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Memories of A Life Cut Short

I won't be able to forget about Farley's death.  I will be reminded each year on my birthday, which is also one day after his own birthday, that it was on this day that he passed over to the Rainbow Bridge to join his fur brother Angel Gem.  I have to wonder if he didn't plan it this way, as he took his last breath about two minutes before midnight.

I should have noticed a lot sooner that my boy was ill.  I did notice some things, but I thought that he would get past it,  and a part of me didn't want to acknowledge that yet another of my fur children was ill.  He had shown the same type of symptoms that he was showing again, but he'd recovered on his own before.  I attributed it to depression because Farley was a grumpy cat who didn't appreciate living in the multi-cat environment of my home.  He was quite attached to me though, and I had begun working a lot of extra hours after my Angel Gem passed away a few months earlier on May 15th, 2001.  There had been a lot of changes in my household since Gem had passed, a lot of new members came into the household in my attempt to fill the gap left by Gem's passage.   Farley was losing weight again, but it was something he'd done before, and had always regained it and looked normal again within a couple of months.  I didn't realize that this was damaging his liver

About three weeks prior to his death, I was sitting on my bed talking to him and asking him why he wasn't eating very much again.  I told him he needed to get over himself, and try to get along with our new members.  I was petting him when I noticed that the insides of his ears were tinged with yellow.  I quickly looked in his mouth and wasn't surprised to find his gums were yellow also.  I knew immediately it was jaundice, and I also knew that once the jaundice sets in, it is difficult to reverse the damage to the liver.

I brought him to work with me at the shelter, and we started an intensive course of treatment immediately.  For the next three weeks I would carry him back and forth to work with me, reminiscent of the two months I did the same thing with my beloved Angel Gem whom I lost to cancer.

I thought that Farley was improving, he seemed to be getting a little bit better, at least he wasn't getting any worse..... or so I thought.  It was hard to tell with Farley.  He never once complained about any of the treatments or the riding back and forth in the car every day.  I never heard a peep out of him.  

On September 27,  we arrived home from work a little before midnight.  I opened the carrier and Farley didn't come out right away as he had been over the previous couple of weeks since this all began.  I was worried then,  and I coaxed him out.  He was weak in the hips and I followed him into the utility room where he collapsed.  I picked him up and carried him to my bed where I held him and spoke softly to him.  At first, I begged him not to go, and promised that things would get better.  I'd leave my job for something that would allow me to be home more.  Then, when I realized there was nothing I could do, I told him not to be frightened, that Angel Gem would show him the way.  It all happened so quickly.  I remember that I looked upward, calling for Gem and asking him to please come for his brother now and show him the way.  Farley gasped a couple of times, and cried out once, and suddenly, he lay still in my arms,  he was gone.

I laid him down on a folded blanket in the bathroom across the hall from my bedroom.  He looked so very peaceful, as though he would awaken at any moment and go about his business.

I got up periodically during the night to see if I'd been dreaming and maybe he was OK.  I still couldn't believe it, each time I checked, his body was colder, but still I continued to get up and check again.

The next day I took him to work with me thinking I would take him over to the LA Pet Memorial Cemetery and have his body cremated.  I didn't end up going, but rather I took him home again to spend another night.  I just couldn't part with his body just yet.  He just looked like he was asleep.

On Saturday morning I took him to the cemetery where he remained until Monday.   The reality set in when I picked up  the "can" that contained all that's left of my boy.  He took his place on the shelf right next to my Angel Gem and amongst the candles, and the statues of beautiful angels that reside on the shelf reserved just for them.

I get a strange sort of comfort from the fact that Angel Gem is no longer alone on that shelf.

I miss him so much already.  He always slept right next to me on the bed, and he leaves an emptiness that can never be replaced.  Take care, my love.....and I'll see you both in heaven.

Remembering Farley

A Life Cut Short

Liver Disease in Cats

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