The Hardest Goodbye


How do you say goodbye to the kitten you rescued, who actually rescued you?

I don’t know. I don’t know how you say goodbye, how you let go, when it hurts so much.

I got Yggdrasil at a time in my life when I was struggling, and he became my partner. He was always by my side. He slept next to me at night, curled up in a ball, or if I was sleeping on my side he stretched out and spooned me.

He loved to “help” me read at night. It was often annoying, I just wanted to read my book, but he kept poking his big head in between the pages, demanding attention. He loved me fiercely, and I loved him back.

When I got home from work, he was waiting for me in the window, perking up when he heard my car and then running to the door to greet me in his way–flopping onto his back to expose his big, fat belly for rubs.

He came running down the hall to me when I called his name–like a dog.

Speaking of dogs, he eventually warmed up to Bella…after months of protesting, hissing and growling, he finally decided he was taking back his status of King of the House and then eventually he grew to like Bella, I think.

As I watched Yggdrasil decline since my birthday this year, I knew our time was limited. He was losing a lot of weight. He used to be 13 pounds–very much the Fat Kitty–and the last time I took him to the vet he was 6 pounds.

I took him in late last Friday night to give him fluids and anti-nausea medicine and an appetite stimulant. Several days of not eating and not acting like himself had me desperate. I wasn’t ready to make the decision I knew I had to make, so I tried this instead. Desperate but I tried. I tried to get a timeline from the vet. She couldn’t nail it down but I pressed and asked if we had a month left. She said we’d be lucky if we had a month.

Yggdrasil started sleeping with me again in the last little time we had together. Saturday morning after the vet we cuddled in the quiet, snuggled together like two puzzle pieces. Animals do that–they complete us the way other humans can’t. They rely on us, depend on us and love us unconditionally. Yggdrasil kept head butting me and then he snuggled up into the crook of my neck and laid there, breathing softly. It was the most wonderful, loving moment we’ve ever had together. There were a few times I thought “This is it” and then he kept breathing and it was ok. We were just snuggling.


For over 15 years, Yggdrasil was my buddy. He was there during hard times, deaths, breakups, job changes, life changes, depression, transformation, moving, illness, health, marriage, baby…always there. Now the house feels lonely without him.

We had one more week together. All week I felt tortured about making the final decision. He had some good days, the medicine helped, and I thought Maybe we have more time, maybe I should wait….then I realized I didn’t want my last memories of him to be awful or with him in pain. I didn’t want my sweet kitty to suffer.

Michael made the appointment for me. There is no way I could have. I tried to cherish our last week together. I spent as much time cuddling Yggdrasil as I could. I got him to eat. He slept with me every night, all night long. I took photos and video. I could tell he was declining quickly.

I got off work early Friday so I could just cuddle with Yggdrasil alone for a bit. We spent Saturday together. Cuddling on the couch, watching TV, taking a nap together. It was nice to just be.

Then Michael and I took Yggdrasil outside so he could play in the grass a bit and I could get some photos and video. He was an indoor cat that really really wanted to go outside (and would try to escape every chance he got!). It was so wonderful to see him be outside one last time.

Yggdrasil’s auntie Star came over with her partner and Amy the dog walker came over. We all sat on the couch together. I had some music and a candle and just snuggled with my baby for our last moments. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and my heart hurts.

Bella was very well-behaved during the whole thing. Amy was petting her and Bella just sat on the couch with sad, scared puppy eyes. It was like she knew what was happening. I’m so glad we could say goodbye as a family.

Afterwards, Michael tried to get Maya so she could say goodbye. She ran around the house yowling and crying at  the top of her lungs and then she ran into the living room and stopped at my feet. She looked up and I put Yggdrasil on the floor, wrapped in his blanket, and Maya laid down next to him. She got to say goodbye, too.

I’m not doing well. I know it will get better with time, but I’ve never lost a pet before and I’ve definitely never had to make that huge decision before and it’s hard.

I miss him already.


Books #17

I’ve been reading some good books lately! Several of them have been rather “heavy” so to speak, and I wrote individual posts about those books. But I have been reading a lot of other types of books lately. So here is another post with some recommendations.

If you want to follow me on Goodreads, here I am. You can also read old book reviews here.

1 ) The Third Option (Mitch Rapp #4) by Vince Flynn

In this book, Mitch Rapp is back and working on a mission in Germany to assassinate a dirty Count. The mission goes wrong and his partners attempt to kill him. He goes on the run, not sure who to trust, and then eventually makes it back to the States to confront the higher ups in his organization. It turns out there’s a leak in the department and someone is out to get Mitch and his handler, Irene. It’s a really fast story and well written. The ending was both exciting and frustrating because it was a bit of a cliff hanger! Another good book in the series!

2 )  The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway #9) by Elly Griffiths

The last book in this series was a dud–major let down since I love the series. But this book turned it around. It was back to focusing on Ruth and her adventures.

This particular story was unique and creepy and fun to read. A homeless woman goes missing and suddenly several homeless men are murdered. At the same time, two women from the community go missing and there are rumors of kidnapping and underground societies.

It was an interesting story and I loved the ending and where it left off! Can’t wait for the next book!

3 )  The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Man, did I love this book! It was so good. I loved the characters–they came alive in this book and I felt the pain, sorrow, and happiness that the characters felt. I would describe this book as a cross between “A Man Called Ove” and “Take Me With You” by Catherine Ryan Hyde. So if you liked either of those books, you’ll like this one.

The story is told in different ways–Ona is 104 years old and “the boy” comes to her house every Saturday to help her and to work on his Boy Scout’s badge where he interviews her about her life.

