My life with Garcia.
I’ve been off the grid for a while. So much change has been going on in my life that I’m not sure where to begin.
On July 29th at 11:11am (we did not plan the time this way) I had to say good bye to my beloved soulmate kitty Garcia. It was heartbreaking for Dave and I. He was born on March 3, 2004. I first saw him in a local pet store from my home (I used to go to this pet store to buy food for my beautiful cat Peanuts).
I remember him being so playful and outgoing — and at the time I thought I would love to adopt him. However, my living arrangements did not really permit me to (not enough room and I was going through hard times). So I just let it go and moved on.
Then it was was a surprise and joy for me a year and half later to see him again!
My Life With Garcia Begins
Dave brought him out to show me (Dave didn’t know that I was thinking of adopting him, it was total synchronization) and to show me how he trained him to do tricks (like you would normally see a dog do).
He was a very sweet and gentle cat. Part Main coon, Tabby and Ragdoll. If you follow me on social media you know the scoop. And the best bug and mouse catcher.
He was always there for me, helping me heal through my eye surgery, flus, disappointments, so many memories (cats are natural Reiki masters)!
Garcia never had any health issues other than vomiting from time to time through out his life. I always thought this was normal for cats.
He was diagnosed with diabetes in October 2019, but it went into remisson. Then Garcia lost his appetite and was lethargic. The doctor thought it was pancreatitis and put him on anti nausea medication. He came back to himself. I did notice he would look at me with sad eyes. He would insist on sitting on my lap in the evening which gave him comfort and obviously I couldn’t get any work done, but I didn’t care.
I dropped everything because I would hear in my mind that he isn’t going to be here forever. I thought of course, he’s 16 — but hopefully I might have another 4 years with him. I didn’t put it together that the message was he’s leaving soon.
Stress And Worry About Garcia
This June Garcia started to just yowl at around 4:00am every night. We took him to the vet for emergency check up (his personal vet wasn’t in that day — it was the owner of the cat hospital). The tests came back clear, no high blood pressure, glucose was normal, nothing really looked wrong. The vet suggested that we take blood work on his kidneys and thyroid which were so expensive. At this point we had already spent a small fortune on tests that had gotten us to this point.
We told the vet to put the test on hold for now — this hospital always ran tests and did procedures on Garcia without telling us first what the cost was going to be. We always found out when they handed us the credit and debit card machine to pay after what they already did!
We felt his kidneys were not the issue here. So the vet suggested anti anxiety meds. We told her that our neighbours just had their grand-baby move in and it might be causing trauma and stress to Garcia at night (we can hear the baby, but a cat can hear 80 times louder).
The medication was very difficult to give to Garcia, we struggled to give it to him, he was very drowsy and sleepy all the time. Yes, he slept through the night… but we thought at what cost? Then my sister Ann told me about CBD oil for pets and how it helped her Westie (dog). We thought why not try it? It was much easier to give to him. But he would hide and give me this look that I knew this wasn’t the solution.
Then I tried putting Frankincense, Copaiba, lavender and Siberian fir in an aromatherapy diffuser. This seemed to help soothe him. But he would follow us around, put his head down and look so sad.
Then he would come into our bedroom, get on my smart scale (it lights up) and bump his head into the mirror. He kept going into the bathroom and looking at the shower. This told me, sad eyes said to me: “thank you for being my mom, loving me, I’m leaving soon. Good bye.” The mirror and the scale meant: “Look at me I’m losing weight (he knows this is what I use the scale for, smart kitty, cats understand more than we know), I’m dying and the shower is his way of saying I have a deep thirst that nothing can hydrate me. Help me.”
So another trip to the vet, this time I requested he see his personal vet that knows him. She knew exactly what to do. He needed a blood work and test but this was for his liver and pancreas.
No Longer By My Side But Forever In My Heart
I got the call with the results. Garcia was very sick. Has a block and hopefully with 3 days of hydration treatments it will be flushed out.
After the treatments and another round of tests, the vet gave us the bad news.
It’s most likely liver cancer. We can go get a 2nd opinion (which we did), but the truth of the matter is, he 16 and has 2 weeks left on this planet. She said why wait to watch him fall apart before our eyes. Put him down within a couple of days, take him out of his misery.
We thought about it but I wanted to get other opinions. All the other opinions just lead to Garcia going through more suffering. Prolonging his life would mean him being in a hospital hooked up to machines and not to mention neither Dave or could be with him (we are in the pandemic COVID times) and a possible surgery. He was a very sensitive cat who didn’t even like being away from us for too long.
Making this desicion was just so hard. I thought, “how am I going to live without my lap cat?” Anytime I felt afraid, I had my protector cat right there. He was my protection. I’m so lost without him. I need more time.
Dave’s client suggested a mobile vet they once used and it made the transition easier. Where we can say our good byes to Garcia with him in our arms. Otherwise, we would have had to leave him at the vet hospital and wait outside. Garcia’s last moments would have been separated from us and with strangers in the vets (which he hated).
We would take on the suffering of sadness ourselves and set him free from his pain. We would send him off to the rainbow bridge. I can’t express to you the hurt and deep sense of loss that I feel. He was a member of our family.
Garcia Communicating With Me On The Inner Planes
After his death, that night I heard walking across the floor. I would also see him walking from the corner of my eyes — and he kept telling me how much he understood but cannot express. He was sorry that he caused so much pain and wants me to know that he was so sorry.
He thanked me for being his mom and wants me to get another cat because he wouldn’t allow another cat to live with us (he got beat up and traumatized by a rescue calico that I adopted years ago and I vowed to him to never adopt another kitty again).
I felt paralyzed with sadness. Garcia was my true friend. We had a deep connection with him. Some people are not connected deeply to their pets (no judgement here). To us Garcia was our family — not just the family pet.
Enter Phoebe And Jasper
A few days later I felt the need to look for other cats, not adopt right away but just to pet a cat and look at them. Just as a way to help cope with the sadness of losing Garcia.
That is impossible during COVID times. Not to mention there are no kittens in pet stores these days. If you adopt a kitten, you have to go through a rescue shelter, fill out extensive paper work, be on a waiting list to get interviewed and if you are chosen you can have a kitten/cat. I really didn’t want to go this route. I knew someone’s cat had a litter somewhere and the kitties needed a home.
I also wanted a black cat or maybe a calico or maybe one that looked like Garcia. So I went to this site (Kijji) that works like Craigs list and typed in kittens. I was willing to drive 2-3 hours out of town. I located 2 leads in town. This is where I saw the photo of the kittens and knew these 2 are our cats. Dave wasn’t convinced yet (2 kittens mean, double of everything, including vet bills) to get 2. I thought it would be fun. But then we both agreed, ok, we’ll get the black kitten and down the road we’ll get another.
I fell in love with both of these kittens. I met their mom (she was a large calico in the photo) and we brought the little black kitten home.
That night I realized Phoebe (her name) is a little young to be away from her mom (barely 6 weeks old — she was 33 days old), she was so afraid.
The next day I messaged the lady that was selling them and told them we want get the orange kitten — her brother, also.
His name is Jasper and he is a male “diluted” calico! I got what I asked for. A black and a calico cat! Actually I really feel it was help from Garcia on another plane, nudging me to look and find.
These little kittens are healing our hearts and I’m learning so much from them. Cats have a lot to teach us. These 2 guys have the sweetest temperaments. It’s a joy to watch them. They are siblings but are so unique from each other. They are healing my heart and what can I say! I’m a cat lady!