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Sumo, I am missing you

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I don't know where to start. I wasn't going to write about Sumo at all, but tonight, like so many nights, I can't sleep because I am crying and I miss him so much. My husband is in the Army and before he went overseas, we got Sumo and Geisha, two black-and-white kitties. We got Sumo originally to keep me company, but then we got Sumo a "little sister" to keep him company!

But Sumo was really and truly my buddy, my companion, a "mama's boy" - and I swear he followed me everywhere and could not be more than a foot away from me at all times. He waited for me when I took showers, he slept on the desk when I was on the computer, he curled up on my lap when I watched TV, and he slept in his spot, right next to my pillow, on the bed.

I was so sad missing my hubby after he got deployed that I tried to keep busy taking classes and getting out of the house and wasn't at home as much so that I wouldn't have time to be "alone" and think. In mid-July, he seemed a little sick so I took him to the vet but it was much, much worse than I thought. I found out he probably had lymphoma based on his symptoms (they ruled out leukemia by a blood test). His left kidney was swollen, he was very sick, and I was just in shock. I couldn't grasp what the vet was telling me or deal with the options he gave me.

I knew right away that we couldn't afford the lab work plus chemo, so that day they gave him a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling and some pills to ease any discomfort. Then I took him home to spend as much time with him as I could.

I don't think I ever cried so much as I did the two days from the time I brought him home till when I brought him back to the vet to have them put him to sleep, and all the days since then. I struggled with so many questions - How do I know it's the right time, and do I give him the peace he deserves but shorten his life, or do I let him go on in discomfort or suffering, just because I am selfish and don't want to let him go? How could I have not seen his symptoms (pinkish not red gums, weight loss - he and Geisha shared a food bowl, I didn't see him eating but the food was gone, dry nose)? Why didn't I bring him to the vet earlier (and yet he told me it would not have changed anything)?

I was in too much shock and disbelief to know what to do. My friend came over and saw him and how thin he had gotten (why had I not noticed earlier???) and she told me, "He will tell you when it's time. But it would be cruel to let him go on like this for even another day." And the next morning, at 6:00am, sure enough, he limped into my room crying a tiny, pitiful "mew, mew." It broke my heart because I never saw him limp before or cry like that! It was like after the vet visit, he was getting worse or he was finally free to show me all the pain he was in (like, "OK, Mom, now you've talked to the doc, so he's told you what's going on with me...."). This is a kitty that was not a talker at all and I felt like he really was telling me it was time. I did not want to but I knew it was our only option with him being so ill and us not being able to afford further treatment.

So now it has been 1-1/2 months since he has been gone and I cry buckets all the time. I feel like it gets better and then I try to sleep and all of a sudden I am crying like there is no tomorrow. I know that it is a combination of missing my husband and grieving our loss of Sumo, and I feel like there is this sorrow and grief that is so heavy on me sometimes, like I can cry and cry and never run out of tears. He was my little guy and he was only 1 year and 4 months when I found out about his illness. So young! He didn't like to be held when he was a kitten, but eventually I got him used to being held in my arms like a baby and I would rest him against my chest. My husband would just roll his eyes and laugh because he knew Sumo was my baby. Sumo just wanted to be near me and I was comforted by his presence. I am always thinking about him now, wishing I could bring him back.

I held his head when he got the injection and he looked like he was just sleeping, and when I got home, I looked for him and of course he was not there. One night I woke up and thought I saw his shadow next to me but it was a teddy bear. I desperately miss him and I want to tell him I'm sorry that I wasn't a better mommy and didn't have it all together then, financially and otherwise, because he really was my precious angel and even though I didn't always give him my full attention because I was so sad all the time, I always loved him and he was my little buddy. I never realized how much I depended on him to always be there by my side.

Sumo, you were the sweetest, gentlest angel and I miss you SOOOOOO much. I will never, ever forget you, and there will never be another kitty like you. You were and always will be my precious baby. Be in peace and may your soul be at rest. I love you always.

Here is Sumo as a baby @ 11 weeks old.



Four months old, in one of his favorite spots - our desk...



When we first got Geisha... "Mom, she's drinking my water!!"



Sumo on the left, Geisha enjoying my sweater on the right.



