Dear Amy at 24,
This is it – this year is all of our stress and nerves bundled up. We would be lying if we said we hadn’t been planning the wedding since Alex gave us our first wedding planner for a Valentines Day many moons ago.
Thanks to our long engagement, the biggest worry is just paying everything off rather than locking down contracts – something we did almost right after we got engaged. The details are sorted and everything seems all fine, and then like always something fit hits the fan… that’s how it goes, right?
First off – our landlord declares bankruptcy and has to move back into our place so they drop off a hand written letter in the middle of the night to evict us with less than the minimum amount of notice. We write her an email and outline the tenancy act for her which gives us exactly two months from her and then we have to leave. Luckily finding a new place isn’t too difficult, but when we go to sign the papers we realize that something is wrong with Jones – he is acting odd and walking weird so we panic.
The vet thinks that he had some kind of stroke and isn’t sure if he will get back to the way he was, but runs some tests and gives us some meds to work with. We dismantle our bed so that we are only sleeping on the mattress on the floor (so he can get onto it easily) and we cordon off anything that he might try to jump on (and then fall because he has no strength). We also keep everything in our room, switch to a lower litter box, do some muscle exercises, and make sure that someone is with him at all times. Slowly he starts to regenerate and is back to his old self except for the weird tremors he gets when he sleeps. Apparently an after effect of a stroke, residual memory of the trauma or something like that. Sometimes he shoots himself a foot or so over from where he was.
Needless to say we don’t end up signing the papers in time. Our one roommate moves in with their partner, and our other moves on to other things. We clean the crap out of the place, get a dump person to come take all the extra stuff out, leave everything in better condition than it was, and then get duped out of our deposit because none of us can do a walk through and… well… the landlord is broke. So with four-ish months until the wedding we move into our in-laws basement. It’s temporary and we hope to be out before the wedding but it doesn’t happen.
Jones stops eating and they tell us that he needs oral surgery as soon as possible because some of his teeth are melting into his gums. We start a donation page and soon piece together enough to get started. The oral surgery goes well, we get picture updates, and soon he is home again. A little worse for wear, its hard having so many changes in quick succession for a small pet, but he seems alright.
Wedding comes and nothing seems to be alright with us. The flower lady uses an older agree so our finalized arrangements are not there, the seat sashes are not the right color, the many minor details that only we would know about do not please our OCD, and the wedding dress will not zip up. Fear not! KG brought her wonderful mother who has a keen sense for sewing (especially since she sewed her own wedding dress) and within an hour or two it is all resolved the night before — at least the dress is.
We lose our luggage tags, our hair gets cut, and we are off to our Disneymoon in Florida. WDW is amazing – we could probably write a whole letter about it, but just soak in the time without worries with Alex. Nothing else but the moment matters and it is perfect for the time that it was.
When we get back, Jones is looking a little under the weather. We take him in and they say his kidneys are failing fast. I will never understand how they didn’t see that in any of their other tests from his strokes or surgery where they literally tested every single thing to make sure we were on the right stuff, but they didn’t. We make his life as comfortable as possible, and then eventually (a few weeks later) its time. Jones was one of the best cats we ever had, and we haven’t existed with Alex without him so it hits us hard. The moment we see that he is struggling we take him in – its 1-2 in the morning – and the vet says that this cat has had so much strength and comeback that he wants to hope there is more but there probably isn’t. Hardest decision, but for a cat as his age it is the best one – we would never want him to suffer at all. We don’t sleep that night. We take some time off. I wish I could tell you that this death gets easier, but it still isn’t the same without him and we still don’t have another pet.
A week later we get a phone call interview with Disney Interactive, then a live interview, and then a job offer. In the main interview our future manager asks us how we handle change. We bring up Jones’ struggle right after the happiness of our wedding and right before the happiness of finally getting a Disney interview. We cry… in an interview… and we will be known as that girl or the girl with the lightsaber chopsticks for the first few months. Moving to this job and being surround by similarly minded people was the best comfort and still is. You’re going to love it, and I know you will because I still do.