Then the boy dies unexpectedly (heart-breaking!! get your Kleenex) and his estranged father, Quinn, takes over his quest to help Ona each Saturday. They basically become family and the entire family heals, and tries to fulfill the boy’s goal of getting Ona into the Guiness Book of World Records.

It’s a tear-jerker, but often in a happy way. The book is beautiful written and I did not want it to end. I wanted the story to keep going.  This book was so excellent! Read it!

4 ) Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

What a beautiful, heart-warming and heart-breaking book! The book is told from two points of view. The first is Soli, a 20 year old who is trying to escape the poverty in Mexico to cross the border into America. The story is about her journey, the absolutely horrific things she endures to cross the border, and the love she finds on her journey. She arrives in Berkeley, California, pregnant, poor, and safe. She lives with her cousin and gets a job as a housekeeper/nanny.

The second story is Kavya and Rishi, Indian-Americans living in Berkeley who want a child and try and try unsuccessfully to get pregnant or go to term. The desire to be a mother is palpable through the pages.

“Having a child was like turning inside out and exposing to the world the soft pulp of her heart. If something happened to Ignacio–if illness took him or an accident, she herself would never recover. If the night stole his breath away, as sometimes happened to the very very young, her own breath would never return. At night, thoughts like this sat vigil around her bed. [pg 181]”

Through a horrible twist of fate, Soli’s son is taken into DHS custody and Kavya gets the opportunity to become a mother. She is immediately in love with little Ignacio. This is a story of a very lucky boy, loved by two mothers.

“Why did people love children who were born to other people? For the same reason they lived in Berkeley, knowing the Big One was coming: because it was a beautiful place to be, and because there was no way to fathom the length or quality of life left to anyone, and because there was no point running from earthquakes into tornadoes, blizzards, terrorist attacks. Because destruction waited around every corner, and turning one corner would only lead to another…She’d built her love on a fault line, and the first tremors had begun. [pg 350]”

Rishi is a little slower to fall in love with the boy. He was afraid of getting too close, since they were temporary foster parents and knew the mother could try to get Ignacio back. But eventually, something clicks, and he becomes his son.

“Being a father made him a part of this place, Rishi realized. He was no longer just a scientist, a pizza eater, a line dweller, a street crosser. Ignacio rooted him to the hum of this sidewalk. Ignacio brought him to Earth. [pg 327]”

It was interesting to read the cultural differences between Soli and her Mexican heritage and Kavya and her Indian culture, a culture that apparently is not welcoming to the idea of adoption. Biological children were very important to her parents–but even her parents eventually fall in love with Ignacio. How could they not??

“In her gaze, even from this distance, Soli could see a mist of love. She couldn’t deny this, and it shrank her inside, the love. [pg 417]”

Reading about the horrible treatment of illegal immigrants by ICE was absolutely awful and revolting. It made me really angry. The book was very well-written and I did NOT want the book to end. I didn’t like the ending, really, but there wasn’t an easy answer on how the story should end. Throughout the book you feel very strongly and root for Soli to win in the end–but at the same time you are rooting for Kavya and Rishi because they love Ignacio like he was their own. So it was truly a no-win situation. 🙁

“Grief was a solitary practice, though they would cling to each other that day and in the days to come. [pg 461]”

As a mother, the book was very hard to read but it was so so good. I absolutely loved it. When I got towards the end of the book, I felt a panic and raced to daycare to pick up Logan. All I wanted was to pick him up and hug him and never let him go. 

5 ) The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews

After reading several super heavy, dark, difficult reads, I needed something light and fluffy to give myself a break. I read another chick lit type of book, that wasn’t very good, and then picked up this one from the library. I actually really enjoyed it! For a “chick lit” book it was pretty well-written.

Dempsey is a lobbyist in DC who loses her job, and could possibly be heading to prison, after a boss with her scandal breaks. Perfect timing: a distant, elderly relative died and left his house to her father. She decides to go down to Georgia to fix up the house, called Birdsong, and get it ready to sell, while she figures out how to fix her life.

She gets down to the house and it’s a mess. Overgrown yard, house falling apart, piles and piles of junk and magazines. Plus–an ornery old squatter! So the book is basically about her fixing up this house, meeting someone down in Georgia, clearing her name from the scandal and figuring out what she wants to do with her life.

It was a very satisfying read and the characters were well-developed. The story was good, even for a fluffy book! I liked the book a lot.

6 )  Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

This book starts out with a bang! LOVED the writing style, the crisp, fun writing and the way the author reveals parts of the story in bits and pieces in a shocking way. The first chapter is one the best first chapters I’ve read in a long time and it instantly sucked me in and made me want to read the whole book in one sitting.

This is a story about Georgia, about to get married and move to London to start a new job. She goes home to wine country, and finds her whole family in shambles. Everyone in her life is having relationship issues.

” ‘Because that’s the only way to get somewhere better.” He shrugged. “If you fight, you work it out. If you don’t fight, you move into your own corners, and nothing gets decided there.'[pg 146]”

She’s conflicted about getting married in a week. Everyone in her life has advice for her.

” ‘I stopped paying attention to her. I stopped doing the things that someone does for the person he loves. Because I was tired. Because other things always seemed to matter a little bit more…That doesn’t happen overnight, you know. It happens slowly. You should be careful of that. You should be careful not to take the person you love for granted. Not only because they’ll notice. But you’ll notice too. You’ll think it means something it doesn’t.’ [pg 239]”

There is a lot of “will they, won’t they” in the middle of the book, back and forth on the wedding, but the story is so well written and engaging that it wasn’t cliqued. And I absolutely LOVED the ending! I wanted the book to keep going, I wanted more. I loved the world and characters this author created. I will definitely be reading more of her work. And I hope they make this book into a movie!

Happy reading!

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