. Lee County – I have…. and it makes me cry every time… but it is beautiful…. I know you are right.. we will start remembering the happy and the funny….rather than the sad…. And we are trying. I am so happy I have so many pictures, videos and posts of him. It helps… Big hugs!

  17. ~~~~Hello, Dears,

    I’ve been thinking about you and your furry- fabulous- miracle boy, Alex.

    I don’t know much, but I know this:

    When you take your last breath, Alex will be sprinting up to meet you in Paradise…With a FULL tail and a Wild Wonderful Purr.

    Yes, I know this to be absolutely true.

    Sending you loooooove from Minnesota. Xxx

    1. Inner Chick – I know you are right as well…. One day we will all be reunited with our loved ones…. Sending you lots of love back from NY!

  18. Now tears are streaming down my face after you so eloquently described Alex’s last days and all of its implications. What a sweetheart he is! I hope you feel his presence around you to bring you some comfort.

    And when the time is right, I hope you and Marc can find another little soul to love — for you have so much love to give. You can never replace a dear one, but helping another also helps to heal your wounds and honours the one who has passed.

    1. Wendy – I am sorry for the tears… But I wanted to share Alex’s last few days.. He was a sweetheart and we do feel his presence where ever we go. I am sure at some point Marc and I will welcome another feline into our hearts and spoil and love him as much as we did alex (another cat or two deserves to be lucky) but not for a while… We have to mourn and adjust…

    1. Jackie, Eric & Flynn – thanks… He was a beautiful boy that deserved a beautiful tribute. I hope I did him justice… Thanks for all your support… Your comments helped so much…

  19. We have tears in our eyes which are now splashing down my cheeks. I hope I can see well enough to type this.
    Your love for Alex radiates like a bright shining star. He was so blessed to have had the two of you, as you were to have him.
    He had such a great life and even though it was not long enough (what is?) he was blessed to be on this earth with you.
    I have found that unconditional love has it’s conditions and releasing them to run free is the hardest, yet most compassionate thing we as cat parents ever do.
    He will always … always be in your heart and I believe (and I hope you do too) that one day when your day comes when you cross that bridge you will meet your dear Alex in the middle and he will leap into your arm and you will be serenade by purrs.

    “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ― A.A. Milne

    purrs
    >^,,^<
    ♥Abby♥Boo♥Ping♥Jinx♥Grace♥

    And now my glasses are so smudged with tears I hope I didn't make any typos.

    1. Abby – thanks so much for such a beautiful comment – I am sorry about the tears. I agree – Alex, Marc and I were really blessed to have each other. We made sure that Alex was happy and spoiled rotten (who else has 5 litter boxes) and he made us happy, kept us laughing and showered us with love. we were both very lucky which makes this so hard… You are right… Making the choice to let them run free is the hardest thing you have to do but it is the last gift of love you give them. I am so happy we were able to make this choice and make sure that Alex rested peacefully, with us at his side, rather than alone in pain. It would have killed me for something to have happe3ned to him when we were at work… I know that we will meet again as well, but for now, I am so thankful I have so many pictures and videos of him to help me remember all the good happy times….

      ps… despite the smudged glasses I don’t see any typos!

  20. A fitting tribute, but it made me cry all over the place!

    I’m thinking about Alex all the time and am giving Squish’s little stump extra rubs. I imagine that Alex is wiggling his little stump in response somewhere, proud to be the Tailless Wonder.

    Huggs to you and Marc.

    1. Cecilia – it is funny, I am thinking of Squish all the time too… hoping that his stumpy is wiggling in honor of Alex’s….I am sure that the tailess wonder is wagging his stumpy in return. thanks so much for all your love & support.. Hugs back at ya!

    1. Lisa – thanks so much – Alex was and always will be loved… I think time is the only thing that will help ease the pain, but I know that there will always be a whole in our heart – he touched our lives so much…

  21. You made me cry again with such a beautiful post. I know he is watching over you guys and knows how well he was loved by not only you but us readers who kept up with his antics.

