I was waiting to write this post because I had to be absolutely sure that the month was behind us. Because oh, what a month it was.
As you might recall in my last post, I had said that I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be mentally. It’s one of those things that I just can explain easily – I didn’t feel good and wanted to be left alone. I couldn’t pin the blame on any one person or thing either. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a full-blown case of depression but perhaps a mild form of it. Whatever it was, I was starting to slowly pull away from its grip and get my life back on track.
Then along came August 2021.
Our cat Monte, all of 11 years ago, was acting a little off so we started to keep a closer eye on him. I mean Monte was lazy to begin with but he seemed out of sorts. Then one day he tried to get up and stumbled and couldn’t get up so we rushed him to the vet.
Their assessment showed that he was suffering from anemia and it required a whole battery of tests and procedures with a good chance that he would not come out of them alive. When the vet gives you two options with one of them being euthanasia, the choice becomes painfully obvious. I couldn’t put my little dude through all that and we decided to end his suffering because he was indeed in pain.
We had a little memorial for Monte when we got his ashes. I wrote a long eulogy for my buddy and placed his ashes on our bookcase, facing the patio door since he used to love being outside and pretending he was King of the Jungle.
But what sucks was that I couldn’t be there for him when they put him down and that absolutely punches me in the gut to this day. He deserved for someone to be there and comfort him but the vet wouldn’t let me for whatever reason, perhaps due to COVID protocols. I can still see him being carried away by the vet in a towel. I stood there and cried until I couldn’t see either of them anymore, and Ann had to grab my arm and lead me out of the office.
Back into my mild depression I went. Monte was my cat and we raised him from a kitten so this hurt me a lot, and my funk only got worse. The following week was absolute hell – I looked for him in the places I would typically find him and he wasn’t there. I still do, and a piece of me died with him. My little dude was no more.
Then…I got a flat tire. Well, not so much a flat tire but I discovered a screw had impaled my tire and because of where it was, it could not be replaced. There’s $200 I didn’t need to spend.
Then a few days later…Steve.
Granted, Steve was nearing 15 and hardly doing much of anything these days but we took him to the vet, literally the day after picking up Monte’s ashes, because he didn’t look okay but had his usual appetite and was talking as he normally did.
They found that Steve had a mass on his stomach and doing any kind of procedure as his age was risky, so we didn’t have much of a choice. Steve was Anthony’s cat – true buddies. They shared tacos the night before, he let Anthony get away with things we couldn’t, and was his friend for the last 7 years. But knowing what we knew, saying goodbye to Steve was a little more comforting since there was literally nothing that could be done to save him.
Honestly, I think Monte’s passing didn’t help him because he seemed to decline awfully fast after that.
But unlike Monte, I was able to stay when he was put down. And as I have with my other pets, I recited Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” before the vet administered the chemicals that would end his pain.
Steve’s ashes are next to Monte’s. They are together again, both facing the great outdoors. We miss our guys so much.
It was not an easy month and we were only halfway through it. But thankfully, me and Anthony had tickets to see Foo Fighters on August 26 – rescheduled from July 17 due to one of the crew having COVID.
It was what we needed and was rescheduled at the perfect time in our lives. Anthony and I got there early, enjoyed some dinner, listened to the sound check from outside the venue, just had some quality father-son time at his first real rock show which was absolutely electrifying. (We also have tickets for Tyler the Creator, Pet Shop Boys/New Order, and Elton John in 2022.)
We ended the night by having street dogs in the parking lot then drove over to Randy’s Donuts for some sugary goodness. We deserved it.
Things were finally looking up. Then I went for my walk the next day and noticed that my other rear tire was low. Like, totally flat. Um. Yeah.
This was my breaking point. I had put up with everything that was being dealt to us the best way possible but finally had enough. After seeing this, I calmly told Ann to join me in the den where I lit some incense, sat down, closed my eyes and in a trance-like state, told whatever was doing this to us that we didn’t deserve it, we don’t want anymore, and to leave us alone.
It seems to have worked. As of this post, nothing else catastrophic has happened and I’m feeling a little better. The pain of losing Monte and Steve still lingers but that will subside in time. The tires and vet bills were an expense we didn’t need but fortunately, I had a credit card available to handle the vet bills and cash stored away to take care of the tires.
Not to mention Anthony starting his senior year of high school on campus for the first time in over a year. Bittersweet but exciting for all of us.
August 2021 was probably one of the most unbelievable months we’ve ever gone through, but we made it. I can only hope September treats us a little more kindly, and the bad mojo has packed up and left us once and for all.