So how was your long weekend? Nice time at the cottage? Bit of relaxing?
I didn’t want this to be flippant (and yet my choice of title). I didn’t want this to be angry (and yet my opening).
But she’s gone. And that’s not fair.
It isn’t nearly as unfair as losing a parent, or a brother, both of which have affected dear friends of mine in the not-too-distant past, and I absolutely know we did the right thing, because it is inhumane, cruel, and unfair to the animal to keep them alive for your own emotional security, but there is still a profound part of me that is aching and angry that I had to do this, and do it so soon.
Admittedly I wanted to put off making this choice until it was a little easier for me, as awful as that might sound. I wanted her to know that there was something seriously wrong, as I fundamentally could not kill a happy and unaware, if occasionally uncomfortable, part of my life. I needed to know that she knew what was happening, and that she was ready, but not wait so long that she couldn’t bear it. She fought and she fought, but over the last week, the pieces of her that meant most to us went away. She wasn’t taking any pleasure in things that made her so happy previously. She had to fight to catch her breath if she was moved, jostled, picked up, or towards the end, even just touched. This was not how she had been living with her disease up to the last few days. If I’m most sorry for anything, it’s that we saw the signs of the worst starting mid-Saturday, but held out until yesterday to avoid having to take her to the awful emergency clinic and go amongst all that pain and unfamiliarity, and the ludicrous expense. We needed her to have some measure of comfort in going with us by her side, but also with the vets and staff at Queen West who were so, so good to her, and who seemed almost as broken up as we were (they nearly all came in one-by-one to say goodbye). So we spent the weekend watching a body die around a soul that knew it, and wanted out.
In the end, she could barely sleep, as she was putting so much conscious effort into breathing properly that she couldn’t take a moment’s rest from concentrating, lest she not get enough air. She managed two little naps, with us on the couch, over Monday and yesterday, and her body wracked and shook as she slept so much, yet she was so tired that she was so deeply asleep, that there was no doubt we were doing what had to be done.
But she got to fight as long as she could, we gave her every chance and the best treatment we could, she got to raise one wonderful little sister to be a very loving animal, and she got the chance to meet our two new little additions and to experience one last bit of joy (I really believe her most joyous times were when she could watch and play with little baby kittens, as first with Maeby and now with Flora and Dorothy/Piglet she was never happier than when she got to get on the floor with them) before moving on.
I don’t know what her life was like before us, but if the little nicks and scars, the chipped tooth, the fleas, the worms and the refusal to eat were any indication, I like to think we gave her the best life she could ever have imagined. And I hope, I hope, that in putting a stop to her pain, we helped her find a far, far better rest (to borrow a line) than she could ever dream of. We didn’t even have her for three years, but I hope they were good years.
We loved her. She was the first addition to our little family, and she brought us great happiness.
We will miss her.
So, if you please, cans in the air and pour one off for Kaylee, and for anyone else lost or hurting.
Goodbye, little girl.