The past few weeks have been extremely painful to go through! My beloved cat Dundun was diagnosed with a fast-growing tumor underneath her tongue. Not only her tongue was severely pushed to one side and she was profusely drooling, but she started to have huge difficulty using her tongue to eat or drink on her own.
The result of Dundun’s biopsy from her tissue in the mouth came back negative initially which was a huge relief for us, but Dundun’s condition worsened very quickly and the follow up treatment didn’t improve at all. The doctors then suspected that it was a type of bone cancer on her jaw and took more x-rays. The diagnosis confirmed the suspicion and the doctor said unfortunately there weren’t many options, and the only way to treat her was through surgery to cut her jaw and to do chemo afterwards. This is obviously a very aggressive procedure and is very painful for Dundun to go through without any guarantee Dundun can survive and have a quality life after that.
Meantime, Dundun’s condition deteriorated. It was so painful to see Dundun sit next to food and water wanting to eat and drink but just couldn’t do it any more. We know cats can’t live more than a few days without food and water, so we started to hand feed her through a small syringe tube two to three times a day. At first she was able to get the food and liquid this way, but as the lump got bigger to the point where I couldn’t find her tongue which was pushed to the back. Last Friday, Dundun refused to eat or drink anything via the syringe and her mouth started to bleed. We took her to the doctor immediately and the doctor told us that we had to let her go to end all her sufferings.
Dundun passed away in our arms peacefully without pain. My heart was broken into so many pieces knowing I just lost her forever. The pain was excruciating not only because I saw how she went from a perfectly healthy cuddly creation to seriously ill so quickly, but the feeling of guilt that I didn’t spend enough time with her to give her more love and attention.
Coping after Dundun’s death is an emotionally crushing process. The feelings of sadness and disbelief and grief just keep consuming me piece by piece and are going circles. Dundun was only eight and half years old and we only spend a little over four years with her since our friend brought her to us in 2010. I know I have to find a way to manage my deep sorrow and emotions, so I have decided that the best way for me to cope with my loss is to share with friends who either heard about or met Dundun those wonderful happy memories and moments we had with Dundun via her pictures and videos we took.
My friend who adored Dundun said, “Dundun is one of those cats I would want cat haters to meet because she’s so sweet and friendly. Who wouldn’t love her!” Dundun just loves people and would always hop right onto you chest and purr and knead.
Dundun, I will love you forever! I know that you are now in a better place with no pain and all the fish and shrimp canned food your heart desires!
Dundun is the most loving cat and is extremely cuddly. She loved to be around us and most importantly to lean against us 🙂 Our cat sitter once said, “She is one of those cats I would want cat haters to meet because she’s so sweet and friendly. Who wouldn’t love her!” Not only to us, even to our friends, Dundun would hop right onto their chests and purr and knead. She is a darling cat. My friend even said once that she wish her cat would do that.
Dundun entered my life on Thursday, March 11 of 2010. Our friend Runchuan raised her for two years before he gave Dundun to us, and before that Dundun allegedly was raised by his friend for two years since she was born. Runchuan was relocating out of the country for good due to a job change, therefore we decided to welcome Dundun into our house and to provide her a life-time of love and care.
Dundun was very friendly initially but upon realizing that she was about to get left behind yet again, she rushed to hide herself underneath our sofa as soon as our friend left. However, being such a loving creation and full of affection for people, she came out and started to show her belly to us as a sign of trust on her second day 🙂
I recently found myself in a “love-hate” relationship with a family member in my house. It all happened less than a year ago when a friend of hubby moved out of the country and asked us if we could take over his cat Dundun. I wasn’t impressed by Dundun the first time I laid my eyes on her. She’s a very ordinary-looking short-haired black-and-white cat with some yellow hairs around her cheeks and a pink little nose (now I know she is a calico cat). I wanted to say no, but my friend told me that since he had no time to find a new owner, the only option for him was to leave Dundun with a shelter. If the shelter couldn’t find an owner within a week, Dundun might be put to sleep forever. Of course I couldn’t bear that thought, so without thinking through, I agreed to take Dundun to my house.
Part I. My Life Was Turned Up Side Down
1). For starters, this clumsy little creation has no respect for my hard work. She knocks off my precious collectables, scratches my furniture, and jumps around, leaving litter all over the floor. Her hair is everywhere, in the air, on my plate and on my clothes. The house smells like her poop. Now I have to work twice as hard to keep my house clean and organized.
2). She destroys my sleep. Although she has her own comfy bed, she keeps jumping onto our bed to sleep with us every night. We can’t move for fear to injure her in the dark and she sometimes wakes me up with her snoring. If we shut her out of our bedroom, this crazy cat keeps scratching the door and crying outside non-stop until we let her in again.
3). She is potentially threatening my relationship with my husband. Although I was the one who begged my husband to keep her, every since she came, she started a bond with my husband and follows him everywhere or sit around him all the time.
4). Finally what’s been killing me is that I don’ think she likes me because she is always ready to scratch, bite or kick me when I touch her or pick her up, but when it’s meal time, she will follow me around closely and meows with an innocent look on her face, which makes me think she lacks integrity. Anyway, I really wish I didn’t take the cat and could return her somewhere and get my normal life back!
Part II. Self Reflection and Learning
Sensing I was on the verge of some kind of depression, I decided to take some time to assess what went wrong in my relationship with Dundun. I realized that my cat adoption didn’t start off on the right paw due to lack of mental preparation and knowledge of cat ownership. Because the decision was made in such a hurry, I didn’t do my homework such as take time to understand what cat ownership entails and how to raise a healthy and happy cat. It’s not Dundun’s fault. Not knowing what to expect before I took on this huge ownership may have created this problem. I started reading about cat ownership as well as consulting with friends who have cats. I learned that owning a cat is a long-term commitment. It involves spending time with your cat, taking care of her, understanding what she wants, teaching her disciplines. Cats aren’t as high maintenance as puppies, but they still need plenty of love, attention and patience. I need to spend more bonding time with my cat, give her a lot of praise when she cooperates and respect her and not treat her like a toy like I used to.
Part III. Enjoy Your Companion for Life – It’s a Win-win
Now equipped with the right knowledge and preparation, I can definitely see a positive change in our relationship. She has become more affectionate and chatty towards and is more interested in spending time with me. The more I discovered about these amazing creatures, the more I love my Dundun, and started to appreciate the joy of having a cat in my life. For example, she can sit by the window for hours looking at the birds and getting entertained without bothering us; if she decides to have an intimate moment with me, she will jump on to my lap and place her face next to mine and place her two paws on my neck and stares at my face bluntly; she does such a good job cleaning herself all the time from head and tail that after you touch her, she has to re-lick the spot you touch.
Part IV. Conclusion
Cat ownership is a long-term relationship. Like many things in life, there is a lot of giving and taking in it. As long as you know what to expect and be prepared for it, it is a wonderful ride! Cats are so cute. How can you resist? After all, I saved her life and the feeling about taking care of another life makes me feel powerful and fulfilling. Now I find myself attached to and in love with that adorable little creation. I think we both win: Dundun found loving parents and I have a companion that provides a lifetime of love.
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