A little over a week ago we had to let our dear girl Cadence go. Over the past year, a somewhat nasty skin condition started manifesting on her skin in the form of these crusty, scabby bumps. We’d fight them off with a barrage of antibiotics and it appeared that some of them worked. But then in a week or two it would all come back. Eventually the condition just stayed and progressively got worse. We took her to NC State Vet School of Dermatology and they ran tests on her bumps and their contents and were shocked (as were we) that they all were tiny cancer tumors. Not a rash, not a skin infection, but cancer. We then got her rushed to oncology and found that she had not one, but three forms of terminal cancer. They gave her 3 months tops and she gave us 2 before it was getting to be too much for her (and us). So we let her go.
She was our last pet and, like her siblings (Midnight and Mathias), she was unbelievably dear to us. To see her go the way that she did was heart breaking. But it was quick for the most part and, in the end, she left this world the same way she came in. Loved and in love with everything that stopped to give her the time of day.
It’s interesting to me how hard it is to write about her. I think it’s because she was just so… so strong in her ways. It’s hard and somewhat fruitless to try and capture her in words. I’ll try though.
Cancer ended up taking Cadence, but in truth she’d already spit in the face of death when she was a puppy (she was diagnosed with Addison’s disease at 8 months) and I think that changed how she saw everything. Like Mathias, she was very intuitive, but where she was different from her brother was that she was also intensely nurturing. This lead her to be constantly dialed into us. If we cried, she was there. If we injured ourselves she’d hover. If were laughing or dancing in the house, she was barking along with us. If we were just relaxing, she’d be snoring 3 feet away. I think she lived for us. We were her comfort, we were her safety, we were her home.
And boy did she love her home.
But she didn’t stop there. She was also mischievous. She’d often grab things and run around with them in her mouth hoping we’d chase after her. She had a nasty knack for finding important things too, like our tax forms or a utility bill and either devour them (when she was puppy) or gnaw on one corner making the document soggy and perforated. She also LOVED going into our clothes closet because the door swung shut by itself. Once effectively trapped inside, she would then bark until we came and found her. There were other things she liked to do, like wait for us both to settle down on the couch to watch a movie before scratching at the back door to go outside, but I think you get the point. She liked misbehaving. That’s how she played with us.
As I said before, I think the fact that she came so close to death as a puppy, played a huge role in how she lead her life. She did everything with wild abandon! So when the cancer started making her wear down and whither away, it was her spirit that outlasted the muscle and bone that contained it.
To say she will be missed would be a gross understatement. I think we both still see her in our day to day, expecting her in places she isn’t anymore, enhancing moments that we never realized she played a part in. The house is now unbelievably quiet and somehow colder. I think all of our pets were woven into our concept of what made our current house a “home”. It’s more clear than ever that we need to find a new one. One that Mel and I can create ourselves, by ourselves.
Cadence, for all that you taught us and for the memories that you left, we thank you so much. Thanks for your time, thanks for your love, thanks for needing us at least as much as we needed you… thank you girl. I dearly hope that we’ll get to somehow see you again someday.