2022 was an odd year for me. It was both one of the best years and one of the worsts. Our business expanded and we have seen growth like no other year. It is also the year that we had to say goodbye to our sweet boy Nefarian less than 2 weeks after he was diagnosed with a tumor on the base of his heart. It was also the year that my mom passed away unexpectedly.
It is difficult to explain how my mom’s sudden death has effected me. For 42 years, she was a constant presence in my life. We didn’t always see each other regularly (even though we only lived about 15 minutes away from one another), but we had some contact at least once a week, and I would send her silly Tiktoks through Facebook messenger several times a week, sometimes multiple a day. I will never be able to do that again. I won’t be able to call her up to bitch about whatever is irking me at the moment, or tell her the latest antics that Fern, Ash, and Widget are up to.
She was a pain in the ass at times, but she was supposed to continue to be a pain in my ass for many more years to come. She wasn’t supposed to die suddenly at the age of 64.
Months before Nefarian got sick, before we knew anything was wrong, I had told Mike that we should adopted a female black kitten and name her Fern. I said it a few times, just to put it out there if we ever decided to add another cat to our family.
Two months after Nefarian passed away, Mike showed me a photo of a black kitten available for adoption at our local Humane Society, and they had named her Fern. It felt like fate, but it had only been two months since we lost our sweet Nefarian. I wasn’t ready. I knew adopting a cat wouldn’t be a replacement for Nefarian, but it was hard to not feel guilty at the thought of even adopting another cat so soon after Nefarian passed away. Especially when all I wanted was to have Nefarian back. I mulled it over for several days and was leaning towards not adopting her, but Mike talked me into it.
On June 20, 2022, we went to the Humane Society for a meet and greet with Fern. On the ride there, I broke down crying, which made Mike think I didn’t want to adopt Fern, which was the furthest thing from the truth. I was just a bit emotional and missing Nefarian like crazy.
We got to the Humane Society, and they showed us to the kitten room. They introduced us to Fern, who was a teeny tiny baby, and we instantly fell in love. We brought her home that day, and it took about 10 seconds after we opened the carrier for her to make the house her home. She has settled into our home nicely, and is both oh so sweet and oh so crazy. She is a house panther, my magical kitty. Widget doesn’t mind her, though she does try to attack him (in a playful way), which he doesn’t like. He does, however, love when she lays beside him so he can clean her.
I don’t know how he did it, but I believe that Nefarian sent us Fern to help heal our hearts after his passing.
This isn’t the type of post I wanted to make, far from it. Our sweet Nefarian was diagnosed with a tumor at the base of his heart on April 5th 2022. Needless to say I was shocked, devastated, heartbroken, when the vet told me that the x-ray showed the tumor. There wasn’t much more they could tell me, since they couldn’t determine what type of tumor it was or how long he had without a biopsy. Our vet said that, at the time, since he was doing well (still eating and drinking, not acting sick, and not losing weight) she didn’t really think a biopsy was a good idea since that could set things off. She did, however, say that the tumor was significant in size, but that she couldn’t give us a timeframe on how long he had. It could be a few weeks, a few months, or even a year.
I brought Nefarian home, crying the entire way, and then spent most of that day switching back and forth from holding Nefarian and crying, to Google searching heart based tumors in cats to learn as much about it as possible and how to increase their life expectancy.
The morning of April 21st 2022, Nefarian had labored breathing so we rushed him to the vet. It wasn’t news we wanted to hear. His lungs where filled with fluid. The vet said he had only a few hours to a day at most and that we needed to start thinking about letting him go. We made the most difficult decision to let him go and not extend his suffering for just a few more hours.
Honestly, I really can’t continue writing about Nefarian’s passing. It took months for me to be able to write this much without bawling. Just know that we will always love Nefarian, and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about him.