The computer techs!





post #2 of 17
Oh my goodness!, and what a little cherub Sumo was as well

Bless his little heart, he's been through it hasn't he but know that you did everything you could to help Sumo, and he'll know this!

RIP Sumo sweetie but have fun over the bridge with all your new friends
post #3 of 17
Poor baby....What a beautiful face!

So sorry for your loss. Just remember Sumo will be running over the bridge with as many kitty treats as he can handle!
post #4 of 17
How could I have not seen his symptoms.

Are you a vet? Hindset is a terrible thing sometimes. I ask myself if I should have recognise renal failure in my little Carmen all the time, but the simple truth is we are often blind to these things, and blaming yourself, whilst a natural function of grief, will only serve to prolong your own pain. When you recognised there was a problem, you acted in your pet's best interest. That is all that counts, and all he would of wanted, or could have expected.

- How do I know it's the right time, and do I give him the peace he deserves but shorten his life, or do I let him go on in discomfort or suffering, just because I am selfish and don't want to let him go?

Wow, well done for having the maturity to recognise that selfishness can have an impact on our actions. I wish I was as honest with myself as you are. I suspect you made better decisions than I would have done, and shouldn't be berating yourself.

One night I woke up and thought I saw his shadow next to me but it was a teddy bear.


I wouldn't be so certain. I believe our loved ones watch over us to see how we are getting on, and take comfort from that belief.


I want to tell him I'm sorry that I wasn't a better mommy and didn't have it all together then, financially and otherwise, because he really was my precious angel and even though I didn't always give him my full attention because I was so sad all the time, I always loved him and he was my little buddy.

This is one of the sweetest things I have read on this board. I don't believe for a moment you have anything to apologise for. You blatently loved your pet with all your heart and , for a pet, this is paradise. We cannot always control our financial situation, and this has an inevitable and sometimes sad effect on the treatment that can be offered.

However, you made the decision to put yourself through pain and end his pain. How courageous, how selfless. The bravest thing a pet owner cat do is listen to the needs of the animal that shares their life, not their own selfish heart. And you did exactly that. Sumo let you know when he needed peace, and you listened, knowing all the time it would only begin your own pain.

So, personally, I would hold my head high, and know I have had the moral and emotional strength to make the most difficult decision of all. You have elected to remove all pain and siffering from your pet, and take that suffering yourself.

Bless you, and well done. Sumo must be so proud of you.
post #5 of 17
I am so sorry about the loss of Sumo, I went through exactly the same when I had to have Lucy put to sleep because of Lymphomas. She also told me it was time when I checked on her about 2am and found her hiding behind the sofa, she couldn't walk as she was too weak, and in the morning she started crying like I have never heard a cat cry before (and I hope I never hear that again ) we knew it was time to end any suffering and I called the vet (who was marvellous and so kind)

I did question myself many times about her weight loss, sticky fur, lack of cleanining herself, licking the concrete flower pots outside, and if I had spotted these things earlier and acted on them earlier maybe things would be different. But I know that I did the best for her and she is at peace now.

Now nearly a year later I am finally starting to get over it, and I only remember the good times I had with her, I still miss her terribly sometimes though, she was my little angel.

RIP Sumo
post #6 of 17
Oh my gosh, your little Sumo was an angel. So is Geisha.
I feel your pain. Lots of us here are going through the same thing you are. I lost my Max to sudden renal failure in July. He was almost thirteen years old and in spite of having two other cats, Max was my soulmate. I wish there was someway to take away your pain. But it is a daily process. Cry when and all you want to because it helps. Sometimes I just know I have cried myself dry, but then all of a sudden here comes more tears and my heart feels so empty. It is a hard thing to make that decision for your pet, especially when you get the dr's prognosis and don't wait. But I did the same thing you did. I once had a cat for twelve years when she developed cardiomypathy. We did everything the vet offered, even when he said the best possible for her was probably a year. She did get better for a short time, but it didn't last and we lost her anyway. I had to watch her suffer for about three weeks and tend to her everyday like she was a baby. I made my mind up then that I would never hold onto another animal just because it hurt to let one go. So when I got the prognosis for Max, we let the dr. keep him several days. The dr. really thought he could bring Max out of it and then that he would be okay with periodic fluids and a change of diet. After three days, Max was worse. The vet said he could do some other things to try and prolong his life. I was not ready to do that again. I loved my Max enough to let him die dignified because he had always been a dignified cat. That is what you did. You are a strong person. You did the right thing for your animal. If you were a millionaire, you still would have to let Sumo go at some point. Our animals don't live forever and there always comes a time when we lose them. I am sure you feel like I do, and that is, the joy Sumo brought you even in his short life is worth the pain of losing him. Take comfort in your precious memories.
The other thing I wanted to tell you is, concentrate on the cat you still have. I make myself spend more time with these two cats I still have and I am loving them and appreciating them more every day. Are they Max, no, but they are still very special pets and who knows how much of this hole in my heart they will fill if I allow it.
Sumo, you were a blessed cat to have someone who loves you so much. Rest in peace little one. Look for a big black and white tuxedo cat whose name is Max. He will keep you company for now.
And last please know that millions of people everywhere are praying for all those in our military. Hats off to your husband and send him a personal thank you from Barbara. I appreciate all those who are willing to step up to the plate and protect this country.
God bless and keep him safe every day while he is away from home.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
Oh my goodness!, and what a little cherub Sumo was as well

