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Tiger.

I think she's passed another milestone. Her eating is even more sporadic and she needs much encouragement now. She's bony and not grooming herself. I just surprised here with a bowl of tuna on the couch, and she's tucking in, but she wasn't motivated to go find it herself and she didn't sit up to eat but leaned into the bowl from a lying position.

So I'm now not thinking in terms of many more weeks, probably a couple at most.

Rather selfishly, I'm not happy that her departure may well coincide with my birthday. Such a strange but universal experience: simultaneous impatience for something inevitable, even while you don't want it to happen. One sees the decreased comfort and wants it to cease, but it will only happen by going through a point of no return.

I am reminiscing about happy moments: the joy of being able to carry her around the house while turning off light switches for the night, with her curious about the process and purring: entirely trusting of what I was doing, happy companionship. The time we collected her from a cattery after a holiday, and they told us she'd caught a mouse (a mouse in a cattery? Some kind of kamakazi mouse, I presume). The first time I met her and she raced up to me, hungry and alone (except for the litter of kittens she'd concealed in the backyard, who I was allowed to meet the next day). Dozing with her head atop mine, her purrs sending vibrations right through my head.

We've travelled a long way together. We've developed little routines and intimacies, which have evolved and changed as circumstances change. When she was an outdoors cat, I'd sometimes lie on the grass and she'd climb over me and work her way up my sleeves in order to bite my armpits, and she could never fall asleep, as it was all too exciting to have me there. Aged about ten, she became an indoor cat, and very quickly started sleeping on me, and took to sleeping on my pillow until her old age, combined with my tossing and turning, made it a too precarious proposition. She also quickly discovered how to get my attention by patting me with a paw. Now she sleeps next to the bed, on a chair with a heated mat, but wants a pat a couple of times a night and occasionally jumps aboard to pat me for no apparent reason.

I didn't choose this girl, she chose me. And I'm so glad that she did for she has smoothed the bumps and transitions of life, provided love and comfort in dark times, and made me happy just by being a cat and doing the things that cats will do.

So now we're in that last phase, where I feed her on the couch while she lies next to me, and I won't go far from home so that she won't be without the encouragement she needs to eat, and my hugs and pats carry more emotional weight than they ever did, because they come with the awareness that there aren't too many more of them to be had and it's time to make sure I've said thankyou as much as I can, and soon it will be time for the big last thankyou ... and goodbye.

There's a hole already dug in the yard for when she needs it, which I'll plant with jonquils once she's there.

This entry was originally posted at http://splodgenoodles.dreamwidth.org/2435200.html. You may comment here, or there using OpenID if you have no Dreamwidth account.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
dragonsally
Oct. 12th, 2014 03:36 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, it sounds exactly like Tysie's last days, and I know how hard this is.
splodgenoodles
Oct. 12th, 2014 11:52 am (UTC)
Thanks Sal. At the moment I'm feelign more philosophical than anything else, which is good because there'll be plenty of time for sadness later.
braunie
Oct. 12th, 2014 10:02 am (UTC)
That very specific and touching description is at the same time familiar to those of us who have furry ones in our lives, and fills me with memories of love and sadness. May your last moments be blessed.
splodgenoodles
Oct. 12th, 2014 11:52 am (UTC)
Thankyou. And I'm glad my description touched a chord.
hometime
Oct. 12th, 2014 10:07 am (UTC)
Love and hugs to you and Tiger.
splodgenoodles
Oct. 12th, 2014 11:53 am (UTC)
Thanks, and love and hugs back.
pondhopper
Oct. 12th, 2014 10:53 am (UTC)
The waiting is bittersweet and hard. I'm glad you have each other now.
It never ever stops being the hardest bit about having 4-legged friends and housemates.

*hugs* and empathy
splodgenoodles
Oct. 12th, 2014 11:53 am (UTC)
Thanks, me too.
ozswede
Oct. 12th, 2014 11:41 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry. I hope she has a content and peaceful last few days.

I was in the same position three years ago with my little 18 year old toy poodle, who I thought would live forever. Making that final call to the vet was the hardest thing I've ever done. She never asked for anything but love, which she gave unconditionally. Those little furry creatures have a way of leaving paw prints all over our heart.
splodgenoodles
Oct. 12th, 2014 11:54 am (UTC)
They do do that, don't they?

Pawprints everywhere.
vassilissa
Oct. 12th, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
I didn't choose this girl, she chose me.

I know just what you mean.

Best wishes to you and Tiger and the time you have left together.
aceofkittens
Oct. 13th, 2014 06:53 am (UTC)
Unrelated to post, but vassilissa was a username of mine for a long time on a number of forums, so when I saw this comment, I had a surreal moment of "wait, did I already comment here? Oh no wait, this isn't me." :)
maju01
Oct. 12th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry.

bookgirlwa
Oct. 13th, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
That was beautiful. You've had a lovely life together.
aceofkittens
Oct. 13th, 2014 06:51 am (UTC)
I hope there are still a few more warm, furry days and nights for the two of you to spend together.

I know, all too well, this... this whole thing. ♥
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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