    1. Blueyes – sorry for the tears 🙂 I know you are right, he is watching over us.. it is funny, Alex had a sarcastic side (we would fill in the words for him, but his facial expressions said it all) and when I read your comment, I hear him say “she’s right… I am famous!” He was a cutie and will be so missed always

  22. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I know what an important part of your lives Alex was. What a wonderful way for him to pass on. With his parents at his side supporting him. You guys did the right thing. You knew he so well to know he was suffering. You weren’t selfish and prolonged it. That is why you were picked to be his parents.

    My hearts just break for you both. Having recently put down a pet, I know how much it hurts. I’m glad you are taking a blog break. You need to recharge your batteries. *hugs* Thank you for sharing Alex with all of us.

    1. Bernie – thanks so much… you made me cry… I never thought of us being picked to be his parents… but I like that…. I know you understand the loss of a beloved fur baby… it is so hard. they touch our lives in such a big way….. I am sending you big **HUGS** back…

  23. It took me a few days to be able to tell Zoo Zoo. at 2 1/2 she doesn’t quite understand that Alex is gone and she keeps asking to see him. So I bring up your blog and we scroll the old pics. See…..what a great thing it is that Alex lives on in your blog for those of us who miss him too?
    The older 2 kids are quite sad as well. They want me to print a pic of him from your blog so that they can put it in a frame —- I hope that’s okay. They also want a cat that they can name Alex 🙂 not sure that one will happen LOL

    But see dear Alex, how amazing a thing it is that you touched 3 little kiddos lives thousand of miles away? And all through a computer screen. They never held you, or pet your soft fur, or played with you……… and still they loved you.
    It was enough that you simply were. xx

    1. RoryBore – I just read this comment to Marc as both of our eyes filled with tears….WOW…. I am so happy that Alex was able to touch your kids (so far away) it really blows my mind. He was a very special boy, with a huge personality… I am so glad thanks to my blog Marc and I weren’t the only ones who really “knew him”. I am also so glad that I wrote so much about him. It is a great way for everyone (especially me) who misses him to remember the good days…. I love the picture of alex in a frame idea… Please do it… And if you want any originals emailed to you let me know… And I hope one day they get that cat Alex… I never was a cat lover – and look at me… Sending you and your kids BIG, BIG HUGS!

  24. I couldn’t help tearing up reading this, Hilary. Such a beautiful tribute to Alex. Hope you guys are feeling a little better this week… I know, it’ll take some time. Wish I could give you a hug. Instead, I’ll send you one… xoxo

    1. Susi – I wish I could have that hug too… We are doing a little better but it is still hard. Alex was such a big part of our hearts and our lives and we miss him terrible…

    1. Kwee Cats – I agree…. The love and longing for my boy will never go away. It may be easier on a day to day basis but it will always be there…

  25. Isn’t it amazing, how a creature so small can bring so much joy, and at the same time so much sorrow? But I know, as you do, that the sorrow is worth it to have lived that joy. There are no regrets with a loved pet. Alex will always be remembered for the smiles he brought forth. I hope you are able to enjoy that memory through the tears. God bless.

    1. Arlene – it is funny… Marc and I have said the same thing… It is amazing how much joy and sorrow we feel. But we do agree the love and happiness we felt for all these years is worth pain we feel now… We are trying hard to remember the good times – and I am so thankful I have so many pictures and wrote so many stories about Alex… it helps

  26. As I sit here having trouble reading the words – tears blurring my vision – I can’t help but wonder how many times you must have had to stop while writing this post…so, so sorry for your loss still, a week-plus later, I can only send you hugs and wish for your smile to return soon. Alex is indeed running free now – and right there with you even now. xoxo

    1. Kim – I had to stop and start writing more times than I can count. And when I finally finished writting that post and showed it to Marc, he cried as well…. Thank you so much for the ((hugs)) and wishes. I know you understand how hard it is… We miss Alex beyond terrible and can’t make it through a day without crying. He was a huge part of our heart and our lives and we will always love and miss him. I know you are right about Alex running free – and I try to hold onto that image as well as the thought that he is here with us. I do feel his love and pressence… But do so miss his adorable face and cute stumpy wiggles…

  27. Cats really have that way of completely getting under our skin… and losing them is really hard. Alex was a grand fellow.

    1. William – you are right.. Alex was a grand fellow – one who was totally loved and will always be missed. It is so hard… but we are trying…

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