Missy and me had an amazing connection.
She always knew what was needed. For instance, if I worked a long time at the computer and didn’t give myself a break I would often find a cat jumping up on my lap getting my attention.
That’s when she was younger. And then, when she got older and found jumping difficult. She would quietly come into the room and sit on the floor, staring at me. At first I usually wouldn’t even know she was there because I didn’t see her come in. And then I would feel her presence, turn my head, and there she is looking at me.
…asking me to pick her up, which I always did. Because I needed a break and she knew it.
If I stayed up too late at night watching TV or reading Missy would find me and sit there looking at me saying in her silent way. “It’s bed time”. I would usually go with her and she would lead the way to the bedroom.
Sometimes I would tell her, I’ll be along shortly. And she would go to bed and find a comfy spot up beside the pillow and wait for me.
In what turned out to be her last year, Missy seemed to be okay most of the time, that is until the last month and a half of her life. Sure she needed a little help, jumping, but that’s about it. Her hearing was great, her vision was fine, her appetite was fine, she used the box just fine. But suddenly, and I mean from one meal to the next suddenly, she stopped eating. And she stopped using the box. She didn’t stop trying. There was just no doodoo.
At first I thought she’s not “going” because she’s not eating, but after a week in which I couldn’t even get her to eat her favorite treats we went to the vet. That’s when they told me her kidneys had gone from the 50% failure bad to so bad that I should consider her quality of life. That was their way of saying, think about euthanasia. Because…
It’s gonna get real bad.
I didn’t want to hear it. They also found some lumps inside her stomach area and ran some tests to see if that was cancer, everything bad seemed to happen to this sweet girl all at once. All they gave her was a mild fiber addition to her diet. Another week went by, and she still was not defecating so it was back to the doctor. I was very concerned. At this point, we took her to a specialist where she had an enema and had to stay overnight for the first time in her life.
When I got her back the poor thing was so weak…but she had some appetite back and they gave me appetite stimulant pills for her. Things looked better for about a week then she stopped going again for a whole week, and I took her back to the specialist.
At this point, her stomach had swollen. And it was huge and full of liquid and they had to drain it. And they also gave her another enema to get her going again. I knew I couldn’t keep doing this to her to try and keep her alive. It was selfish to even consider it. But I Didn’t Want To Loose My Best Friend.
This time her appetite returned for only 1 day. And I was forced to start giving her fluid injections in the back of the neck every night, to do the job her kidneys were failing to do.
After about a week of that, she was barely eating again and even the appetite stimulant meds were having no effect. Missy kept trying to use her box like a good kitty, but that had stopped working again.
I was sitting on the couch and she slowly walked up and sat at my feet to be picked up for her hug, when suddenly her entire body began shaking violently. It took what seemed like forever but was probably about 30 seconds. Enough time for me to calmly say to her “Are you dying, Missy?”
Finally it stopped and she was immediately lifted into my arms and gently stroked as I told her “It’s OK, sweetie, Daddy is here”.
I recognized in her a lot of the signs of dying, that I had seen seven years earlier while taking care of my mother in her last days. And then MissyCat’s back legs gave out all together.
Missy had been barely able to get into her box in the past week, so I purchased a lower to the ground cat box for her. She had just gotten out of it, leaving nothing behind, and went to walk back to the bedroom across the hardwood dining room floor when her back legs slipped out wide underneath her.
She had no more strength in her back legs. My poor girl. I felt so bad. I picked her up and brought her to bed. Then I got my collection of carpet remnants and yoga mats and made a pathway through the house. Wherever there was something that might be too slippery for her. That didn’t really help. The next morning once again I didn’t get the usual wake up call that Missy used give me at breakfast time. That stopped a while back because she hadn’t been eating. I got up and headed toward the kitchen.
I found Missy halfway down the hall laying on her side on the padding unable to get up. She had wet, right there. She was on her way to her box, but couldn’t make it. All her life she was so clean, she would do everything she could to be the good kitty. She would never just go potty anywhere. Even in her younger days when she would occasionally throw up a furball she would try to move off of a chair or carpet to the shiny floor. (I thought that was an amazingly thoughtful thing to do and more proof of this cat making conscious choices about her actions)…And most of the time she would make it.
I cleaned her up and told her she was a good, good, Kitty and that I understand. And I thanked her for trying to make it to her box and told her, it’s okay.
