Laus was a young feral cat and had been in a cage for 6 weeks at the vet’s office. The vet had hoped to socialize Laus and get her a home, but Laus continued to be mean and agitated. But for Judy and Dave, the vet’s warnings about Laus’s behavior came too late. It was love at first sight and they brought Laus home that day. In Judy’s words, “Laus proved to be quite a stinker — alternating between sucking on our shirts and biting us!” But nothing Laus did dimmed even slightly the complete unconditional love Judy and Dave had for her. In time, Laus became a loving — if opinionated and forceful — member of the family.
After 14 wonderful years of loving and laughing at Laus’s antics, Laus started having health issues. Laus was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in September of 2012. Judy was told to take Laus home, shower her with love and wait for the end — which the vet felt would be in 3 months. As Judy was leaving the vet’s office in shock, one of the vet techs suggested that Judy contact me so that she and Dave could say good-by to Laus.
I spoke to Laus and Judy soon there after. Judy was particularly bonded to Laus and was completely distraught about the short prognosis for Laus’ remaining life. She was already grieving and was an emotional wreck. She did not know how she was going to live without Laus.
So I was rather surprised when I connected with Laus — she did not “feel” like a gravely ill cat to me! In fact, she had good energy and was very talkative. When I told Laus what the vet had said — that she was expected to cross to Spirit soon — she would have none of it! She said she had no intention of crossing over soon. I had no doubt from the energy she put behind that statement that if she had anything to say about it, she was NOT going anywhere!
When I asked Laus to tell me how she was feeling physically, she pointed me at her left lower lung — Judy confirmed that this was the location of the tumor. When I “felt” through Laus’ body, I could feel the tumor clearly. But it did not seem to be bothering Laus excessively. Laus said she was not having any pain, although she did feel pressure from the tumor. Laus was able to tell us that she felt better since they had started treatment for the tumor, so Judy knew they were on the right track. Laus just didn’t understand why the vet was making such a big deal about it!
Laus was very opinionated and had a lot to say about pretty much every aspect of her life. She loved her food, but didn’t like the pillow that they had made specially for her because when she laid down on it, it made a “crinkly” sound she didn’t like. Laus knew she was beautiful and said that she ran the household — which Judy confirmed! We asked Laus about the other four cats in the house and Judy confirmed that Laus’ analysis of their personalities — and how they interacted with Laus — was right on. This included Laus’ opinion of their Maine Coon cat, Melvin — who she said was terribly “needy”. When we talked to Melvin, he said he LOVED Laus, but had to “adore her from afar” because Laus was not exactly a cuddly cat.
Judy wanted to know about what happened when Laus was a tiny kitten, before coming to the vet’s office. Laus showed me that she was feral and living in a dumpster with her siblings and her mother. Her mother left one day and never came back. My feeling was that she had died. One after another, Laus’ siblings died around her — but somehow Laus survived until she was rescued and brought to the vet’s office.
Laus is a very direct and to the point kind of cat. At the end of the session, Judy asked if Laus had anything else to tell her. True to form, Laus did not mince words. She told Judy that she had to stop being sad all the time. Laus said she had no intention of dying any time soon and that Judy was wasting whatever time they had left fussing over her, worrying and being sad. Laus didn’t know how long she’d live (although she thought it would be a long time) so she told Judy in no uncertain terms that she needed to stop worrying and start enjoying whatever time they had left together.
I wasn’t sure how Judy was going to take this — Laus did not pull any punches delivering this information. Judy was quiet for a few seconds and then told me that Laus was right. She had been sad, full of dread, worrying, fretting and hovering over Laus constantly since Laus was diagnosed with cancer. Judy said that after hearing Laus put it into words, she realized that she wasn’t making the most out of whatever time she had left with Laus. Judy is a natural worrier so it would be challenging for her to not worry, but she said she would do her best not to worry and enjoy every moment with Laus. Laus said she’d be a lot happier if Judy could be happy — then they could really enjoy each other again. Judy said she would do her best.
Nearly two years have gone by since that first conversion and Laus is still going strong!
Judy schedules a chat with Laus several times a year to see how she is doing and to discuss things as they come up. One of the things we check on each time are Laus’ medications/side effects. When we spoke to Laus the first time, she complained of feeing “dopey” from one of her meds. We could tell which medication it was based on when it was given each day and when the “dopey” feeling occurred. By adjusting the dosage and checking to see how Laus was feeling, Judy and the vet were able to be sure that Laus was receiving the maximum benefit from the medication with a minimum of side effects.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; thats why they call it the present.” By learning to let go of her worry, Judy has been given the gift of enjoying all the “presents” that her time with Laus can give her — and Laus is very happy about that!
” We have discussed Laus’ life as it happens and Sky has been able to give us invaluable information about Laus’ treatment, feelings and love. It has been so important to talk to Laus and get her input on anything that comes up, no matter how small — or if I’m just feeling anxious about how she’s doing. We all feel better after we talk to Sky! We hope Laus continues to stay well and we know that Sky will be there for us to guide us through this journey. We cannot thank Sky enough for sharing her wonderful gift with us! ” — Judy C., FL
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