September 11, 2010

Saying Good Bye

Last night, after about five hours of listening to my male cat, Gus, cry -- I decided to see if he would go outside. You see, Gus has been with us for three years now; and was adopted by me and my son when he was just a tiny baby. I hand raised him; but he was never quite "right." Gus has had issues from the beginning, and I think, it was just a matter of time until we would have to let him go. Gus was not neutered properly, and after a botched job, suffered great injury to his abdomen. I cared for him, and he did recover. He has been half-neutered all this time, and has expressed male dominant behaviors ever since. I tried to deal with them, but the crying and the peeing have just escalated over the past couple of months.

Last night was the last straw for me. I have prayed and prayed and prayed over him, asking the Lord for His Grace to deal with Gus. A couple days ago, the Lord told me to let him go, to let him be in God's hands. I thought it simply meant for me to stop stressing over his attempts to get out at night, and let God heal him. God did heal him; just not in the way I expected. At about 4:30, after he peed three times (the last at my bedroom window), I calmly got up and went to the side door. Gus followed me, which is what he normally does (he follows me everywhere, crying at me and trying to bite my heels). I opened the door, and he just walked out. The first time, he came back in. Then about ten minutes later, he started to cry again, and I walked back to the door and walk outside. He followed me, and then something happened -- he just walked away. He calmly walked to the curb, then across the street, and then he disappeared. I stood there for a time, fearful of him crossing the street; but in the end, I just came back inside.

The funny thing (funny as in 'unable to explain well') is this: Winston and Ike simply watched me do this, and then came with me to my bed. They cuddled with me, purring and laying right on me. It was like they were saying, "Thank you, Mom. You did what Gus wanted and we are so happy now." I didn't realize how badly Gus was acting and that for male cats, not being able to roam is like tying them up to a tree and expecting them to endure it. I hate the fact that he is outside, and I am crying just thinking of who will take care of him (how will he eat?, how will he find water?, will he come home?) My heart hears the Lord whispering to me: "I will care for him." I know this is true, but I am heartsick right now. I did what I thought was right, and it is killing me inside. My house is quiet now, and my other cats are peacefully sleeping. I am calm as well, and there is peace again.

I wish I could tell you how I feel, but I cannot express it well enough. My life is in an uproar right now, and I am having to deal with so much that is unknown. Gus was a stress component simply because he was so unhappy here. He needed to be set free, and I was holding on to him, protecting him from being outside (it is hard on cats here in Phoenix). I have literally sentenced him to death outside our side door. It is hot, water is not freely available, and we live in a busy neighborhood with cars that zoom down our street. I do not believe in having cats that are not altered, and I do not believe in having outdoor animals except when you live in a more rural area. This action goes against everything I believe and hold -- yet, something inside of me is saying "it is OK, you did the right thing, and it will be alright."

I am thinking of the pain I feel, and comparing it to the pain I have experienced every night for the past year. Every night, Gus would pace back and forth, going from window to window, and pounding to be let out. He would cry and then when he couldn't help himself anymore, he would find some spot and pee. It was a constant battle against the pee, and my home had become a toilet. I hated it, and I hated the fact that I was embarrassed to have people come inside for fear of the smell. I tried everything to get rid of the smell, used all sorts of products to eliminate the enzymes and such. I was able to stay on top of it, but within the last few nights, the crying and peeing seemed to intensify.

I know what I did was right, but my heart still aches. I have gone out to look for him, and he is no where to be found. I know that male cats will roam several miles (females seem to stay within a closer distance to their home). He has never been outside, except as a kitten. I am praying now that he finds a good home, perhaps someone who has a nice shady back yard and will feed him. I cannot think about that now as it just makes me cry, and then feel like such a shameful person for putting him out. I must accept this and then let it be. It must be, I believe this to be true. Still--the heart knows what it wants, and my heart is longing to see my 'blue boy' back at home -- happy once again (like he was before he was neutered).

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