Sad. Taking a week off.

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On Saturday I posted that Coco had gone missing.  As of tomorrow, she will have been gone a week.  This photo of her playing in the leaves is one of the last ones that I took of her.

************Edited to add – a couple hours after I wrote this post on Sunday morning and scheduled it for Monday, guess who showed up on the back porch like nothing had ever happened!!  Yes, she is back.  Seems fine, a little thinner and a little dirty, but otherwise okay.


On Saturday, we took Smudge to the vet because it felt like his lymph nodes were swollen.  He was diagnosed with FIV (HIV for cats).  The vet’s words all ran together, with phrases like “quality of life” and “make him comfortable” swirling around. 

I brought him home determined to spoil him completely.  Lots of love and treats and fancy feast was administered.  So much so, that when ever I smile at him, he gets up and wanders into the utility room where the food dish and treats reside, certain that it is time again. 

And I am in a pretty unhappy place in my personal life also.

And looking at the devastation of Sandy makes me sad.

Everything makes me sad.

So, I’m taking a week off to regroup.  Instead of giving, I’m going to take.  I’m going to visit your blogs and look at your food, and see your life, and get happy again.

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  1. says

    I was so happy to see your FB post, telling us that Coco had returned, but I’m sorry you’re dealing with other issues, as well. Poor Smudge. :( I’m sure he’s lovin’ all the spoiling he’s receiving…

    I wish we lived closer so I could fix you some comfort food. Nah, forget the food. A nice bottle of wine and shoulder to cry on sounds more like what you need.

    Hugs to you, Pam.

  2. says

    Was so relieved when I saw your status update that Coco had returned. But now this with Smudge…I’m so sorry. They have our hearts wound tightly, don’t they? Sending the biggest virtual hug I can muster.

  3. says

    Lots to cope with, Pam. Take your time, we will all be here when you come back. You know I am very happy about Coco, no telling where that cat has been. My love to you and Smudge. I went through something similar when we got hit by all those tornadoes April 2011. I understand.

  4. says

    It’s been a rough time for you and your sweeties. I’m incredibly glad that Coco is back, safe and sound. And I hope Smudge is doing OK. Our neighbor has an FIV cat, who is doing pretty well, so I’m sending extra good vibes your way.

    In any event, take it easy and enjoy your kitlets.

  5. says

    Oh Pam – I’m so happy that Coco made it home safely from her adventures. Wish she could write a book and tell us all about it…kinda’ like the Disney movie about Tomasina.
    I had a lovely cuddle ball that had FIV as well. She was with me for several years after she was diagnosed, and had great quality of life. In fact, it didn’t slow her down much at all, other than gaining some weight because she was put on steroids, but that just made more to cuddle. Hang in there kiddo and try to think of it as a beginning of another phase instead of the end, OK? I’ll be thinking of you – if there’s anything I can do…say the word. Maybe you need a trip to Tucson and hugs & grub from a fellow blogger :-)

  6. Anonymous says

    i am so happy coco came home, i too would be so undone… i had a kitty who hid outside for a few hours, i could never find any peace until he was home safe and sound.

    as for the fiv, i have many cats that have it, it can be latent for a decade, you will know when the quality of life sentence pertains so don’t let that undo you. i have a 16 year old cat with it and you would never know, they have a weakened immune system, but so far nothing has caught up with him. i have a young one with it too, the glands swell for a few days, i worry, and then all is great again. when i first learned my cat had it i was in shock like you, but i have been living with it for a decade with many cats now and i can tell you they all have had a great quality of life and are alive and well to prove it :-)

    i am sorry you are feeling down, sometimes it just all feels to much, especially if you read or watch the news, it can beat a soul down to a pulp as if there is nothing good left in this world. yesterday i watched real live heroes save 7 people right out my window, a boat capsized in the ocean, i watched the helicopter search, land on the beach and take off with a man dangling off a 50′ rope, they dropped him in the water as 5 people clung to the upside down hull in the 50 degree water with huge waves washing over them. i was panicked for them, my husband turned on the marine radio so i heard the play by play transmission.

    i watched them snatch 5 people from the seas, racing back and forth to the shore to drop them off and return as the boat got lower and lower in the water for the next person. i was so elated all 5 were safe… and then they said 2 under the boat… my heart collapsed, there were 2 trapped below. i heard them say are you tapping, any response. then the worst transmission of all, they were children… i watched 3 helicopters, dropping men in the rough water to secure the boat and tow ashore. i listened as they said we need to cut the hull open, 2 victims inside. i was horrified…

    next transmission 7 rescued, ALL ARE ALIVE! there were 4 children on board, the first air lifted away from the hull was a 2 year old clinging to his mothers arm, and then a 12 year old. inside the upside cabin was a 4 and 6 year old. i only shared this story with you to hopefully lift your spirits, that there is goodness out there too. we all need a happy ending, it restores our faith in mankind. enjoy your week off i hope you can find your joy again soon~

  7. says

    Oh Pam- I’m so sorry that you’re feeling sad. Hopefully the return of Coco is a good sign and things will start looking up. Hang in there!

  8. says

    I’m so sorry – so happy for you and Coco, so sorry that life is dealing you some tough moments. Prayers for you to see brighter days ahead.

  9. says

    Oh, Pam. With the great joy that Coco has returned, poor Smudge, always a perennial favorite here, has gotten a poor diagnosis. I’m hoping you will feel better soon, and that all will improve in the Sidewalk Shoes household. You know that if I could, I’d be bringing an Election Day Cake to your door tomorrow. (((hugs)))

  10. says

    Oh Pam-I was so happy to hear that Coco is back home-poor Smudge with his diagnosis. You are both going to need a lot of love and care. I wish I could give both of you a hug.

