Today I got to pay N one of my highest compliments. I completely and totally fell apart leaving him to pick up the pieces of the normal day flow. It is a humbling experience to allow oneself to do this. In the time that N and I have been together this has happened on a massive scale really only twice before. On both other occasions as well it has been when something has happened with our cat Luke.
The last time something big occurred it was a year ago and it left me gulping back sobs on the kitchen floor as I watched this adorable little entity bleed uncontrollably from his nose. With all the spiritual wisdom and attainment I like to think I have earned, it all seemed to go out the window in an instant as I looked down at my hands while praying in an attempt to get out of my own way and remember their ability to help heal this little guy. It turned out that he had an abscessed tooth and $2500 in surgery and an abstraction later, he was just fine.
I absolutely do not believe in keeping an animal alive past when it is humane just because their human companion is not ready to let them go. When things physically start to shut down, or when their little bodies seem to be giving them lots of discomfort and pain, I definitely believe the right thing to do is to help them on to the next adventure. The challenge with a pet is determining just exactly when that is. If something can be done that will maintain or improve the quality of life, I will definitely do it. Thus, at my house there was another emergency trip to the vet with Luke today.
It turns out that this time the little fella has got a case of bronchitis / early stage pneumonia, is a bit anemic and is on the lower end of normal for kidney functioning issues. His breed is famous for rhinitis and sinusitis so it is challenging to tell when breathing sounds move past normal. Unfortunately the day-to-day sounds mask the tell tale gurgling until it is worse than it should be.
On the phone with the Vet, after getting the test results which said that he was not presently dying, I was so relieved that the rest of the conversation in specific detail sounded like wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa. I actually had to call back after I hung up as I understood the fact that I needed to come back in to the office to pick up medication, but couldn’t then remember if she said I needed to bring the cat back with me for the treatment or not! (Turns out it is drops at home for two weeks and then he goes back in for a re-screening). Well, this time there goes the savings for the purchase of the new airbook, however willingly forgone to give the little squidglett the best care we can for the time he has left. 🙂
Now observant readers may be wondering why no mention of Max? Well, besides not wanting to blog like a crazy cat woman, it is with bitter sweet happiness that I report that last month Max found a new home. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do. Luke was slowing down so much that he was getting frustrated with Max when he would pester him to play. After the second time we came home to fur which had flown after an event that had also drawn blood, I knew it was time (they started fighting when Luke would get frustrated with Max’s playful pestering…like all good younger brothers do). As Max likes to be with other cats as well, once Luke passes, N and I knew that for the foreseeable future we will not be adopting another so this would have unfairly left Max alone.
As much as I wanted to selfishly keep Max with me forever, I promised myself after Luke’s last health scare that I would quietly begin looking for the perfect home to transition him to. The tailor made situation came to light spontaneously during a random conversation in the middle of the night on a red eye flight from SFO to JFK. It turned out that my coworker had just adopted a kitten and she said she was now looking for second cat to complete the family. My antennae went up and I secretly went into stealth mode sessing up this woman to see if she would be worthy of such an amazing cat as Max. I questioned her at some length. When she passed with flying colors and then preceded to mention the two breeds of cats she was desiring to adopt from (one being Max’s!!!) immediately in that moment I knew he was meant to go to her. I teared up and then told her about our situation with this mellow, love bug of a cat who had been a part of my family for the past 9 years. She then teared up as well. A week later I flew Max to her home. She now adores him even more than I did if that is possible!
For me, as strange as it may sound, it was like loosing a family member. But knowing Max is in a home better set up for him and what he needs, the heart ache was worth it. I regularly get updates and Max is doing well and loving his new little kitten sister, Luna Bella.
Now as we close a day spent doing things I had not planned on doing, I find that I must repent for the many times that I have judged with slight irritation the seeming spaciness or flightiness of another. Today it was my turn and it was quite a humbling reminder of all the inner work I still have left to do and yet again, I have a fabulous little fur entity to thank for more precious reminders.