Saturday, September 26, 2009

Broken Hearted Over Briscoe

Today was possibly one of the hardest, most beautiful days of parenting I have yet to experience.

It all started last night when I was woken up to what I thought was a scream from one of the boys. I laid there, half awake, trying to figure out what had just happened, when I heard it again, but realized that it wasn't coming from the boys, but from our cat Briscoe. I thought he was outside and had been hurt by another animal, but when I went to let him in I heard his cries again and realized it was safe and sound in our utility room a.k.a. Bricscoe's room. I went in and found him straining for breath and dragging his hind legs and making an ungodly noise I never knew a cat could make.

I'll save you the trauma and tears that came (mostly from me) afterwards, but after taking Briscoe to an emergency vet we found out he had suffered from the feline equivalent of Deep Vein Thromboisis. Apparently he had had a heart conditon that caused clots in his blood, one of which lodged somewhere and caused paralysis in his hind legs and possibly his lungs. He made it to the vet, and through the night, but in the morning we found that the only option was to put him to sleep.

I've never had to make that decision about a pet, and it broke my heart. But the worst of it was telling the boys this morning after we got the call from the vet. They both cried, of course, but before too long went on to their daily routines. But as Jack and I were lying on the grass talking he brought up that he was sad about Briscoe, and I told him I was too, and then he said "It's like when we die, right?" That hit me like a punch to the stomach. I answered "yes," and he seemed okay with that. It's amazing how losing a pet has made Jack, and me, much more aware of our own mortality.

After that Jack and I went into the kitchen and I made pizza for dinner and Jack drew a picture of Briscoe, added his name, and a broken heart. That about sums how we're all feeling. That and when we were looking at his collar that has a bell on it with the boys before they went to bed tonight and the sound of it brought us all to tears.

We're going to miss you Briscoe, but were so glad you were part of our lives for eight years. I hope you're out there chasing squirrels somewhere, and catching every one of them.


Mikilani said...

Laura, I'm so sorry to hear about Briscoe. It must be especially heartbreaking because you just got him back... My thoughts are with you and the rest of your family. :(

lara said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. How traumatic for everyone. Jack's poster tribute is a tear-jerker.

Patricia said...

Laura - this is so sad. I'm sorry. Your words describing what happened and what you feel are both sad and beautiful. Your hope for Briscoe does bring a smile to my face; I'm sure he is having a great time chasing and catching squirrels. What a beautiful thought of him doing this. And Jack - he is just too precious.

Adam said...

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear about Briscoe! And I'm so sorry that he was in so much pain and discomfort! I'm glad that you guys decided to put him down, even though I'm sure it was an insanely difficult decision to make. :( We've lost a number of foster kitties, including 4 within 24 hours this past week, and I always cry uncontrollably when it happens... I can't even imagine how I will feel when it is one of our own cats with whom we have so many memories. I'm so sorry for the loss that you are all dealing with right now. :( Our thoughts are with you!

Adam said...

sorry, that last comment was from Kate Bailey.... I didn't realize that Adam had signed in. :)

Cha Cha Snow said...

That's so sad! I remember losing my favorite cat when I was about 10, it was just heartbreaking. Hope everyone's doing well.