When it rains, it pours…

Hey Guys,

I haven’t written in my blog for a while or created a new video and I wanted to let you guys know what is going on in my life since today is the first day in a long time I’ve been able to breath a little. You probably have watched my video titled “I’m taking my life back, screw depression & anxiety” where I talk passionately about getting off my anti-depressants and giving “Zero Fucks” about things that don’t deserve them like online comments from people that just have hate in their hearts. Well, I’m happy to report that giving zero fucks has worked very well but unfortunately this month wasn’t done with me yet and decided to throw a lot more at me that deserved my “Fucks”. It really hit me hard in the depression and anxiety department however the one difference is the events that happened would cause anyone anxiety and depression so I don’t feel like this is a relapse in any way, shape or form.

In my video I talk about the untimely death of one of my best friends Jason Lawhead that caught me off guard and hit me really hard. It opened my eyes to how precious life is and how I really needed to change my outlook on life and start enjoying it more moving forward. Well right after I shot that video I found out that another friend of mine Daniel (aka. MrGlock420) had died in his sleep the previous night. He suffered a heart failure and nobody saw it coming since he was so young! I used to play video games with him and also appeared on a few live streams with the guy and he was always a straight shooter and fun guy to hang out with. I added a small tribute to the end of my video while I was editing so people would know who he was.

Well a few days later my best friend Greg contacted me and informed me that his mother passed away. She had been fighting brain cancer for over 5 years and finally succumbed to it. My heart sank because it brought back memories of when I lost my mom to cancer a few years ago. I attended her memorial/funeral service with Greg and cried my eyes out because I knew what Greg was going through. Greg was also there for me when my mom passed so there was a lot of emotions running hot that day.

So if you’re not keeping count that is 3 people I lost in 30 days and 2 memorials I attended in person and 1 online memorial live stream I attended for Daniel. I think this is the most people I’ve lost in 1 month in my entire life and it really was wearing on me emotionally.

Now let’s fast forward a few days and I discover our cat Hannah isn’t eating or drinking and is hiding under my son Xander’s bed all the time. We try to get her to eat and drink but she refuses so we take her to the vet since she had lost a ton of body weight and was obviously very dehydrated. They gave her antibiotics, vitamin shots and anti-nausea medication so we brought her home and she was eating again so we were so happy! We’ll that night Hannah stopped eating and drinking again and was back to hiding under Xanders bed so the medications effects were short lived. They also gave us some pills to give to her to help with the nausea but after administering them for a day or two they really had no effect.

I ended up force feeding her with a syringe down her throat and giving her water using the same method. She really didn’t like it but I was determined to keep her going! The Vet called after a few days and said they received the results and they were not good. She had fluid around her stomach and a collapsed lung and some masses they said were cancer spread throughout her system. They said that if we wanted too we could do an ultrasound and try to find and remove the cancer and fluid and do surgery, etc if we wanted to keep her around but they strongly urged us to consider putting her to sleep since she would be in a lot of pain and there is no guarantee she would ever recover since she was already 15 years old.

I really wanted to go ahead with the additional tests and surgeries, etc but after speaking with my wife we booth realized that it would just make her more miserable since she was a super active cat and the vet even urged us to not go down that route because they were almost positive it wouldn’t lead to a solution and could cost 10’s of thousands of dollars in the end.

This was very tough for me to swallow, I completely broke down into tears. Just to give you some background we picked up Hannah from PetCo (Pet store) 13 years ago right after we purchased our first home. We have never lived in this house without our kitty and Xander was raised along side her his entire life. We didn’t refer to her as the kitty cat, we referred to her as Xanders sister and our daughter. When Xander was born premature we thought we might have to find Hannah a new home since he was very fragile but Hannah proved responsible and protective of him and she would do anything to make him stop crying or alert us if there was a problem. She genuinely loved that kid more then you guys will ever know reading this and he loved her so much.

After talking about it and force feeding Hannah for another couple of nights we came to the realization that she was suffering horribly and we had to be responsible and put her to sleep. We made the appointment and did everything we could to keep Hannah comfortable during that time leading up to the appointment. When the day finally came (yesterday, 9/23) we took tons of pictures of her and let Xander holder her one last time. I explained to my son that she was going to live with another family forever where she could be cared for better. He broke down into tears and was very sad and he just kept saying “She’ll come back”. My eyes teared up and I explained that she wouldn’t once more and he began to accept it.