Even though it was early March. Mother Nature had been kind to us and the temperature warmed up into the 60s. So I took my inside cat outside, and let her lay in the grass on the other side of the window she always used to look out from. I wanted to make sure she got to experience everything she could possibly want to experience in this life before she had to go. No regrets.
Late that afternoon. MissyCat was at the foot of the bed, laying in a Sphinx position. I walked in and gently petted her back and got this deep throated moaning growl. I may have mentioned elsewhere that Missy had almost no voice. And when she meowed it was very tiny, and always well motivated. So this sound I got from her was a very clear message. It felt it like a stab in my heart that she was telling me she was in great pain, and it was time to go.
The Big Chair
My heart broke my throat tightened, and I said to her, “I understand, sweetie. I’ll make the call. Daddy will take care of it for you. I love you SO much”
So I made a call to have a professional come to the house to euthanize by best girl…my best Friend, in a place where she would feel the most comfortable and at the most peace.
MissyCat was unable to move very much, no muscle left in her back half. She was in great pain and still lying unmoving at the foot of the bed. I checked on her a few times just walking by looking through the door, but I didn’t want to touch her because it would hurt. I had already decided she was getting no more medication, and no more needle in the back of the neck. What would be the point? Because tomorrow Would be graduation from Planet Earth and she didn’t need it anymore.
And when I went to bed that night, fully expecting to see her laying there at the bottom of the bed exactly where I left her, I was shocked! Missy had managed to move herself up to the top of the bed right up below where I would lay down on the pillow. This was a place she never laid down before. It would be right against my body. How did she get herself up there? She wanted to be with me, she knew it was her last night.
In the morning I woke up with her still right beside me. She was under the covers in exactly the same spot. And she looked up and started purring that soft sweet little purr of hers. I was amazed. What a beautiful attitude. What a beautiful example of love and courage. In the face of everything she still had a song for me! I only hope I am that strong in character when it’s my time to check out.
Then she gave me a head bump…both are very loving signs from a cat! In spite of all she was going through, she wanted me to be absolutely sure that I know that it was okay. And that she loves me. And saying that she knows I love her! I believe she was saying, Thank you, and it was her way of reinforcing, in my mind, her consciousness and self awareness and her ability to communicate with me Soul to Soul, friend to friend.
I got up and got dressed. We had a few hours before the specialist came to take her out of misery. I spent some time out in the sunshine with her sitting on my lap. And then we went inside and sat on our favorite “Singing Chair”. .
The Singing Chair was the chair that has the foot massager in front of it. When the foot massager makes its vibrating pulsations, it sounds like a cat purring and Missy used to enjoy sitting on my lap with the vibrations…the purring. So we did that for a while.
When the veterinarian arrived. I had planned to let Missy be on the meditation chair (The Big Chair), where we would always sit together and where she would sit when I wasn’t home, and let her soul leave her body from that special quiet spot.
But I heard her again, telling me that she wants to be on my lap.
Of course. That’s the only way it can end. We talked, the veterinarian and I, about Missy for a while, then went to the meditation room. I sat on The Big Chair and Missy laid across my lap with her head my hand.
I had the candles lit by the meditating Buddha statue and a recording of Tibetan monks chanting OM, softly playing in the room. I learned of a Tibetan tradition for the dying in which they sit with the person and chant special prayers telling them (their soul consciousness) that they are okay and the transition is fine, reassuring them that all is as it should be. That’s what I did for MissyCat.
I was gently petting her telling her how much I love her. And this is…Okay. Everything is fine. I told her I will always love her, always. The doctor gave her the injection while I kept stroking her gently. She laid there motionless until finally the doctor just softly said “she’s gone now”.
I had this ring made in Sterling Silver, onyx, and mother-of-pearl to symbolize the bond “Missy & Me”
Goodbye Sweet Soul. No more pain. No more embarrassment. No more seizures. You are FREE.
Missy’s ashes now rest in the lap of Buddha in our meditation room.
They say All Good Things come to an end.
It’s been nearly a year. And I miss her every day. I try not to grieve because I believe that grieving blocks the communication channels between the physically living and the no longer embodied spirits, as ironic as that seems just when you need it most. And in another post I will tell you an interesting perspective on our relationship, which I only recently came to. It helps me to accept the situation with a little more grace and dignity.
Missy, my sweet MissyCat, taught me so much! I can never thank her enough. She taught me that animal consciousness is more than they let us know. She taught me that there can be communication and friendship between the species. She taught me about selfless love. By giving it to me. And by giving me the opportunity to give it back..
I Love MissyCat, my sweet kitty cat.
You’re my angel and I love you.