Forever   Leave a comment

Princess of the Universe by Lady Birchwood
Princess of the Universe a photo by Lady Birchwood on Flickr.

On Saturday of this week, my Katie-cat will have been gone for 4 weeks, a lunar month. Where has a month gone? It seems like it was just yesterday that she died. For that matter, it could have been just moments ago. My heart still feels smashed to pieces, and I can’t quit crying. I keep reliving those last few days, the images rolling through my mind like a bizarre slideshow. I remember her last night, how she didn’t want me to leave her side as I stood beside her in her second-tier kennel at the hospital. She wanted me close and rested her head on my arm. I left, though, because we hadn’t had supper yet and it was going on 8:00 PM. I knew that the staff had things they needed to do for her, like get her IV fluids running again, checking her vitals and labs, giving her some pain meds, etc., and I thought it best that they get their stuff done and perhaps she’d settle down and sleep once I left. It had been a rough day for her. I wish I had stayed.

The following morning, after a discouraging night of bad things in her blood escalating and the good things going down, I held her at the hospital and asked her what she wanted to do. Her face portrayed her anxiety and distress. Her eyes darted around the room. She wouldn’t acknowledge me. She squirmed to get down, and I let her. She limped around the room, her front right leg taped to hold the I.V. catheter secure. She was weak, her legs were trembling. She desperately wanted to find a place to hide. She had her head completely under the low couch with only a few inches of clearance. That was her answer to me: “Mama, I’m dying. I want to find a place to go off by myself and die.”

Minutes later, I assisted her to do that, held warmly in my arms. As the overdose of anesthesia was given, she heard the sound of my voice, telling her how much I loved her, and felt the protective embrace of my love. I felt her little head drop against my shoulder and then her heart ceased to beat.

I continued to hold her for quite some time, still talking to her. If there was some part of her that could still sense me — her spirit, her soul, her life force — I wanted her to hear me and feel me until that had departed. Eventually, I knew I had to let her be taken from me, and the assistant took her, wrapped in her baby blanket, and cradled her like a small newborn. I glanced at her sweet little face for the last time, her eyes partly closed.

My heart feels like it’s been ripped out. I want to remember all the pleasure and enjoyment we shared, but all I can see right now is her limping around the room, looking for a hiding place. I see her half-closed eyes as she was taken away from me. She took a part of me with her when she died.

I miss her so much! I would give anything to have her back with me. Hell, I would have given her one of my own kidneys if it would have saved her and she could have lived another few years.

I hate death. It’s a very raw deal. I was blessed with the honor of being her human companion, her “mom,” for a very short, very quick 16+ years. Those years went in the blink of an eye. And now she’s gone, and she’ll be gone forever. What kind of crap is that?

No, I don’t do death well. I can’t wrap my head around the “forever” part, the permanency of it. Life is constantly changing, but death goes on just as it is for an eternity.

The permanency of this loss is making me crazy. I’m not going to get over it in a few days because she was “just a cat.” I’m not going to go out and “replace” her. Kate will never be replaced. She was too special, too unique to ever be replaced. There will never be another Katie-cat.

I hope that someday I will love again, someday my bed will be warmed with a snuggling little furball. I hope that someday my aching heart will heal. I hope that someday I’m able to think about Kate without the agony of missing her and the cold, stark knowledge that I’ll never see her again.

But not today. Today I am alone in my bed and torn with grief, trying unsuccessfully to fathom being without her for the rest of my life.

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