My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1808: Letting Go of a Friend

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 12-09-2016 03:06 PM 2182 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1807: Life's Little Curve Balls . . . Part 1808 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1809: Thank You »

I am writing this post today because I realize that many of my friends who read regularly are not on my Facebook page. I received a couple of emails from people wondering how things went with my kitty Pancakes yesterday.I thought it was best to write it here. 

Things did not go well. My dear, sweet boy has crossed what pet lovers call "The Rainbow Bridge".  He is no longer with me. 

I am deeply saddened and in shock. Just a week ago we took him to the vet for a 'routine' checkup. He was having some irritation on his bottom and we thought it would be a quick fix and he would be back with us for several more years. He was only 9. 

But in the examination, the vet found a mass in his abdomen. We left him for the day last week and they did a full blood workup and x-rays. When we returned, the result was promising. All his blood work came back within a 'normal' range. That meant his kidneys and liver were functioning properly and there was no infection. That was good. 

The x-rays showed, however, that what appeared to be his spleen was quite large. Usually, this was an indication of something else. The vet wanted to do an exploratory surgery to see what was up. He prescribed some steroids to help shrink the offending organ and boost him up and the surgery was scheduled for yesterday (Thursday). We were hopeful.

All went well for the week. The little guy even seemed much more energetic. I am sure that was due to the medication. We had thought that the worse case would be that the spleen would be removed completely. While it would be traumatic, it was something that he could live with for many, many years. I have been worried about him, though, as the numbers just didn't make sense. The vet said he was a 'mystery cat' because the numbers from his blood work showed nothing. They should have been off with the large mass there. We just had to wait and see  . . . 

We received a call from the vet during the surgery. Unfortunately, when they opened him up, they found that his liver was loaded with cancer. The vet said he couldn't believe it because of the numbers. But it was there. I had to make the gut-wrenching decision to let him go. It absolutely devastated me. 

The vet told me that even if Pancakes were to recover from the anesthetic (they weren't sure) it would be a painful and scary recover. The prognosis for his life was only days and maybe a week or so if he lingered. My initial response was to tell him to "save him", but after talking to Keith and hearing my own words, I realized how selfish that choice would have been. I had Keith call back (I couldn't say the words myself) and tell them to let my little boy go in peace. He would no longer be in pain or fearful. I had to let go. 

I have had cats all of my life, but I had never been in this position before. Pancakes was more like a dog than a cat. He was by my side every waking hour. He loved his "grammie" with all his heart. I could see it the way he looked at me. And I loved him back. 

I have felt ill since yesterday. Like a cannon was shot into my tummy. I find myself falling into tears and not being able to stop. I had a fitful sleep last night and I recruited Richard (my other cat) to do some 'overtime' in the cuddling department. I am certain he is upset because he sees me so upset. He and Pancakes were never really 'friends', so I am sure he can't understand my feeling of loss. 

I need to lay low for a while and grieve. Right now the pink cloud seems very, very far away. But I wanted you, my friends, to know what happened. Many of you loved when I posted about him. He had quite a following. 

I keep telling myself  that I did the right thing. I hope I did. Our little companions can't speak for themselves. They can't tell us they hurt. They can't tell us how they feel. He hasn't been himself for a while, and I knew something was not right. Perhaps that is why I have felt this sense of dread all week. 

I will be back when I am ready. I don't know when that will be. I just want to thank you all for your kind words and deeds regarding my little boy. They mean so much to me. 

I loved Pancakes with all my heart. I always will. 

You are no longer in pain. <3 

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

11 comments so far

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 2878 days

#1 posted 12-09-2016 03:16 PM

My sincere condolences. I empathize with your loss as have been there. It will get better with time and you have some great memories with him.

-- Kepy

View CFrye's profile


10823 posts in 2445 days

#2 posted 12-09-2016 03:46 PM

Sheila, lots of hugs. Take as much time as you need. RIP Pancakes.

-- God bless, Candy

View Marcial's profile


179 posts in 1150 days

#3 posted 12-09-2016 03:52 PM

Our condolences. We had to euthanize our 17 year old cat just 3 days ago. Together with the loss of our 10 year old cat this summer has made for a somber holiday season. I’m glad you have Richard.

