Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dying on a cold cloudy day

Everyone has the right to die in their own unique way. The day is cold and damp, nothing but deep clouds in the sky, not even a hint of sunshine. And Eva spends nearly all of her time resting on her bed with the heated throw to keep her warm. Her body seems to be shrinking before my eyes. She eats little—some rice cooked in beef broth, a little mango yogurt, a few slivers of deli turkey. She drinks a few sips of water. And I keep the death watch. I get up in the middle of the night to check on her, to take her to the bathroom. I don’t sleep much. Even in the middle of the night I usually find her awake, sitting up in her bed, staring vacantly into the darkness. She may acknowledge me when I ask how she’s doing but she turns from me if I try to hold her. She is in her own world it seems, retreating into something that is beyond my understanding.

But it has been her life, and now it’s her death. I don’t own it. The only input I have is how I care for her, how I try to honor her journey. It’s breaking my heart to know that today, tomorrow, soon her final day is coming. I will miss her.

Eva is 17 years old, rather old for a cat. She is beautiful, even still, even though her body is failing fast, I still see that beautiful kitten, that young wild girl in her face. I won’t let her suffer. When the time comes, I will do what she would want me to do. She will tell me when it’s time or she will simply die on her own. I am cherishing these last days while at the same time I am steeped in deep sorrow. My girl, my companion for so many years. . .


  1. So much love ... I held my breath through the first and second paragraphs for I was afraid you were talking about your mother. But knowing that Eva is your cat didn't make the sad feeling go away.
    I am sorry this had to happen during the holiday season when so many of us grapple with a bunch of difficult emotions. And she has been with you for so long.
    Well, maybe a lucky kitten will find a warm and loving home after New Year...

  2. Thanks. It's Monday morning and she's still hanging in there. Eating very little, drinking very little. Soon, I think, just not now.

    1. Had no idea this was going on, Donna. Losing a long time pet is just awful. I kept Hershey alive with lamb chops. Hope some one will watch over me just as tenderly at the end as you are doing for your kitten. Love and hugs -- SA

    2. I've thought exactly that, Sallie Ann--I hope someone will let me rest in a warm bed, little tastes of mango yogurt, sips of champagne, beautiful music, lots of medication.