MY CAT PASSED AWAY AND I CAN’T GET OVER IT

I believed that I was used to losing people but it turned out it is the opposite.

Fofi in Paris 2008, he never was so beautiful!

I’ve been reading philosophy since the age of 18 years old. I well aware of people dying in Yemen of hunger,or without medication, medical help.The war in Syria, with hospitals been bombed, and schools. Children, women and men been trade as slaves. The exodus from the South Sudan. The rohingyas extermination.

I lost my closest brother in car accident one month and eleven days before to his 27th birthday, which by the way, is one day after my own birthday. I was 23 years old.

Ten years after, my oldest brother was murdered with five shots in afternoon barbecue.

My mother had a first stroke 2 years ago, leaving her not walking, blind and with dementia. She getting worse and worse, lately been bedridden, not being able to sit down any more.

My cat Fofi, the one with me on the Medium picture,(that pic was a selfie with him on my birthday last October 19th) is a long story of frustration. Maybe it is the frustration of the time we could have passed together but we didn’t, that make me feel so miserable and since his death November 16th, I’m wrecked,I cry every day, some days like today, I cried several times.

I rescued Fofi in Manhattan from a roomate that didn’t feed him, didn’t caressed him or showed him any love.When I moved in, a couple of day had passed and she didn’t had fed him. I didn’t say anything to her, I only asked her why he was so skinny, which answered: “he’s just like that”!

I stared feeding him on my room, he started to hung out on my bedroom, sometimes sleep in,but he prefered to sleep at the couch, maybe because of my single bed…but never with her, she didn’t leave him to do so.

When I left her place, I took Fofi, name given by me, with me. I went to Paris, therefore I had to take him to the vet, he didn’t have chip yet, hes already neutered when she got him from a SPA, (the SPA don’t check on the pet time to time, but they should, because they don’t know if the person is a sane one!)she said he was 8 years old in 2007.

All set up, after 8 months in Paris leaving happily, my mother had breast cancer, my sister was leaving at Rome, stayed with our mother to the operation but went back to Rome after that, I have chosen to go to São Paulo, Brazil, to spend the chimiotherapy and radilogy time with my mother.

What to do with Fofi? I tried to give him away, to a family, someone, no one knew someone interested to adopted a 9 years old cat. I begged for money to my ex — boyfriend to pay the cargo ticket flight to Fofi.No way to both of us have the same flight! I had to leave him behind with an acquaintance that didn’t like cats, but he took him to the airport. It didn’t existed the possiblity to flight with the pet with us in cabine. Why didn’t I think about leavinhg him in SPA and take him back later?? It didn’tcome to me at the time…maybe he would have find someone more suitable to him than I…

After 9 and half months with my mother, her treatement finished, I decided to come back to Paris. But I couldn’t afford Fofi’s ticket and I didn’t have a place to live at. Renting in Paris is as difficult as in Manhattan. And I didn’t contact the first place we lived before because I didn’t like the lady that put me in contact with the landlord, which didn’t give me a contract as well…I do regret that I didn’t do it today that Fofi is gone.

I passed the last 7 years living in Paris in differents rooms , striving with work and being broke most of the time. I went to visit my mother in 2013, Fofi was sick, now I know, I took to vet there, an incompetent one, who didn’t asked to run any test on him,because he was eating, but he had lost a lot of weight. After all, again I have left the place I was renting and 1) I couldn’t afford to come back with Fofi, 2)I didn’t have a place to go and renting a room with a cat is not a piece of cake!

I left my mother house, without Fofi. I thought I’ll never see him again. Last year I went to visit my mother on her 80th birthday and January 2nd Fofi and I were back together to Paris. This time no more cargo, he came with me at the cabin. I’ve told my sister that I was taking him from there, because my sister made the house a SPA without being able to afford it, but out of pitty on many stray cats and dogs on the beach near by São Paulo. Eleven cats and 3 dogs leaving on one meal a day, was not something that I wanted Fofi to died in. My place wans’t the ideal place as well. A chambre de bonne, a private room on the top of the Parisian building, a 12 meters square. But I told myself:

I bought him a senior dry food, treats, and let him eat tomate sauce, when I had pasta and yogurt! Check out on this link a video of him eating from tomate sauce pot!

I started working on the end of March until the end of October, on tourism, a temp job. He adapted very fast after a time of rebellion, after having his treats, he just wanted more… Some day he didn’t want me to go out. But he got used to me going to a full time job five days a week. I need to adapt to been awaken in the middle of the night with the smell of his poop, and getting up to wipe off and throw in the toilet outside my room and coming back to sleep…Well, I thought to myself, “I used to have insomnia without him now if I’m awake at the least I have him with me…”

He complained my absentism by scrating on a paperboard that I left to him on the floor for that…and some meaow…(I want my treats now!) I felt he wanted to have more space, he didn’t have a choice that onlyt ot sleep, unless when I played with him.

