The death of a pet sucks, and we lost a great member of our family tonight; our cat Marv-El (Marv)
I would have never considered myself a cat person before this guy, but he came into our lives a little over a year ago, after his Mom, an amazing hunter and outside cat, wound up pregnant before we could get her fixed. The night he and his siblings were born, he was immediately part of the family. I called him Penny’s kitty because she was all about him from the very beginning, and as he got bigger, they started playing rougher, until they were running all over the house wrestling, and believe me, Marv didn’t back away from Penn, but the two of them knew how to play with one another. It was kinda crazy to witness at times.
Marv was the best kind of cat; affectionate but lazy. Neat and rather low maintenance.
He had beaten the odds when he was first born; 1 of 4, only himself and a sister (who now is our niece’s cat) survived beyond six weeks. We never got it confirmed, but based on all we could gather, we presumed the kittens were part Manx, and his siblings, unfortunately, dealt with issues from Manx syndrome. In fact, when they were first born, the vet suggested euthanizing all of them rather than seeing if they could survive, and we just couldn’t do that. Marv was a fighter until his last breath.
I said I never thought I’d be a cat person, but man have I cried over this cat in the last 24 hours. I. Have. Cried. I have ugly cried, but in the back of my mind, there have been the thoughts of having to let the kids know, and it was something I dreaded. They were just here this past weekend. They played with and loved on Marv like always. He was their cat, and he was always loving and happy to see them. They left Sunday, completely unaware that would be the last time they’d get to see him.
It sucks, and I hate it. It’s one of those random things you don’t take into consideration until it smacks you in the face. My kids have lost a pet, and they’ll not be able to get closure like they could if they were here. They’ll not be able to say goodbye or come to terms with the loss as if they were here. They just get it served up to them as a cold, blunt fact.
It sucks, and I hate it.
It’s going to hit my daughter especially hard. She talks all the time about how she never is able to keep pets, because her Mom always has the habit of getting her and her sister a cat or dog, and after 6 months, is looking for a new home for the animal. It has turned into a vicious cycle that makes this all the more heartbreaking. We had a period of time about 6 months ago where we could tell Abby wasn’t as interactive with the animals here. She wouldn’t refer to them as her pets. (despite her absolute being one of their kids!) It took some work and reassurance that Penny and Marv were in fact her pets, despite her not being here all the time.
And now, one of her pets here, the place that was supposed to be safe and a constant in terms of pets, has passed away.
It sucks, and I hate it.
Marv passed away due to complications of what is called a urinary obstruction or urethral blockage. It’s something that can affect male cats more than female. From the American College of Veterinary Surgeons:
Male cats can easily develop obstruction of the urethra which is the tube draining urine from the bladder out of the penis. Obstructions are often the result of plugs of inflammatory material, mucus, crystals, small stones (called calculi) that have formed in the kidneys and have passed down into the bladder (see urinary stones). The cause of the inflammatory materials and stone formation it not well understood, though viral infections and diet may play a role. Other causes are reported such as cancer, previous injury causing scarring, and trauma are also reported. Early neutering of cats does not cause reduction of urethral size as in some other species.
It sucks, and I hate it.
I hate knowing what I know now. I hate feeling like I failed him in some way. He was an amazing cat. An awesome cat. The very kind of cat I wanted to have if I was to have one. He acted more like a dog than a cat more times than not.
He was my big old giant furball, that had already started curling up around my wife’s growing belly. He was the best and I was so looking forward to seeing him cuddle with her and take naps on the couch with her more.
I’m going to miss him like crazy.
This sucks. I hate it.
RIP Marv. I love you, buddy.
UPDATE: There was a debate on telling the kids tonight or once we pick them up next week. We decided to go ahead and tell them. It sucked as much as I thought it would. I was telling my daughter something over FaceTime that was breaking her heart. She knew I was upset so to keep me from seeing her upset, she turned her camera up to the ceiling. I hated it. I hated telling her and not being there to comfort her. It may have been the wrong decision telling her tonight vs when she was with me, but as I told her, I felt she’d be mad at me if we didn’t tell her now vs later.
I’m sorry, there’s no right answer when it comes to telling your kids about their pets when you share custody and they’re not with you every day.
It sucks. I hate it.