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)
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Here are a few more pictures of our beautiful girl…