When we first brought Lily home to San Jose, she was extremely timid, shying away from any attempt to get close or to touch her. Very gradually, over many months she received gentle love and understanding from us and changed dramatically. We established trust, and Lily grew to seek to be touched and to be close to us as much as possible.
After we moved to our home in Washington State, we had many happy months together. We worked on restoring our home from the disastrous condition it was left in from a tenant that my son had moved into our apartment. It took nearly $14000 and several months of hard work to make the repairs necessary to make the place livable again - photos of the damage can be viewed on the Eric Gundlach page (scroll to the bottom). But we enjoyed making the repairs, painting, creating our garden, and seeing the results of our efforts.
Then, as BAE Systems kept their legal assault upon us, it became necessary for Ally to take a job in San Jose. Being alone and far away, as the days and weeks went by I became more stressed and depressed. It was the cats - especially Lily - that saved me from complete despair and from giving in to my direst thoughts! As I would sit on my couch feeling overwhelmed by sadness, she would press up against me or put her head on my lap. Her closeness - touching her - calmed me and helped me focus on more hopeful thoughts.
Lily was a "talker"; she very often looked at us and appeared to be trying to communicate. She had many different sounds other than "meow". At times when we are watching TV, something would happen on the screen that prompted a reaction and Lily would make a loud comment. Always when Ally got up in the morning Lily would say a loud "Good Morning". We frequently included Lily in conversations, and many times, she seemed to respond appropriately. May sound a bit crazy, but we loved her for it!
July 7, 2014
Lily became very sick. She is struggling to breathe. Yesterday afternoon we took her to the vet. Doctor said she needs to have x-rays. The cost would be $200, which we don’t have. He also stated that further treatment would very likely be expensive. My wife cried sobbingly – I struggled to suppress my tears. We opted for an antibiotic shot and antibiotic liquid which he will give her twice a day. I had trouble sleeping last night, so worried that she might pass away. As I write this, I am watching her still struggling to breathe hoping that she is in any pain. Lily saved my life while I was sick with stress – I love her so much!
July 14, 2014
Yesterday morning we finished giving Lily her antibiotics. There has been no improvement. Without funding there is no way that we could afford x-rays and whatever treatment, if any, could help her. We both have lain beside her offering comfort and up until yesterday afternoon she responded with purring and tail wagging, but now her eyes seemed to be pleading to let her go.
All morning today I called more than 20 vets, as far away as 40 miles from home to determine the cost of putting her down. The cheapest that we could find was $235. We made an appointment at Alpha Animal Hospital, Campbell, CA for 7:15 PM. My wife cried and cried. I wished that I could as well, but I just froze up.
Luckily we held back purchasing my medications, and to get this done we will use the money that was to pay for them to pay for Lily's passing. It is one of the saddest days of my life! But I must avoid sinking into despair to see this through and to give support to Ally. At 7PM, we took Lily to Hospital to let her pass with dignity. We were with her, talking to her as she passed, witnessing the life force go from her loving eyes. Lily is gone, bless her loving heart! Ally cried and sobbed deeply. I was unable to console her.
Dr. Puneet Parashar was very understanding and empathetic. The cost for passing Lily, cremation, and the return of her ashes was $227. This was significantly lower than anywhere else that I called, and we both give them our heartfelt thanks!
July 15, 2014
I awaken an hour or more before Ally. This morning the absence of Lily was deafening. Alex, our male cat was looking for her. I am concerned as to how this will affect his health. I once had a cat (Muffin) and a Rottweiler (Mozart) that were extremely close. Mozart needed to be put down due to dual hip failure. All day every day, for the next week, Muffin did nothing but search for Mozart. At the end of that period, she passed away. It was a huge loss; they were loved very much and I miss them to this day! You can view a photo of them by clicking Alex and scrolling to the bottom of the page. We decided that I will stay close to Alex for the next few days, even though I have no idea whether or not he will grieve for Lily.
At 8AM Ally left for work. There is a palatable emptiness. Every day, when she left, Lily would jump to the couch and press up against me wanting to be touched. The act of stroking her - the contact - calmed me and helped me to ward off loneliness and sadness. Again, I want to cry, but can’t.