For those of you that don’t know my son has a type of autism called P.D.D.N.O.S which sometimes makes it hard for him to understand things and he is also a very emotional kid so we decided it was best not to tell him about death just yet and I’m dreading the day when I need to explain it to him.

Well Xander went to school and we took Hannah outside on the lawn and spent a few hours with her basking in the son and letting her chew on dandy lions. We both cried out eyes out and even our neighbor came over and cried his eyes out when he figured out what we had to do because he just lost his cat a few months prior and knew exactly how it feels. Some people that are not pet owners don’t understand that pets become more then pets. They become family, that you trust and become emotionally attached too. I talked to Hannah about all kinds of things even though I knew she couldn’t understand me it was always comforting.

Well the dreaded time came for his appointment so we wrapped her up in a blanket and took her down to the vet and they were very nice and polite and ensured us we were doing the right thing. They said she was dehydrated again and also I forgot to mention she couldn’t make it to her litter box anymore and was just peeing on the floor (tiny bits and it was orange). I kept trying to convince myself it was the right thing to do but I kept wanting to grab Hannah and run for the door and disappear into the woods never to be seen again! But realistically I knew I had to do it and I was being selfish trying to keep my cat alive when she was obviously in so much pain.

The time finally came and they came into the room and gave her a little shot of sedative and let me hold her. She slowly relaxed and laid her head down and went to sleep on my shoulder while my wife and I said how much we loved her. I’ve never cried so hard in my life and I felt like such a failure to both her and my family but my wife assured me we were doing the right thing. After about 5 minutes she fell asleep on my chest while I pet her and we laid her on the table so they could administer the final dose of medication to stop her heart. She was absolutely at peace and didn’t feel a thing and my wife and I kissed her head while took her final breaths. I’m crying so hard right now typing this I don’t even know if I will be able to finish writing it…

We asked them to please cremate her and return her ashes to us so we could bury them under her favorite tree and put some of her ashes in a memorial. We left the building and sat outside for about 20 minutes because neither one of us could drive because we were so upset. Putting a loved one to sleep is the hardest thing you can do in my opinion but it’s also the responsibility of a pet owner to put your pet out of their misery since they will literally suffer until the last breath if you don’t.

I had nightmares all last night about what I had done and felt like a monster. No matter how much the doctor told me I did the right thing or my wife told me I did the right thing I felt like I had failed Hannah. I started playing all the what-if scenarios in my head trying to find someone I could have done differently but kept coming back to the same conclusion that cancer is something none of us can control and the survival rate in animals is far lower than in humans. And even if we did continue with surgeries and ongoing medication her quality of life would have been garbage and we would only have been keeping her alive for us, not for her and that would be selfish!

When Xander got home from school yesterday the first thing he did was run through the front door, through the house to his room and dropped to the floor and looked under his bed and said ‘Where is Hannah’. He didn’t fully understand when we said she was going away forever so we had to talk to him again. After the second talk he finally understood she was gone and had a good long cry and after that we watched Mater Tall Tails (his favorite Disney shorts) and he seemed to be feeling better.

Well, today is the first day without our kitty and our hearts still hurt. But we have to keep reminding ourselves that we did the responsible and compassionate thing for Hannah to take her pain and suffering away. The support we’ve received online from you guys has been tremendous and very helpful during this dark time. A lot of people have suggested getting another kitty and it would be a good move since Xander being in the autism spectrum benefits hugely from interactions with an animal. But we’ve decided to give it a few months so we can heal a little bit before getting emotionally involved again. I’m sure Xander will understand.

Now that we’ve all had a good cry over this horrible experience let’s shift gears to something a little more positive. I will be in New York at World Maker Faire in Queens this weekend (Sep 26th/27th) attending with Ultimaker. If you live in the area or you’re at the fair swing by and say hi. I really wish this trip wasn’t so close to this tragic event but I think it will be good for me to get out of the house and socialize with a ton of people to keep my mind off it. I genuinely hope that November is a much better month so I can focus on the YouTube channel and get back to having fun. This just has been a super dark month and has really beat me up emotionally.

I really hope that October is a much nicer month with less people dying and more people living! It’s the month of both my birthday and my anniversary. So I’m looking forward to really living hard and having fun through the month of October to make up for all the darkness September brought.

