Goodbye Julio.

On July 9, 2009 I lost my best friend. My pride and joy. My kitty, Julio.

He was 11 years old. Far too young. He was overweight but other than that showed no signs of being unhealthy. He was happy. Playing, sleeping, eating, loving every minute of life.

Julio was my sidekick. If I was home he was either beside me where I was sitting, following me to another room or sleeping in the crook of my arm….the entire night. When I came home from work he was always at the door to greet me. When I was preparing food he would be at my feet waiting for loose ends to drop. He was a part of every routine that fills my day, and without him I feel completely lost and alone.

I have never experienced grief this way. All-encompassing. No sleeping, eating or breathing without thinking of Juli. I feel as though I have lost a child. He was the closest thing I have ever known to one…and probably ever will.

He was born on my lap after all.

A pregnant stray cat I let into my first apartment to feed occassionally was relaxing on my lap, purring away, and suddenly went into convulsions. I thought she was going to puke, so I threw her off of my lap onto the floor. In mid-leap the first kitten popped out onto my lap. It was Julio. The only white kitten of the litter. The biggest one too. So I kept them all in a big moving box in my dining room. At 10 weeks old, I put an ad in the paper and gave them all away, even the stray mother. ..all except Julio. He had been the first to climb out of the box…and into my bed. I woke up one morning and he was sleeping with me instead of his mother and siblings. I knew he was meant for me then.

I was there at his birth and his death. What a tragic death it was, though.

They called it Saddle Thrombus.

It was just after 4am when I awoke to the sounds of his frantic crying and panting at the foot of my bed. I was immediately convinced that he had been poisoned. The pest control had been there the day before to spray for bugs. I thought he must be sick to his stomach from eating a poisoned bug or something. I tried to get him to drink water. I felt his nose. It was hot and dry. His panting was getting  worse and more liquid sounding. Then my boyfriend noticed that his back legs were limp and cold.

He immediately got on the phone to the all-night emergency vet clinic. I tried to calm Julio, to no avail. I scooped him up, got in the passenger seat and we ran every red light on the way.

Within 3 minutes I was told there was no hope. They recommended Euthanasia.  I ran to him, kissed his forehead, told him how much I loved him and said goodbye.

His pain and distress level was so high they could not get a vein without anesthesia.  It took a while. It was 5:30am when we headed home.

They tried to sell me the ashes and urn. Or a proper burial at a pet cemetery. I refused. I was in complete shock, but felt that I was being handed a sales pitch all the same. I have never been sentimental about the dead and my instincts took over and said no. I have been sort of kicking myself ever since, because I now have nothing physical to cling to. And I feel some kind of irrational urge to hold onto him physically, probably just because I cant. But it’s too late now. What would I do with an urn anyway?

I do have wonderful memories, though…and hundreds of pictures.

Julio was very photogenic.

What  personality he had!

That’s what I’m trying to focus on now.

The details of that horrible morning kept running through my head, relentlessly everyday until today. Today was a pretty good day. I feel that the pain is subsiding. The loneliness is still there. But the good times are more present in my mind. There were so many more good times.

Only the last hour was bad, really.

Now, I’m in the process of making a photo album with all of the pictures I took of him over the years, and considering adding a new kitty to my home. I know it will all be okay, but it will never be quite the same without Julio.meandmybaby

I love you Pumpkin-Head Kitty. I miss you so much.

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One Response to “Goodbye Julio.”

  1. Thank you for being there for my Pete when he had to go. I wish I could have been there for you and Julio too!
    Don’t think for one second that you are alone. All of us feel this way about at least ONE pet and it hurts so bad. Sorry that I didn’t read this till just now. I got on my Tweet and wondered why you weren’t following me 😛

    I still cry over my Pete, I love him so much. It’s the pictures that matter and the memories, not the ashes. I think if we DO have guardian angels, they could…. just as well, be pets… as grandmothers or other loved ones.

    Sometimes I feel a dog jump on my bed, yet neither Ben or Freya are in the room. I can’t explain it……I just know he’s there….on the other fabric of time and space, checking on me, waiting for me. I know we will see them again.


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