  11. says

    Oh Pam…I am so sorry you are going thru a difficult time. I was there this past year…it was hard, but I am determined to make ME happy…who else truly will??

    Glad your little Cocoa is back…and Smudge will get a lot of love!

    All of the best in the coming days and weeks…it WILL get better!!
    Hugs and love to you,
    Nancy W.

  12. says

    You are doing the best thing for yourself. Time off, time out. What a roller coaster for you. I’m sure you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions.
    I read somewhere that a good cry balances our brain chemicals. That, a really good bottle of wine (notice I didn’t say box), and getting everything off your chest goes a long way.
    I’m praying for you for strength to get through your personal stuff, for a different perspective of your situation, and many more days of warm purrs and snuggles.

  13. says

    Thanks for having the courage to share this with all of us. Friday’s blog says that “nothing makes you happier that the thought of soup bubbling. . .” Make lots of soup and don’t do anything that doesn’t please you at a very deep level. Find a way to make all you do please you very, very much. Love and blessings, Andrea

  14. says

    Yay for The Return of Coco!!!! It reminds me of a family that strapped a camera to their cat’s collar to see where their cat went during the day and night. Where has Coco been?

    Also I have a feeling Smudge will be just fine!

    If you’re tired of people suggesting stuff,just ignore me, but have you done meditation? Deepak Chopra just started his free online 21 day meditation series today, and this time it’s about abundance. :)

    Sending you love from NJ!!

  15. Jane says

    So Sorry about beautiful Smudge. (I don’t think “quality of life” is something that any of your kitties are short of!) Please give him an extra hug from me. Brilliant news about Coco – if only they could talk!

  16. says

    i’m relieved that coco found her way home but OH-so-sorry about sweet smudge and whatever else is bringing you down right now. sending you hugs and positive thoughts from virginia!

  17. says

    I was so happy to read Coco found her way back. Poor Smudge. I know how hard it is when are kitties are not well. I hope you are okay. Take care of yourself…

  18. says

    hey pam, i just somehow stumbled onto your blog and read this post. i, too have a sick cat and have lotsa “not so good” stuff in my life right now. i recently had to have my dog put to sleep because of cancer. talk about SAD!
    i just try to make it a day at a time and see the positive in the small things. i have two daughters, and a grandson and a hubby. they are why i go on. i know, i may not be cheering you up, but at least you know, you’re not alone!! walk in nature, hug people, let them hug you back and just hang in there. this too shall pass. :)

  19. Anonymous says

    Our only child is in brooklyn, takes her 4 hours to get to work if she can get there at all, helped lots of people who needed hot food, clothes and heat.She is sad as can be a city brokern she states, she had a birthday on november 3, 2012 turned 35 and says it is the hell they speak of in most chrisitan churches all around, we are jewish..Miss her like crazy..she is fine though. many lost lives and their homes, never to recover them ever again, bitter cold coming in and the vote might turn against our President Obama what else could go wrong in an election year, dragon year, I chant daily and pray to God to save people and their families..our two beloved kitteh cats passed onto the rainbow bridge one at july 9 and another at july 16 they cried out and were silent, I nearly lost my mind with grief, cried and cried so much one would have thought I was crying out for a loved family member, I had to bottle feed both of them so young and left for to die, I loved them a lot..they were with me for almost 20 years each..I ached when you mentioned your cat and HIV but know you will spoil the kitteh cat..Life is always hard not heaven on earth, mostly the hell that is spoken in many churches, all one can do is HOPE for love, peace and faith to prevail..ciao!

  20. says

    Glad Coco returned, but so sorry to hear about sick kitty. No fun. Enjoy the break and hope you find some happy. The time change and early darkness is no help.

  21. says

    First off, I am SO happy your kitty returned. I know what that’s like…as a matter of fact, my Hextall did that to me before and I was inconsolable. {HUGS}
    The devastation in the north is awful, very sad.
    I hope you are feeling better soon. You are in our thoughts.


  22. says

    Our person uses our blog (we allow it, aren’t we kitties nice!) to follow your updates – we follow too. Glad Coco decided home is best! As for Smudge, hope he copes well, some cats live a long time with FIV.

    We are thinking of you, sending our purrs, and hope things get better real soon!!

  23. says

    I’m sorry Pam. Know how you feel. My little Wilson had a surgery to help him breather better, and it made it worse. I am sad too. So happy to read Coco came home…
    Take Care,

  24. says

    Pam, we adopt out a lot of FIV+ cats at our shelter, and we tell people that it means their immune systems are compromised, and we suggest things they can do to help build that immune system.

    Would Smudge be okay as an indoor-only cat? And would Coco? The reason I ask is that this will help prevent Smudge’s exposure to other animals who might have illnesses he can catch. Or that Coco could bring home for him to catch, like ‘kitty colds’ and such.
    You may also help build his immune system by switching to a grain and gluten free diet.

    Thinking of you …and we’re SO glad Coco came home!!

  25. says

    Pam–just thinking about you and hoping you are less sad. Positive thoughts for Smudge–I have a good friend who has a kitty that has been FIV+ for several years now and still has a great quality of life.

    Take care!


  26. says

    Oh goodness – you have been through a lot. I am glad you took some time. Our furry friends are so dear to us. I wish they could talk to let us know where they have been (Coco!!!) and how rhey are feeling (sweet Smudge!).
    Sending love and hugs!
    xo Catherine

  27. says

    a few years ago a young snowshoe Siamese mix moved onto my back deck. In due course I made friends with him and then took him to the vet. He was pronounced FIV positive, and I was devistated, in part out of fear for the pre-existing 3 cats. He seems to get abcesses easily but otherwise seems happy and healthy.

    So glad CoCo showed back up – so lots of kitty pets will help you feel better.

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