A few weeks ago I did one of the hardest things I have had to do so far. I took my beloved DaVinci (the one sleeping on the cat tower) to the animal shelter to surrender him. I had hit my breaking point when Claire was having an episode where she was dystonic and as she came out of it, aspirating on her saliva and at the same time, DaVinci hair balled and Chloe went to play in it. After talking about it for a while, I finally resigned myself to the idea that it really would be better for everyone if he found a new home. I cried more on that day than I think I ever have. As I sat there waiting for my turn, I saw several people going in and out with excited children who anxiously awaited their new pet. It was one of those moments when the reality of rett syndrome really hit hard. I shouldn’t be having to do this because Claire shouldn’t be having these episodes. In fact, we shouldn’t even have been home, we should have been out at the park or the beach, but we weren’t. The fact is that I have been dangerously close to the edge of insanity. The back and forth of Claire having terrific days all while having these monstrous episodes is really more than a person can handle and stay in their right mind. As I have struggled to not fall over the cliff and lose it, the advice I get has been consistent, take care of yourself. Identifying that DaVinci was taking energy from me that I didn’t have was one of the steps that I have taken on my journey of violently fighting to keep my sanity. While it was a hard thing, it was good. Recently Athena, our other cat who loved Claire very much pushed me harder than I could handle. We had kept her as she is so loving to Claire. If Claire is upset, Athena will sit next to her and just wait for her to feel better. Claire has gotten so good at reaching out to feel Athena’s fur, which in rettland is a pretty amazing feat. However, she has taken to sitting on my pillow at 5am and yelling for food, this coupled with shrinking patience for Chloe, we felt it was time to say goodbye and let her go find a new home. I talked with Claire about it and to my surprise, she lit up. I am pretty sure it is part of her plan to get a dog as she knew we couldn’t get a dog because of the cats. (It will be a few years before I am ready to entertain the idea of another pet with legs.) So today after our fun trip to the aquarium, I put Athena in her cage and headed back to animal services. I turned on the radio and Tubthumping came on. It was perfect. It is an anthem proclaiming “I get knocked down but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.” I might keep getting knocks that I am not expecting, but I am going to keep going. I am going to continue to fight for my sanity and enjoy my days. I have to say as hard of a decision as this was, it really feels good. I am in control of some things and I think that I am making some good decisions with those things.