My twenty year-old grey cat breathed his last this early evening, and my adult son was instrumental in his peaceful passing. The veterinarian made a house call, and when euthanasia was performed, our outdoor cat was in his own backyard, resting on my son’s chest.
Memories flood me about the cat, and I’m in that place between grief and resolution, knowing it was his time. I don’t want to face pain, but that’s not my option. I am not God, even though euthanasia is a Godly option when animals suffer. The cat was shutting down, and he was in pain. My son told me late last night the cat went blind while my son was looking into his eyes.
Kidney failure can affect a cat’s eyes, and our cat stopped eating and drinking yesterday. He could see one moment, and the next moment pupils expanded and his eyes went completely black. He was totally blind. Today was our cat’s last day, and he went through it sightless, with both ears amputated due to recent skin cancer procedures. I don’t like the end process one bit.
When I was a little girl, my first cat had kittens in my bed, and I was thrilled when she did. More than once, she’d crawl under my covers, and I’d wake up to hear four squeeking blind kittens. It wasn’t a very bloody situation, and I loved my cat, thrilled to be the first human to love her blind babies.
My last grey cat went full circle, starting as a blind kitten, ending as a blind old warrior. His last image was of my son’s face. That is a blessed consideration, loss as transformation and unfolding.
We who love animals know that losing them is part of the deal, but it’s so awful to love and lose. This was my last grey cat, and he was the best. I miss him already.
I am practicing to feel simultaneous feelings, love and loss. Much as I want to, I choose not to run away from pain, even though I really do want to run away from feeling any type of pain at all. Life won’t let me work that way.
So I write about love and my gratitude that my son gave the cat such a lovely sendoff. Blessings to all of us who love, so much better than not feeling. Even loss isn’t so bad when I consider how much love is available. This is a love song to those of us who care.