There’s A Hole In My Heart The Size Of A Rock

  • Tuesday / June 15, 2021
There's A Hole In My Heart The Size Of A Rock 1

There’s A Hole In My Heart The Size Of A Rock

There's A Hole In My Heart The Size Of A Rock 01I’m at my desk this dreary gray June morning. There’s something missing. My feet and legs are not on my desk, and it feels so very strange. The weight from my legs transported to my heart yesterday. We all have rhythms, patterns, routines, we repeat daily. This routine was the start of my morning for 15 years. And suddenly it’s gone.

There’s a hole in my heart the size of a Rock.

They came into our lives the day after putting another fur ball of love to rest—Mason. Mr Mason, to some. Furry Potato, to others. Their names were Will & Grace. Sorry, but that was even too gay for my then partner Chris & I. We met them in the cramped downstairs bathroom at the “crazy cat lady’s” house, who was fostering them, just outside of Seattle. We met them the day after Mason died and they stole our hearts—this Manx brother and sister tag team. They were so tiny & so CUTE we just couldn’t leave without them.

Angel & MasonThe clincher was “Will” was on the vanity in the bathroom and proceeded to climb up the shirt back of Chris. “Look, Joe, he’s a rock climber!” We should call him Rocky!” And that is when the love started. Where the furry seeds were planted and grew. And where Rocky got his name. These two new fur balls would help us with our grieving process. They also helped my cat Angel with hers. She and Mason were buddies. And for the record Grace held her name for a few days, until I renamed her after my paternal grandmother, Rose. And so Rock & Ro!! were born & became an integral part of my life.

There’s a hole in my heart the size of a Rock.

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And so here I sit at my desk, feet firmly on the floor. Grieving. Crying. Writing. Looking through fifteen years of photos. Grieving. Crying. Remembering. Remembering all the joy Rocky, The Rock Star, Rock-a-mo, Mr Mo, and all his other silly names he acquired over the years. Remembering the unconditional loved that poured out of those loving, gentle, eyes, boring straight into my heart, my soul, and uniting us forever. Remembering how he always wrapped his arm around his sister, around me, pulling us in, and never wanting to let go. We were his & he ours.

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But sadly, that all changed yesterday June 14, 2021 @ 2:49 PM. His loving energy and beautiful soul departed this world—for parts unknown. It was his time. It was time to let him go. To rest in peace. No pain. No crying out at all hours.

There’s a hole in my heart the size of a Rock.

There's A Hole In My Heart The Size Of A Rock 04I thought the crying was a bad trait recently learned from his sister, who in her later years started crying for food and attention. Especially for attention. But now I know it was something more for Rock. It started about a month(?) ago. He’d cry more and more, during the night. Early in the morning upon waking. Any time I got up during the night to pee. It was definitely  happening more and more and I couldn’t explain it except as new learned bad habits. Until last week, when I started seeing he was trying to defecate & nothing was coming out. He’d strain to no avail. He was also very lethargic, was having problems walking and jumping—even more so than before.

I decided to take him to the local vet rather to the Red Bank Animal Hospital where I had taken him previously. The Forked River Animal Hospital saw him as an emergency case Saturday afternoon. They checked him over, gave him an enema, because he was slightly blocked up, gave me some appetite stimulant (Rocky had stopped eating and drinking), they injected him with fluids so he wouldn’t get dehydrated and we were sent on our way.

When we got home Rocky was eating, drinking, but still lethargic & crying. That night as I slept he vomited several times, the last of which I saw Sunday morning, and was nothing left but bile. These symptoms I had seen twice before with Mr Rock. And both times I took him to the vet. Even then they told me his liver and kidneys were not in good shape, and in the last visit found there was a nodule on his heart. But no matter the diagnosis, both previous times he snapped back to his old loving self. Not this time.

There's A Hole In My Heart The Size Of A Rock 05This time was the beginning of his end. I saw and cleaned dried vomit from his chin. I saw that he had liquid feces dried on both his legs and bumm. I cleaned him up as best I could. He was a trooper, trusting me to clean him and give him a bit of dignity. I also realized throughout the day he was drooling bile down his chin and onto his chest. Still lethargic, still crying when left alone, my heart sank. I knew what needed to be done—though I really didn’t want to let him go. I knew I had to. The love was there in those last days—but he was fading. I could see it. I could feel it. Yet he still wanted to be near me. And he was. For whatever time we had left. I was his. And he was mine. Connected by that beautifuly outstreched encompising paw. Even after being injected with a tranqualizer, his paw still drew me in as I held him on my lap and looked into his eyes. Holding on until I HAD to let him go, for the final injection to stop his beautiful big heart. The final scene is not one I want to remeber. But it’s part of the story. It’s the ending. Sad but necessary. What I need to remember is all the love and beautiful times he gave me, and I him. The love, looks, and moments we shared, from our eyes first meeting to the last. From his first hug to our last.

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Rocky & Joe: The Last Photo

Rocky, my dear, sweet, beautiful, boy, may you rest in peace and contentment, and in the knowledge you brought so much love and joy to the hearts of so many in your short time in this existence. Our souls will always be connected.

I will love you always!

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Joe Streno

artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing on planet earth with his two cats rocky & rose & living to tell tales about it

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