It sucks the life out of you. It makes you want to do absolutely nothing. It turns that inner critic's volume level up to 11. You can't possibly imagine anything good coming of your life. I think I've lived with a low level of depression for so long that this is normal. I never understood/was envious of people who knew what they wanted to do with their lives. I can't remember ever knowing what I wanted. I have followed the path that you are supposed to; I have gone off to college, graduated, found a job, moved away from home....and am paying the bills. That is life, right? I even have a kitty, even after the loss of my first kitten, my first pet as an adult.

Hugo was such a precious little kitten. Absolutely gorgeous. I had him for 5 months, and the last few were spent at the vet trying to figure out why he had chronic diarrhea. On January 7th, 2008, I took him in the vet's for exploratory surgery since the vet found a mass on his belly. He was 8 months old. She said she thought it was probably scar tissue from the worms he had (SO GROSS), or less likely, he ate something that is stuck in his digestive tract. Either way, that would cause the diarrhea. I did ask "Can it be cancer?", because when you hear "mass", you think of cancer. She said she couldn't rule it out, but it is highly unlikely in a kitten. I agreed.

That morning, I shipped him off to the vet, waved goodbye, and waited anxiously to the end of the work day so I could pick up my little angel and take him home. AND BE BETTER. I couldn't WAIT until he felt like playing again. Until he was a kitten again.

Three hours later. A phone call from the Vet. Her assistant called me and goes "Dr. Raab would like to talk to you." UH OH. I knew this wasn't good. Who calls directly from a surgery room? Immediately, I could tell in her voice, something was wrong.

"Dawn. I'm so sorry. Hugo's mass turned out to be a tumor. There were so many surrounding that one, that we could not do anything. We had to put him down."




I didn't understand. A kitten? Cancer? Dead? What? I mumbled "uhh ok...what do i need to do?" Or something to that effect. She mentioned I could come in to see him if I wanted.

"No thank you."

I hung up. Told my boss that I had to go home as I was shaking and trying not to bawl in front of him. Called my roommate. Went home and cried on the couch. Could this be real? I called the vet back after a tortuous 20 minutes. I would go see him. I mean, I didn't say goodbye, or even an "I love you" when I saw him last. I figured I'd see him later that day. This is the closest to death I have ever been. I have been very lucky, all my family members are healthy.

The next hour is a blur. I forced myself to leave the surgery room because my eyes were so swollen and my head was bursting in pain. I did not want to leave Hugo. Maybe he'd wake up!! He looked so peaceful, like he was sleeping. Except the tiniest drop of the blood dried on his pristine white chin. The technicians must have missed that. I just didn't look there.

I stumbled out of the room to find my vet waiting for me. She had all of her stuff with her, like she was ready to go home, but was waiting for me. She dropped everything and gave me a big hug. She told me "I wish I could have given you more time with him."

Even now, that puts a lump in my throat.

I still miss him.

But now, I have Jack. He is also sweet, but in a different way. He is mischevious, and afraid of every damn thing. I love him, and I didn't think I would. At least not to the extent I loved Hugo. Hugo was my first pet as an adult, and someone I could pour all my love into. Jack, though, has been fun. He is healthy. He loves to cuddle. He's not gorgeous like Hugo was, but he is pretty. And funny.


  1. I am so sorry about Hugo, Dawn. What a beautiful kitty he was!

  2. I stumbled upon your blog from Julie's class. I'm so sorry about Hugo. My little dumpling boy, Rocky, was only three years old when he died this last Sept. He died at home and we are still reeling from his loss. The adults and the two cats he left behind still imagine we will see him ... and I guess we will ... he is our little angel now, just like Hugo .. watching over us and not wanting us to be sad. Hang in there, Dawn. Love on your new little one, Jack, a little more for us, too!