October 8, 2009

Chaz - 2/13/06-10/5/09

So it's been a couple days and it's finally sinking in about Chaz. My "dog trapped in a cat body" took his final breath on Monday, October 5. When I write it like that it sounds so dramatic, but it really was. Unless you've had a pet who you love and care for, I believe it's hard to understand what an animal might really mean to someone. As many people have written me this week, our animals really do have a way of becoming part of our family, and I couldn't agree more. So back in February Chaz got really sick and was throwing up for a couple weeks. After he stopped eating and drinking entirely, I brought him into the vet for a 2nd time for some fluids because we were still waiting on some test results but in the meantime he was becoming lethargic and dehydrated. The date happened to be on my 30th birthday. The vet was convinced that Chaz had an enlarged heart and also had cancer and I was told to put him to sleep that same day. Being that I was already feeling sorry enough for myself for having to be at the vet on my 30th birthday and that Jason was out of town on my "big day," I knew it was something I didn't want to do that day. I went home that night and spent the evening crying on the couch with Chaz taking what I thought would be some final pictures of him. I prayed a lot that night thanking God for the best 3 years with my Chazzy. (I got Chaz in Feb of '06 but was told he was 5 years old when I brought him home.) Though I was extremely sad about having to say my goodbyes to Chaz the following day, I was also very thankful for my time with him. The next morning I was awaken to a purring and chipper Chaz begging for attention and he was back to himself again! He was eating and drinking and perfectly fine. I couldn't believe it. It was like he used one of his 9 lives and was well again! In April, the boys and I moved to a much larger apartment and within a month Chaz and Sam were no longer overweight. The place allowed for much more running around and chasing! Chaz would still have what I would call "asthmatic coughs" when Sam was chasing him but he was healthy otherwise. About a week ago, Chaz had thrown up but I had blamed it on the new food I was trying for them. I ended up leaving for the weekend on Friday and came home on Sunday night. Both Sam and Chaz were excited to see Jason and I and sat on the couch with us cuddling and purring and then did their normal night routines taking their place in my full-size bed. When we were all on the couch, I remember commenting to Jason as I have many times, "Oh yeah, all four of us have to be on the couch! Guess the boys love it as much as me!" Monday morning was my normal routine, Jason working from the couch with me and Chaz next to him while I searched the internet for jobs. After Jason left I decided to shower, which I normally wouldn't have done until much later in the day but for some reason felt like I needed to shower. All seemed normal. I took my shower which was about 8 minutes long because any longer than that and I run out of hot water. When I got out, Chaz was in the bathroom which is normal, but the door was open all the way, which normally he'd just open it enough to slide in. Chaz crawled to the side of the bathroom by the door and I was teasing him that he was laying against the door to make sure Sam couldn't get in. That was when I realized something was very wrong. Chaz was breathing very heavily and couldn't move his hind legs. Not knowing what to do, instead of getting hysterical, I called Jason and told him that I thought Chaz had a stroke and was taking him to the vet but to pray because I was so scared. I knew from the very second I saw him that this was the end but I just wanted to be able save Chaz from any discomfort and confusion. He kept trying to move but his back legs weren't working. So after I got him into his carrier we were off to the vet, my hair still dripping and not even sure that I had my shirt on the right way. The vet was trying to explain to me what happened so she could put him to sleep but I already knew. It was his enlarged heart and as soon as I told her he about the heart she matter-of-factly confirmed it was a blood clot and that he was in a lot of pain. I will spare you the details about Chaz in that hospital room but he was not his normal self and I just wanted him to be free of whatever he was feeling. I stayed with him while they put him to rest and told him how much I loved him, but I know he already knew. That cat was loved so much the past 3 1/2 years and he had to know it every second. Even though Jason had a hard time admitting it, even he loved that cat. Looking back, what happened to Chaz was exactly what his Chicago vet had told me would happen. Just in an instant, his blood would clot and he would be in a lot of pain and need to be put to sleep. God was definitely looking down on me that morning. After I had been gone for 2 1/2 days and was leaving that night for small group, I cannot believe that I was home when it happened and able to help Chaz as fast as possible. I also cannot believe that it happened in the very short time that I was showered so I didn't have to witness it happen to Chaz or see him crawl to me in the bathroom. I am deeply hurt that he isn't here anymore. It's hard to even be typing this without him nudging me for attention and I really miss our 10-15 solid cuddle time in the morning before I get up each morning but I had more fun and love from that cat in 3 1/2 years than I could have asked for in any amount of time from another cat. I love the picture I shared on facebook the day he died and that is on this post because it was just so Chaz. Him loving life sitting right next to me on the balcony without a care in the world except love. I feel the best way I could honor my buddy would be to write about how great he was and I did that back in July. Click here to read. RIP Chazzy. You were everything and more than I ever could have asked for when I picked you out that cold, February, Sunday afternoon. Thanks for all the smiles. Hope there's more than enough laps for you to sit on in kitty heaven and more than enough Sammies to beat up every day. Love and miss you!


  1. My heart is breaking after reading your words. This will be a powerful post to look back on and feel the feelings again; how wonderful Chaz was! RIP Chaz the "Spaz" :)

  2. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I believe you're right. Someone has to love an animal that much to know what it's like to lose it. I am so sorry about Chaz. He is so lucky he found someone who treasured him as much as you do. My heart goes out to you as I'm sure this will be painful for a long time.