A cherished gift from a special author friend.
In moments when I'm being perfectly honest with myself I admit that I'd been saying goodbye to Tara a little bit each day over the past year. When she was diagnosed on August 24, 2012 with congestive heart failure and a splenic mass I knew that our time together was coming to an end. The fact that she did quite well for almost another year (a fact that amazed her doctors) shows what a tough little tortie she was.
I trace her decline to just before Father's Day when she began to weaken. Up until the very end she was determined to do her typical cat stuff (even though just walking to the litter box took a little longer) and have a good appetite. I started working from home more and more so that I had to leave her as little as possible so I could help her around the house.
The night of Friday, July 5, I debated going to bed. I didn't want to leave her in the living room alone but she had to stay near her litter pan and I just had to get away for awhile. When I woke up Saturday morning I had to stop for a moment to see if she was breathing; she hadn't moved all night. She just picked at her breakfast, so I made a run to the grocery store to pick up one of her favorite treats, hickory smoked deli turkey. She ate an entire slice! Through the afternoon she perked up a little and I went to Petco to get a few more cans of a new food we had just discovered and she loved, Merrick Purrfect Bistro Salmon Pate. She ate an entire can for dinner!
As the evening went on, she was unable to stand. I think that scared her the most. Around midnight I carried her to the back door so she could lie there for awhile and get some fresh air. I made up a bed for myself on the living room floor, held her paw in my hands, and whispered to her that it was ok to let go when she took her final breaths at 2am on Sunday, July 7th. She left this Earth with the same strength and grace with which she lived. I couldn't have asked for a better ending but it still hurts like hell.
Thank you, Cat Blogosphere, for the beautiful tribute.
The afternoon of the day she died I started watching Muppets Take Manhattan to try to take my mind off of my grief. Big mistake. It had been 25 years since I'd watched the movie and had forgotten one of the featured songs...Saying Goodbye. While I had said goodbye to her earlier that morning, it was really until we meet again. We were so connected that when my time comes I know she'll be the first one lined up to greet me at the Pearly Gates.
I always said she was my little angel. Now she has her wings.