Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

This is supposed to be a blog mostly about health and fitness. Unfortunately, neither of those things have come into play in my life over this last week. Friday night, Cesar noticed that our cat, Syd, was breathing a little heavier than normal. She’s gotten kitty colds a couple of times in the last few years, so we decided we’d see how she was on Saturday morning and take her to the vet to get some antibiotics if she was still feeling rough. When I went to check on her in the morning, her face was covered with dried mucus and she was very lethargic. We took her to the vet where they did some blood tests and took an xray. To make a long (and sad) story short, the diagnosis was carcinoma and we were told to expect the worst. I was supposed to go to Miami on Saturday to run a half marathon, but I decided that spending time with my sweet cat was far more important than any race would ever be, so I stayed home instead.


Syd ended up in the ICU in an oxygen chamber which kept her comfortable for about day, but the cancer was so severe that even on oxygen, it became clear that keeping her alive was not in her best interests, and Cesar and I let her go early Tuesday morning. So instead of racing and lifting and cooking and enjoying deliciously healthy treats these last few days, I’ve been mourning the loss of the most precious cat I’ve ever known by laying around my house cuddling with pugs and a sad husband and eating S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (these are amazeballs, btw) and peanut butter straight from the jar.

However, today is Thanksgiving, and instead of focusing on the deep sadness of losing the cat who has been my faithful companion for the last 11 years, I’ve decided it’s time to reflect on all the amazing gifts in my life. I’m grateful that I did get so many years with Syd. We adopted her from the Humane Society, and all they could tell us about her was that she had been found out in the country as a stray. She was an affectionate cat with an adventurous streak; she never met a fence from which she didn’t want to escape. She was also a teacher – she showed my best friend’s kitten how to use a litter box and taught my oldest pug how to sit on the very top of any piece of furniture. I have a very saggy couch thanks to her passing on that piece of knowledge. She loved to lick butter and sit in weird places like empty boxes, half unpacked suitcases, and on top of empty flower pots. Our time together was a beautiful gift, and I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

syd collage
I’m thankful to have a husband who is kind, generous, smart, and ambitious, but who also knows how to act like a little kid and make me giggle like a school girl, even when he is sporting a ridiculous mustache for Movember. I’m grateful for my awesome family. There has never been a single moment of my life when I haven’t felt their love and support, and even from across the country, they share in my grief over Syd and do what they can to let me know they are there for me. I’m thankful for good friends who have known me since childhood and have been there for me through virtually every major life experience I’ve ever had, both good and bad, as well as those I have met here in Tampa – the kind who understand when I cancel on a race we’ve been planning together for nearly a year and who not only motivate me to get off my butt and run when all I really want to do is sit around and wallow but who also don’t mind when I talk about my cat for 10 miles of a 20 mile run. Lastly, I’m glad I still have two pugs who brighten all my days with their silly antics and remind me on a daily basis what it means to unconditionally love another living being.

thanksgiving collage
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and laughter. I just got home from feasting on a delicious dinner that I did not have to cook (score!), and now I am about to give in to my food coma and pass out.

Pretty Kitty

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