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My Journey as a Creative Designer

     From now on, all new blog posts will only be posted on Wordpress. This makes things easier for you and for me. You can sign up to be notified when I blog at: (The "follow me" link can be found at the bottom of that page)

     Many older blog posts are archived by date in the index on the left, and my earlier blog posts can be found at

I am writing this post today because I realize that many of my friends who read regularly are not on my Facebook page. I received a couple of emails from people wondering how things went with my kitty Pancakes yesterday.I thought it was best to write it here. 

Things did not go well. My dear, sweet boy has crossed what pet lovers call "The Rainbow Bridge".  He is no longer with me. 

I am deeply saddened and in shock. Just a week ago we took him to the vet for a 'routine' checkup. He was having some irritation on his bottom and we thought it would be a quick fix and he would be back with us for several more years. He was only 9. 

But in the examination, the vet found a mass in his abdomen. We left him for the day last week and they did a full blood workup and x-rays. When we returned, the result was promising. All his blood work came back within a 'normal' range. That meant his kidneys and liver were functioning properly and there was no infection. That was good. 

The x-rays showed, however, that what appeared to be his spleen was quite large. Usually, this was an indication of something else. The vet wanted to do an exploratory surgery to see what was up. He prescribed some steroids to help shrink the offending organ and boost him up and the surgery was scheduled for yesterday (Thursday). We were hopeful.

All went well for the week. The little guy even seemed much more energetic. I am sure that was due to the medication. We had thought that the worse case would be that the spleen would be removed completely. While it would be traumatic, it was something that he could live with for many, many years. I have been worried about him, though, as the numbers just didn't make sense. The vet said he was a 'mystery cat' because the numbers from his blood work showed nothing. They should have been off with the large mass there. We just had to wait and see  . . . 

We received a call from the vet during the surgery. Unfortunately, when they opened him up, they found that his liver was loaded with cancer. The vet said he couldn't believe it because of the numbers. But it was there. I had to make the gut-wrenching decision to let him go. It absolutely devastated me. 

The vet told me that even if Pancakes were to recover from the anesthetic (they weren't sure) it would be a painful and scary recover. The prognosis for his life was only days and maybe a week or so if he lingered. My initial response was to tell him to "save him", but after talking to Keith and hearing my own words, I realized how selfish that choice would have been. I had Keith call back (I couldn't say the words myself) and tell them to let my little boy go in peace. He would no longer be in pain or fearful. I had to let go. 

I have had cats all of my life, but I had never been in this position before. Pancakes was more like a dog than a cat. He was by my side every waking hour. He loved his "grammie" with all his heart. I could see it the way he looked at me. And I loved him back. 

I have felt ill since yesterday. Like a cannon was shot into my tummy. I find myself falling into tears and not being able to stop. I had a fitful sleep last night and I recruited Richard (my other cat) to do some 'overtime' in the cuddling department. I am certain he is upset because he sees me so upset. He and Pancakes were never really 'friends', so I am sure he can't understand my feeling of loss. 

I need to lay low for a while and grieve. Right now the pink cloud seems very, very far away. But I wanted you, my friends, to know what happened. Many of you loved when I posted about him. He had quite a following. 

I keep telling myself  that I did the right thing. I hope I did. Our little companions can't speak for themselves. They can't tell us they hurt. They can't tell us how they feel. He hasn't been himself for a while, and I knew something was not right. Perhaps that is why I have felt this sense of dread all week. 

I will be back when I am ready. I don't know when that will be. I just want to thank you all for your kind words and deeds regarding my little boy. They mean so much to me. 

I loved Pancakes with all my heart. I always will. 

You are no longer in pain. <3 


  1. Nancy Andersen on December 9, 2016 at 11:23 AM said:
    Isn't it amazing the capacity animals have to work their way into our hearts. They give so much love and companionship to brighten our days. I'm truly sorry for your loss.
  2. Lynn Barbadora on December 9, 2016 at 11:54 AM said:
    My heart aches for you Sheila. Even though it "feels" wrong and you will always question your decision. You did the right thing for Pancakes. He was lucky to be loved so much....and he knew that. Thyme does have a way of healing but that empty spot they leave in our hearts just never goes away.....Pancake is going to be ok.....he has that piece of your heart with him. Hugs and love to you.
  3. Peg on December 9, 2016 at 1:00 PM said:
    I know the stomach pain from the decision making. Gracie had dog dementia and it was weeks of watching to know when to make the call. There's always second thoughts but we can only go with the information we are given. Don't go through the what if stage because it just beats us up. As I write this is can see our Betty, she's not doing well and will be going soon . She was our first cat here and is 13. Love to you, Peg
  4. Martyn Brewer on December 9, 2016 at 3:47 PM said:
    This decision is always heart wrenching. As you know I had to make the same one a while ago. What sticks out, for me, in this post is that you loved him and he loved you. You did the very best you could for Pancakes. You made a difficult, but ultimately humane decision. I am proud of you and to be called your friend. Take your time getting over it. I know its not easy.
  5. Sheila Bergner-Landry on December 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM said:
    Thank you all, so much. I am still going to lay low for a while, but wanted you to know how much your comforting thoughts mean to me. Yesterday my friend Lee came over as did Keith's mom. Lee is the one who tends the feral cats at the wharf and has five adoptees of his own. He has a heart of gold and sacrifices much for those strays. He was the one that came here often when we went away to care for our babies. (They call him "Uncle Lee") Keith's mom came too, even though she is still recovering from her second knee replacement. She lost her beautiful kitty Lacey in May and has loved our troop here from the get-go, as she visits at least once a week for the day. We cried, told stories and talked about life and death and all kinds of things for the afternoon and evening, curled up on my studio daybed with heated blankets and my two other beautiful furry friends (Richard and Coco) who are putting in “overtime” in the cuddles department. They both didn’t get along well with Pancakes, as he came later to the pack, but they were “frienemys” and co-existed and I think they grew tolerant, if not fond of each other. When I was taking my evening bath after everyone left, I heard Richard meow-ing as he approached. I was worried but then he came into the bathroom and brought the Little Pusheen cat toy that he brings up to my bed every evening and he deposited it on the bathroom floor. He knows his ‘mom’ is hurting and gave me this extra gift. Those who say cats aren’t as loving as dogs, never had a cat. I have been owned by both, and I know they all reciprocate the love that is given to them. I will get through this, as we all do. Each day will heal my heart. Part of it will always be with my friend Pancakes, though. I was so fortunate to have him in my life for the last 10 years. You may hear me mention him from time to time. I was always home, working from here and he was always by my side. I have so many memories of him ‘doing things’ with me that it will take a great while to get used to him not being there with me. I hope you understand if I talk about him or tell stories. It helps. Have a wonderful day and thank you all for your friendships. I appreciate them very much. <3
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