Bless his little heart, he's been through it hasn't he but know that you did everything you could to help Sumo, and he'll know this!

RIP Sumo sweetie but have fun over the rbidge with all your new friends
Susan, what a warm message. Yes, Sumo was a sweetie and truly a little angel. He let me clip his nails without ever a problem, and he never, ever once bit or scratched me, not even while playing! He was a gentle soul, an unbelievably tender and quiet soul - he was such a sweetheart and he made our world a better place. Thank you - and, by the way, your kitties are beautiful!
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane_vernon
Poor baby....What a beautiful face!

So sorry for your loss. Just remember Sumo will be running over the bridge with as many kitty treats as he can handle!
Jane, I appreciate your message. I believe he is playing with the other kitties and enjoying his healthy strong body, and waiting for me, over the bridge, too. My coworker actually sent that to me and it was the first time I had ever read Over the Rainbow Bridge. It was the most comforting thing for me to imagine him being whole and well again.... God bless whoever penned those words....
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Gareth, thank you for your words. I'm so sorry for your little Carmen, too. It is amazing how these little creatures can just fill our hearts and lives with so much love and laughter. Every one of these little kitties has a different face, voice, personality - they are our children! We don't have kids (yet), but I actually sometimes wonder if something is wrong with me because I think I care more about my cats than my friends (or my friends' human kids) sometimes! eek! Maybe because our kitties are dependent on us for everything, and they love unconditionally and never hurt us intentionally.... They love regardless of how much money we have, what we look like, what we've said. We (people) have so much to learn from them.

I'm thankful for every moment I had with Sumo and though it is hard for me to accept that I couldn't change anything (I can't help but feel responsible because he was my baby, under my care, and he was just so young), I will remember him always and treasure all the time we had together.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaG
I am so sorry about the loss of Sumo, I went through exactly the same when I had to have Lucy put to sleep because of Lymphomas. She also told me it was time when I checked on her about 2am and found her hiding behind the sofa, she couldn't walk as she was too weak, and in the morning she started crying like I have never heard a cat cry before (and I hope I never hear that again ) we knew it was time to end any suffering and I called the vet (who was marvellous and so kind)

I did question myself many times about her weight loss, sticky fur, lack of cleanining herself, licking the concrete flower pots outside, and if I had spotted these things earlier and acted on them earlier maybe things would be different. But I know that I did the best for her and she is at peace now.

Now nearly a year later I am finally starting to get over it, and I only remember the good times I had with her, I still miss her terribly sometimes though, she was my little angel.

RIP Sumo

Emma, I can relate to everything you said, as those symptoms sound like what Sumo experienced. I'm so sorry about your precious Lucy. I feel just the way you described, and sometimes when I'm doing something, a memory of what Sumo used to do will come to mind and it makes me chuckle. The nights are hard, when I wish that he was sleeping on the bed being my guardian angel by my head.

But about a month after his passing, my husband wanted me to get a kitten, a new little brother for Geisha. I was so drained of energy (thinking about a kitten, ugh!) that I didn't think that I could do it, but I realized Geisha was starting to get very independent and content on her own, so I got Kuri (4-1/2 month-old orange striped tabby) from the humane society. (We wanted a younger kitty because Geisha was now "the boss" of the house.)