I will end this with a small eulogy I wrote for Hannah…

“I am so happy that my family & I had the privilege and honor of spending the last 13 years of our life with our kitty & daughter Hannah Berg. She was a very affectionate girl that slept with us every single night and always would snuggle up a little closer when she knew you were not feeling well. We will miss her “Nascar” style sprints around the house during the wee hours of the night digging her claws deep into the carpet for traction and her constant meow’ing when she wanted wet food or just missed us from being gone for too long. I will miss her trying to steal the bacon off my breakfast plate while I’m looking right at her and the look on her face as she continued very slowly thinking I wouldn’t notice. She was an amazing companion and friend to our son Xander his entire life and really helped with his therapy and teaching him how to show emotions and helping to calm him down when he needed it. Hannah, you will be missed more than these words could ever express and we will never, ever forget you. I’m happy that you are finally at rest and no longer in pain my baby girl, we will never be quite the same without you.”

R.I.P Hannah Berg… (2002 – 2015)

HannahIMG_3714

Here are a few more pictures of our beautiful girl…

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Live & love every moment of your life like it’s your last…

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17 thoughts on “When it rains, it pours…

  1. I also lost my cat, Twist, a couple of months ago, he passed away while sleeping, and the following morning I found him where he always slept, on top of the laundry pile, it was a shock to find out he was dead he was 12 years old and a very sweet cat always purring. I was really sad for a long long time but it gets better, I hope Hannah is in a better place where she can maybe be friends with Twist and they can play together!

    Be strong man, I love your videos and your work and hope to see much more of it!

    All the best!

  2. So sorry for your loss. My fiancee’s cat of 23 years passed a couple years ago and it was a huge shock since despite her hyperthyroidism she was comfortable and active as ever. We decided about a year later it was time to have another cat in part to complete the healing process and also to provide our remaining cat with a companion. It was definitely a huge help and when the time comes you and your family may find, like we did, that they will ultimately choose you.

    Take care and wishing you all the best!

  3. I felt like a monster. I know excactly how you feel, I have 2 kids, and had 3 cats, now 2. Topaz only got 10 years with us, and I felt so helpless, for not being able to do anything. My oldest daughter, 9 years old, was in tears, when she said her last goodbye, before me and her mom went to the vet, to help him move on. I told myself over and over it was the right thing to to, as he had multi organ failure, no coming back from this, so why make him suffer. But the descision put on me, my burdon, was tough.

    It has been 6month now, and we still miss him. Every pet is a part of onces family, if not, don’t get a pet.

    Feel better, another cute kitten somewhere needs a loving home.

  4. I’m so sorry for your losses Jerry, it’s been a tough month all around it seems. Everyone I know has been living through a rough month. I’m sure you did the right thing as well with Hannah, it’s not always an easy pill to swallow.

    Having raised and lived with over 15 cats through my lifetime (sometimes more than 5 at a time, my mother is a crazy cat lady but I love her anyway and that’s besides the point ;-P) and they’ve all either been carriers or directly affected by feline leukemia and one day they’re nice and healthy, derping all over the house at 4am and other random hours, and the next they’re doing what Hannah was doing.

    You’re a great guy with a big heart and numerous fans out there who are feeling your pain and wishing the best for you, and things will turn around at some point. Stay strong and try to enjoy your trip to NYC, I’d love to come up and meet you, give you a big hug and sing the Batknife song with you but it may have to wait for another visit.

    Take it easy and stay strong Jerry!

  5. Jerry,
    I understand, wholeheartedly, what you and your family are going through. I recently, within the month, lost my cat Hera. She was around 4 years old. I got a call from my mom that she had passed and we had no clue why. She was playing and running around the night before and when my mom went in to feed them that morning she had died. It hurt bad. I do know that a lot of what the others are suggesting about getting another cat is true, however, each person is different. I know it helps but if you think you need the time to heal then take that time. I wouldn’t have gotten over Hera’s passing if it hadn’t been for my wife, of course, and the cats that I take care of where I live. It’s like they knew I was upset and were comforting me. I know that, in my heart, that Hannah is up there playing with all the other animals that have passed and having a great time!
    It will take time to heal…it will hurt (some days more than others), but it will get better. Just keep pushing on and living life to the fullest day to day to where eventually you will get back to normal and, one day, be able to get another cat to make more memories and love like family just like you did with Hannah.

    Be strong and take your time! Those of us that follow you and subscribe to you on YouTube will be here waiting for your return whenever you are ready to do so!

  6. Hang in there Jerry. I know this has been a tough couple of months. My wife and I don’t have any kids, so our pets ARE our kids. And when we have to put one of them down, I don’t think a knife in my gut would hurt like that loss does. But, it will get better. We all go through the ups and downs. That’s why it’s called life. Sometimes it can be a bitch. All your friends and fans have got your (and your family’s) back. We love ya bud! And we are here for you.

