Goodbye, Sprout

I don’t want to write this today.

Heck, Dan and I really haven’t felt much like writing period. Maybe our not writing is due to the gloomy fall weather outside. Perhaps its Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Yes, maybe that is it. Seasons changing. Knowing that another cold, snowy Michigan winter is right around the corner. Knowledge like that could depress the most positive of people. Depression and Multiple Sclerosis is nothing to take lightly. Dan and I know that.

And we also know that we are SAD for a different reason altogether.

 Our world came crashing down, literally and figuratively, August 19. It all started when Dan transferred me into bed that fateful Friday. Or should I say attempted to transfer me. As usual, he slid me forward in my chair. Then Dan counted, “one, two, three.” Only three was accompanied by a loud, pained curse word.

Before I knew it, I was a crumpled mass on the floor. “Oh Dan, my knees!”

But unlike other transfers, this time Dan also was a crumpled body sprawled out on the floor; and this time the tears and swearwords were coming from him. Something in Dan’s back popped and down we went. When his back gave out mid-transfer, gravity also took me to the floor. So there we were. Two pained, stranded bodies unable to stand and get help.

Fortunately Dan was able to kick my legs straight so I wasn’t crushing my knees, and he then battled through his pain to crawl and grab the phone off our nightstand. He still was crying in pain, so I called 911. And so began a series of events that almost seem like they never happened.

One of which we wish never did.

In a nutshell, Dan went to the hospital via ambulance as I lied in bed with my cellphone to keep me safe until he came home. My mother and brother drove up to our house in the middle of the night to serve as my caregivers and help with transferring me over the course of the next two weeks until Dan got better.

It turns out, he had strained a muscle in his lower back. We had made that same transfer over 48,000 times in our married life — yes, Dan did the math  — but something else went wrong the night of Aug. 19.

We never thought that this incident would lead to us losing our beloved cat, Cooper.

Now do you understand why we haven’t written in a couple months?

Cooper had escaped through the front door that the paramedics had propped open for the stretcher carrying Dan out of the house. Seems he didn’t want Dan to leave without him. But after a long eight days and a couple of Cooper sightings, our bundle of joy returned home to us.

Sadly, it seems eight days in the wilderness proved too much for our boy. Two days after he came home, he broke our hearts when his back two legs stopped working. An emergency trip to the vet and a series of tests indicated he either had had a stroke or he ruptured a blood  vessel in his spine. Our poor Cooper.

We never expected this was a decision we’d have to make. We swore we’d be grown-ups and would stay strong for him that day. We were, until Dan leaned down to kiss him and, resting his face of Cooper’s side, said,”You always were such a good pillow.” I couldn’t get close enough to the table to kiss him, so I kissed my fingers and placed them on his nose and said, “Goodbye, Sprout. I love you.”

We packed up his towel and toys about a month ago and took his remaining food back to the vet. Maybe it can feed another cat who shares Cooper’s thyroid issues. My cheeks are covered in tears, and I’m sobbing like it happened yesterday, but it has been nearly six weeks since we said goodbye. My heart hurts so much, and Dan’s is broken. Maybe typing this will help us heal.

RIP Cooper Magee. August 31, 2016, was one of our toughest days ever. You always will be our bundle of joy. Thanks for letting us live in your house.





14 Responses to Goodbye, Sprout

  1. The loss of a pet is something only another pet owner understands. Cooper lived a wonderful life with you two humans! Glad you are both doing better physically. Rock on Digmann’s.

  2. I’m truly heartbroken for you that you’ve been hit with two emotional blows like this. I wish I could do something to help you feel better.

  3. It is horrible loosing a pet because they are an important part of our family! I am praying for you and Dan! Time does ease the pain. Cherish the time you had with him! God bless both of you!

  4. Thank you for sharing this and I am so sorry to read about Dan’s back injury; I hope he feels a little better today. I’m also sorry about the loss of Cooper and I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers, Jennifer.

  5. Oh my gosh. You all have been put through the wringer – again. I’m so sorry to hear of all of this difficulty in your lives. This “series of unfortunate events” may well be the end of the story for those made of lesser than the two of you. The consolation in this story is that you both are the strongest people I know – and pain and difficulty only serve to make you both stronger. While I know this has been a very tough time for you, I’m confident you’ll emerge from this even stronger than before. I’m sending love, healing energy and strength. xxo

  6. Oh, Jennifer and Dan, the tears are falling for your many sad times. Having and losing a dear pet is so difficult. Have done that so many times. So sorry about your physical difficulties. Reminds me of a country western song “if it weren’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all. I pray that you both are feeling better. God Bless you both.

  7. Totally understand losing a member of the family… whether it be 2 legged or 4… my sympathies to you both on the loss of Cooper but know you gave him a wonderful life here on earth and he was grateful for your love. You will be seeing him again. With having “numerous” cats of my own and fostering kittens for H.A.T.S. it never gets any easier when you lose one. Best wished for your and Dan’s recovery!

  8. So sorry to hear about all of it! Our cat Sue Sue and Alyssa are what’s been Keeping me going the last 4 weeks!
    Animals and children can be so therapeutic!!
    Love and hugs to you both!

  9. So sorry for your loss Dan and Jennifer. Grief is the price of love. Hope your hearts are healing and that your memories of Cooper bring you comfort.

  10. He’s waiting for you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. It’s a beautiful poem and has comforted is when we’ve lost one of our beloved pets. So sorry for your loss Jen and Dan.

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