I used to leave of food à la volonté and he had his treats in the morning, before I was leaving to work (same at the weekends) and when I was back from work.

He was eating, playing with a string with me as usual, when in the begining of October he started to eating less of the dry food and the treats and yogurt, I thought that was normal (cats change the taste for their food time to time)and I was going to change his food. I didn’t got him to vet near by because of its pricey fees. The only vet for poor people in Paris a dispensaire, was far away with the subway, which it will mean more time spend in the carrier to Fofi!The veterinarian that gave him the rabbia shots and the documentation to leave Brazil, told me only to: take him to vet there when possible. As a job seeker, I didn’t do it, with a job I didn’t have the time to go to the dispensaire during the week without missing a day or two of work. Money doesn’t makes us happy, but not having it to be able to take of our loved ones is not easy either.

Then he really stopped eating the dry food, but kept eating the treats, I had 3 kilos left yet and I had purchased in the internet a new food for him. For urinary problems kind of food.Within 3 days, in a weekend in top of that, because the “poor” vet is not open at the weekends, Fofi had stop to eat at all, therefore no poop at all, and his belly was swollen. I touch his belly, he didn’t showed any pain or disconfort. I took him to the vet on Monday, thinking that he was done. The only thing to do to show him my love to him, was to make his death to be without pain.The new food had arrived, with some vitamin paste and fish oil. He only had the chance to taste the wet food that I had bought at the pet shop, the vitamin and the oil, through the syringe.

Four hours awaited. Two veterinarians. The one we got, was a young Frenchman that took forever to find (while poking several times) out on his neck a vein to run a blood test. He touche Fofi’s belly and like myself his thought, if the cat is not showing pain, is a good sign. But his belly was huge in comparison to his body! The blood test turned out 50/50 chances. To be back next day (they were closing) to receive an interfusion of saline solution. He’s said about him being so skinny that Fofi was dehydrate.

And he said that I didn’t need to feed him with a syringe like I thought I should, that my cat will eat by himself…Well he didn’t, actually I fed him with food with a syringe (without the needle of course!), just to give him something to the next day.

On the next day at the afternoon, the only time they are open for consultation,while Fofi is up for receiveing the interfusion of saline ( one and half bag),inside a carrier besides me for hours at the waiting room, he was trying to walk, probably thinking he could get rid of that thing on his arm.I went to eat something and came back, he still having force to scratch against the the carrier. He didn’t enjoy receiving the interfusion at all!The other vet came by ( Fofi was on the second saline bag, therefore afters hours receiving and struggling aith it for nothing)and only looking at him, said “ come with me miss, I will do an ultrasound on him”.

He did it. He looked at me and said: “He’s not well”. He pulled three syringes fulled with a clear liquid from his belly.From there “I got it”, and I started to cry, when the vet left the room to talk to his collegue.

Fofi and I go to the firts vet’s office and he asked me what my collegue had said: “well that he’s not well, so what should I do? to Euthanasia him?”

The vet said to wait a couple of days, but eventually that will be an option. Without telling me why, I was so overwhelmed with sadness that I only ask about what to do next, that night, next day. The vet gave me a prescription to start to give him from Friday, we were on a Wednesday. That Fofi will probably eat by himself that evening…I got hope to have him for a few more days, to prepare to let him go. When I left the clinic the other Vet was by the reception and I said to him “thank you” for intervening.The receptionist didn’t charge me for the ultresound. I thought because the other vet, the one in charge of the clinic and whom have asked for the ultrasound, knew that his collegue charged me for the blood test the day before for nothing. But neither him or I did the first step to ask/tell to each other what the other vet had said! I felt he didn’t want to step on his collegue feet(even if he was “the boss”) and I was afraid to piss him off ( the “bad” vet) for an eventually next time with my cat veins…

When we got home, Fofi was really bad, wans’t walking anymore, I fed him with a syringe on his mouth, he was sleeping with me, and he had difficulty to step down and go to his bawl of water. We didn’t sleep much either. And he wans’t drinking water anymore. Suprisingly in the morning, I left the door open and he went to the floor below, he was walking with difficulty but walking and stopping and walking again! I turn back to my room to turn of the cattle and he was able to go down stairs. I couldn’t believe he had managed to that! He was at front of a door-room, sitting, I came back to my room again, trying not to be on him all the time, giving him some space. I found out he was able to pee on a old rag I’ve had left for this “use” on the floor, much esysier to get “in” than his “toilette”. I left him do it also, thinking in my heart that the next day maybe, if he wouldn’t have got better, I will euthanasia him. He got inside a neighbor’s room when she opened her door, she came up stairs to tell me, I went there and I took him back in my arms and I put him on my bed. I want to the drugstore to buy that prescription the vet had given to him, I checked first in the internet, it was a anti-inflammatory, I thought giving it to him will help out to fall asleep. He stayed prostrate all day long, I thought he was tired, maybe he’ll get better tomorrow?