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 2678 days

#4 posted 12-09-2016 05:43 PM

So sorry Sheila to hear of your loss. My sincere condolences. You have that beautiful painting you did of Pancakes and all those great memories of him to help the grieving process. Take your time.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Druid's profile


2161 posts in 3400 days

#5 posted 12-09-2016 07:44 PM

I certainly understand how you are feeling. No words can really help. My thoughts are with you.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Pointer's profile


449 posts in 1716 days

#6 posted 12-09-2016 10:19 PM

It is no surprise that those of us who have lost our beloved pets are so empathetic to what you are going through. I still tear up thinking about my Shepherd mix I had to put down a few months ago. We learn to accept and move on, but we never forget. My thoughts are with you.

-- Joe - I am not entirely worthless, I can always serve as a bad example.

View Karl_B's profile


4 posts in 2219 days

#7 posted 12-09-2016 10:47 PM

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend and pet. Thank you for sharing Sheila.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3525 days

#8 posted 12-10-2016 12:56 PM

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Really. It has been a rough couple of days. I think the shock of how quickly he went and the harshness of making such a decision in an instant. It is hard not to question oneself, but the more I think about it, the more I know I saved him so much pain and suffering. That is what love is.

My best “cat friend” Lee came over yesterday and Keith’s mom did as well. We cried, told stories and talked about life and death and all kinds of things for the afternoon and evening, curled up on my studio daybed with heated blankets and my two other beautiful furry friends (Richard and Coco) who are putting in “overtime” in the cuddles department. They both didn’t get along well with Pancakes, as he came later to the pack, but they were “frienemys” and co-existed and I think they grew tolerant, if not fond of each other.

When I was taking my evening bath after everyone left, I heard Richard meow-ing as he approached. I was worried but then he came into the bathroom and brought the Little Pusheen cat toy that he brings up to my bed every evening and he deposited it on the bathroom floor. He knows his ‘mom’ is hurting and gave me this extra gift.

Those who say cats aren’t as loving as dogs, never had a cat. I have been owned by both, and I know they all reciprocate the love that is given to them.

I will get through this, as we all do. Each day will heal my heart. Part of it will always be with my friend Pancakes, though. I was so fortunate to have him in my life for the last 10 years. You may hear me mention him from time to time. I was always home, working from here and he was always by my side. I have so many memories of him ‘doing things’ with me that it will take a great while to get used to him not being there with me. I hope you understand if I talk about him or tell stories. It helps.

Have a wonderful day and thank you all for your friendships. I appreciate them very much. xo


This is us yesterday with our ‘cuddle therapy’. (Don’t mind me – I look a mess. My other two beauties and Keith’s mom helped me through a very hard day)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View bushmaster's profile


3770 posts in 2887 days

#9 posted 12-11-2016 12:47 AM

Sorry I have been so slow in making a comment. Friday morning checked for your blog, later I saw and read it but was not able at the time to comment. I had prayed for you and your friend, and shed a tear when I read of your loss. My heart goes out to you. Every thing in your life is so special and you care so much. Keep your courage up.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View lew's profile


12932 posts in 4360 days

#10 posted 12-11-2016 07:27 PM

I admit I don’t always read everyone of your posts, but this one caught my attention.

There are really no words that can provide comfort at this time. Just know you did the “right” thing, even though it doesn’t really feel like it now. Pancakes will live on in your heart forever. Please take comfort in that.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3525 days

#11 posted 12-11-2016 07:41 PM

Thank you both so much. My heart feels as if it is in shatters. I am trying to come to grips with things and I feel that I am making progress. I was able to eat a little today without feeling nauseous. I had some chicken soup. That is good enough for now. I am going to try to cut some orders as soon as I am done here. Life does go on.

The emptiness and pain is a testament to how important he was to me. In my darkest hours, before you all knew me, he was my constant companion and many times only comfort. That never changed, even after I recovered from the circumstances that had me in despair. You don’t forget those who are there for you. Whether it be a human or a furry friend.

I am only finding comfort in that he didn’t suffer. He would have if I would have agreed to close him up and try to recover him from the surgery. But for what? Pain and anxiety for the couple of days he would have survived? (IF that – the vet said he may not be able to come out of the surgery at all.) That would have been selfish on my part. I know I did the right thing. He is at peace and pain free. I will never forget him. I love him so.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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