12 Oct The Kitten Chronicles: Bacon Bit
Over the last months, we have gotten many emails about our Kitten Chronicles Blog. Readers have told us that they read each blog post to let go of the stress of the day or as an inspirational start to the week. One reader sent us a link to a report showing that watching cute baby animals is good for your health and a good way to reduce stress. We also received a touching email from Reneé Holland about her family’s experience dealing with a cancer diagnosis of their beloved “kitten” Bacon Bit. Although Bacon Bit is six years old, so actually he is a mature cat, we know that even aged pets are still someone’s baby.
Below is the guest Kitten Chronicles post from Reneé. We hope you are as inspired as we were by her story.
Ariel & Shya
By Reneé Holland
Here is a story I’d like to tell you. It exemplifies some of the ways Being in the Moment helps me be present and supportive as a parent.
Our fluffy orange kitty, Bacon Bit, was diagnosed a few months ago with large cell lymphoma. We were all—my husband Christopher, 11-year old son Jean-Paul, and myself—devastated by the news. This was especially because Bacon Bit is the baby of all three of our cats and was JP’s fifth birthday present.
I did a lot of research about prognoses for cats who have large cell lymphoma, and then we sat down as a family to talk about it. The emotions I experienced explaining everything to my husband and son were intense and painful, but wanting to be a source of strength for them both helped me stay centered and express my feelings, too.
I’m so proud of JP for being with his feelings, expressing them, asking the questions he needed to, and being with his feelings some more. The next morning, he gave all the kitties pets and hugs and said, quietly, “I think I’m beginning to accept it. I think we just need to treasure every moment with Bacon Bit that we have and give him the best of ourselves.” Jean-Paul is very kind and thoughtful, and often reminds us of how to appreciate each moment by doing that himself.
I am very happy to add to this tale that Bacon Bit has responded very well to kitty chemo. We were referred to an excellent oncologist about thirty minutes away whom we visit once a week. It’s important to JP that we all go as a family to do the masked, hands-free kitty drop-off and pick up so Bacon Bit knows we are all in this together. JP also likes to talk to him on the way there and back, in reassuring tones.
“Now Bacon Bit,” he says, “I know you don’t like the trip to the vet. But we’ll not forget you, we’ll come back to pick you up soon. I’m sorry this is unpleasant for you, but it’s helping you to be well, and then you won’t feel miserable and also you won’t barf your dinner.”
They have these whole exchanges in the back seat. It’s really rather wonderful.
Thanks to the treatments, we now have a fluffy orange kitty in clinical remission. He is back to being himself, cuddling with everyone, keeping an eye on the birds, and being the Sweetest Kitty in the Land. His prognosis is very good, though not something we can know for certain. He most likely won’t outlive his siblings, but we may well have him for a year or two, possibly more. This means, of course, that we treasure each day with him and—if it’s even possible—find ourselves even more in love with his each and every expression of Cat-ness.See all posts in The Kitten Chronicles series here.