Now, even though I miss Sumo like crazy still, I put as much time and attention as I can into these two. Whereas before the house felt so empty, Kuri has brought back a lot of noise and laughter again. I know that if Sumo was still here, we wouldn't have gotten Kuri, and Kuri is quite a character - I now can't imagine not having this little orange boy running around!, but still, I wish we had all three!!! And I think Sumo would have loved Kuri, too.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Barbara, your message is beautiful. Thank you for sharing about Max. I can see how much you loved him, too!

Geisha is naturally independent so she wasn't coming to me on her own very much after Sumo was gone, but then my husband reminded me that she was "his" cat (so I needed to take good care of her, he said!), so I started spending more time with her and talking to her, and I guess it's true that you get what you give, because I am much more aware of her and I feel like we communicate. Geisha looks up at me with big eyes when she wants love and attention (she's also a silent kitty) and trots quickly alongside me if I am on my way somewhere in the house but she hasn't had her fill of behind-the-ear-scratches yet. She also stretches out on/up my leg, like I am a big tree. silly kitty.

So, in spite of my sorrow, missing Sumo, I know that life goes on, esp. for these kitties who still need my attention and love. I'm still a mama to Geisha and little Kuri and I give them so many kisses and hugs every day that they must think I'm a little overprotective!

Barbara, I know that Sumo will be running and playing with your Max, too. I'm so glad he has a friend there over the rainbow. And thank you for your kind words about my hubby. He loves his country and he's proud to serve it. I know he will appreciate your kind thoughts.

PS- here is a picture of Kuri with Geisha, who is sharing her toy with him (what a good big sis). This is from their first week together.



Geisha, big sister, supervising Kuri's play-



And one last pic, for the road... This is Geisha resting with, I mean, ON Sumo (this is from last year).... RIP Sumo, your family loves you.


Thanks for caring enough to share your thoughts and support, everyone.

Jeane
post #12 of 17
Sumo sounds like such a sweet, gentle boy. He was lucky to have someone in his life that loved him so much. I'm so sorry for your loss and that your time with him was so short. I lost my sweet boy Willie to kidney failure before his fifth birthday, so I know what you're going through. My thoughts and prayers are with during this difficult time. RIP Sumo.
post #13 of 17
What a loving and beautiful friend you had with Sumo. I empthize with your tears so much that im at work with my door closed to hide the swollen eyes i carry.
Find comfort in him knowing your love for him. Cats are truly perceptive creatures. Feel the blessing of being with him at his last momments no matter how hard the memory. It is so much harder coming home to find a sudden loss without knowing than being there with him with the knowledge of your actions are only due to your love for him.

I hope you find this comforting, I carry it with me always:
“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea birds in the air and animals of the land. You inspired St. Francis to call of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless “Sumoâ€. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God in all your creatures! Amen.â€

I will also pray for your husband to return home safely. And make sure to tell him "thank you" from all of us for hearing the call and answering.

Ric
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Middletown
“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea birds in the air and animals of the land. You inspired St. Francis to call of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless “Sumoâ€. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God in all your creatures! Amen.â€
this is lovely - a comfort to me. your words of tribute to sumo were lovely, as well - i'm sitting here with tears running down my face - i also feel those 'had i only noticed' feelings when i remember my soulmate kitty, Mouse. to you in your time of grief....
post #15 of 17
What a wonderful tribute to Sumo, he was such a handsome guy. There are so many of us on this forum that know how you feel. I lost my sweet Vinnie in June to panluek, he was only 5 months old.
Please know that it does get easier, I cherish each and every minute I had with him and I know in my heart I will hold him again. Sumo was lucky to have such a loving mommy.
post #16 of 17
you did the right thing for your little baby,i know how you feel.I am so close to my lily and if anything happened to her i dont think i could cope with it. We have such a special bond,its like she knows what im thinking about and she knows when im sad. Dont blame yourself for this tragedy,it was out of your hands. At least he is out of pain now,he was such a cutie!
post #17 of 17
This entire thread is just so moving! I feel like I know Sumo, from your descriptions and pics. And am so happy to hear that you have opened your heart and your home to little Kuri!

Thank your husband for his service to our country. And thank you for being here to support him while he is overseas.

Condolences on the loss of Sumo. Rest in peace, little one!
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