In the evening he starts to meaow and jumped from the bed to the floor, trying to hide underneath the bed, I gave him water and food with the syringe and one more pill crushed, like it was on the prescription, twice a day, morning and evening. It calmed him down,I thought he will be prostrated like he was during the day and we are going back to the clinic tomorrow. Time to go to bed, at 2 am I woke up with his grunt, I jumped to switch the light on, he was breathing with difficulty, he screamed, meaow in a horrible, painful way, my Fofi meaow so little, he used to purr a lot and so loud…I’m catholic and devoted to Mary, and as I passed the day praying to her to not leave Fofi suffered while dying, at the first painful meaow I thought: “Please Holy Mary, have mercy on him”, then the second very loud meow came, longer this time, and I asked out loud “ Please our Lady, have mercy on him”, then he stopped breathing.He had a muscle spasm breathing but he was already dead. I can’t stop crying while writing this. But at the moment I was petrified, almost not believing what was happining! Like wakening from a nightmare I took a while to start to cry. I don’t know why I took my phone and took a picture of him and of his front white paws that I venerated so much!

Then I cried smothering the noise thinking about the neighbors. I left him besides me when I tryied to sleep around 5 am, because the clinic is open from 1pm to stop by and leave my Fofi’s body to be incinerate with other pets which is the less expensive way.

I told the vet assistant and the receptionist at the clinic reception and the “good” vet at the clinic, that was clear that my cat didn’t need to pass throughout all of this, the unnecessery interfusion of saline, (which by the way, the “bad” vet said that he will need several days of it),the pain at the time of his death. Did he have a heart attack? The main thing to do was the ultrasound. And giving myself hope. But I thanked him again to step up and be maybe the “nosy” pain in the neck collegue, but egos apart, as doctors or veterinarians needs to put first the health and confort of their patients.

I kissed my cat good bye and give her the bag with my cat inside, I was not alowed to go where the leave the pets body’s and the operation room are. She came back giving me my packback back, overwhemeld with tears I left the clinic, I couldn’t stop them. The assistant ran after me to give the incineration paper signed by the doctor. At home I’ve realized that they didn’t asked me to pay for the incineration either…

Fofi’s trademark:Sitting/lying with one arm straight in front of him!2017

I walk wondering around the city freezing up, went to a church to pray for his soul and I lighted a candle for him. I couldn’t go home where every single inch of it reminds me of him. I went for a movie, tired and hungry I finally at the evening went back home. To cry more.The next days I’ll leave home to go to the movies and walk around. Not been working, it doesn’t help much. I live by myself, and evry single gesture, from waking up and not having him next to me, or making me a cup of tea and not having him waiting for his treats, not speaking about the kisses and cuddling I use to do to him, when I was eating he was always there, even the toilet moment, sometimes he used to follow me (because it is outside my room) and go to “a walk” on the floor below, when I’m cooking he used to be sit straight waiting calmly or not, for “his” share. Doing my pilates and not having him “disturbing” me, looking for attention, coming back home, opening the door and not seen him anymore on the bed! Eating yogurt or anything with tomate sauce and not having him to share with and being happy for making him happy…

I gave the food that he didn’t want to eat anymore to an ex-collegue that has a cat and a dog in apartment on the Parisian suburbs and I returned to the company that new food and treats that he haven’t eaten. And this company Zooplus, a german one, sent me today only, December 12th an e-mail for a wired return money, short of 15 euros from the due amount! Another disapointment…

I searched on the internet to read about especial food for cats’ urinary problems, and this time, I added “scam” at the end of my phrase.

I found out for the first time, some veterinarians and whistle-blowers, French and English alike, about the pet food industry. Feeding our animals, especially cats with something not natural at all: grains. Sometimes with feathers and/or horses/goats/shoes.

A cat is only canivorous in nature. He or she doesn’t eat whole grains with a nice chunck of mouse!

I read about the raw feeding for cats and dogs. It make lot of sense. The food industry don’t respect human beings what can we expect for animals? If I will ever have another pet, more likely a cat, I will feed him or her with raw meat or with BARF for a dog. Especially when they are young, to get used to it.

I can’t stop to go to the moments that “I should have known” or “I should have done this or that”, feeling guilty, to the moments that I’m giving myself the absolution, logically seen that I did the best I could. I miss him forever. I knew that we didn’t live together like I wished for and he was happy about.

One day in the Manhattan apartment, he listened to his previous owner coming back home at the stairs and went to the door to wait for her. She opened the door pass through him and not even looked at him. We exchanged a “Hi”. She went to her room, and I looked at Fofi and he was still put looking back at her with a such sad look…It was a heart breaking.

I know that he felt loved by me. He looked at me with love, and this is the only confort I really have, that he have known what being love is. Even if it wans’t all the years of his life or since we have met. He didn’t leave his life without knowing that.

I’m sorry Fofi that I wasn’t able to do better. Please forgive me. Thank you for your love. I miss you so much!

Fofi in Paris in 2017

Feminist, nonconformist, essaist