  7. Wow. This really hit the feels, Jerry. I’ve been in similar situation a short time ago. Last year, during the week of my birthday, our 13 year old Husky wasn’t doing so well. She’d eat and drink, but, was rather “slow” (Seemed like a lot of thinking was, gone?) Went to bed Thursday night and woke up on my birthday, and… she wouldn’t get up. I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday, just because I lost my dog of 13 years, we got her as a pup and watched her grow. She was in most of my life. When everyone heard she had passed, the house felt empty. Even our pet cat seemed bummed out. (Honestly, I’m crying just rethinking of that day)
    Jerry dude, I wish you the best of luck though! I know life may be throwing you a lot of shit right now, but you’ll be rewarded for this hard time, I promise you.
    Keep on keeping on!
    -TMG

  8. This blog post tore me up! My wife and I have two cats and they’re absolutely a part of the family. It really hit home. I feel for you guys, I hope your family can heal and remember all the good times with Hannah.

  9. I had to put down our pet cat Toby, who was 13 and suffering like Hannah, when I was in my late teens. The most devastating thing ever, but the most humane and right thing to do. I felt bad for ages but eventually came to realise that it was the best option for Toby, even though it was painful.
    All the very best to you and the family, Jerry.
    The only way is up from here.

  10. Sorry to hear about your cat jerry. You did the right thing. Don’t think of your self as a monster your far from it. Just think you cared for Hanna the best you could. There are plenty of people who don’t care about there pets and leave them. You did the right thing. Hope thing improve ☺
    Iain

  11. Condolences Jerry and fam. I, unfortunately, also know the feeling. We lost our cat Snickers earlier this year. Sadder still, we didn’t get to say goodbye as we found him dead in the morning 😦

    I know it’s probably of little comfort right now, but at least you both got to say goodbye. And you both knew that Hannah was able to say goodbye to you all peacefully as well.

    I hope you know that as much as an inspiration you are to people that follow you on YouTube and social media, we are all here for you too. Cheers mate.

  12. That is a very rough month, and I’m so sorry to hear what September has had in store for you. I know it was a hard decision, but I wanted to thank you for choosing to do what was best both for your family, and for Hannah. It’s a decision I haven’t had to face myself in all honesty just yet, but when I do, I hope I have the love and strength that you have demonstrated through this hard time. I know firsthand that mental illness can be a cruel and heartless serpent, constantly constricting your heart, choking you out, but not doing you the courtesy of finishing you off. Fight it with every fiber of your being. Remember that some days are better than others. There are days that the only thing you can do is survive. Please, hang on and endure the song, because better days are ahead. I have found many times when I am being constricted by depression, there is something that grabs my constricted heart, and starts wrestling the serpent choking me. Sometimes it’s beauty in the world around me, sometimes it’s a tv show, sometimes it’s music. Find what works when you can, please, and on those days when you can loosen the hold of depression, break the chains that bind you down. Good days will follow. Maximize those, do everything you can to keep the positive mojo going.

    As someone who also has been diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, etc, I ask to please keep doing what you do. I enjoy the VLogs, because they are encouraging and help me to remember that I am not alone in my struggles.

    Stay strong Jerry, endure the storm, and when the storm lightens up, seize the day, and let your light shine through.

    Thank you for all that you do, always and forever, each and every day.

  13. The loss of a pet is a horrible thing. I myself suffer from depression just like you and know how hard it is to cope with death in any way whatsoever.
    The last 2 years i’ve lost both my cat and dog. My cat was still a kitten but was ill and i only had him for 7 days. And after 4 visits to the vet he gave up. My dog died of old age and had a good life but it’s hard.
    From what i’ve gathered from reading this blog…and it took me quite some time because old memories started to surface again. This was the best thing you and your wife could have done for Hannah. She had an amazing life and letting her go and be without pain is the best thing for her. The love of a pet is unconditionally and Hannah knows you did what you had to do to help her. But i know it doesnt make it any easier.
    Hang in there and when your feeling down just scroll through some pictures of better times. It might cheer you up.

    Maikel K (netherlands)

  14. You deserve a hug from me 🙂

    Sorry to hear about all this stuff going on. Not good. Remember to stay positive and I hope it gets better.

  15. Thanks man. You entertain me and make me happy, and your genuine nature and sharing is very meaningful. You’ve made my life better in a material way, and you have my support. Don’t change! Cheers!

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