i've been following my mama's advice for the past several days: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. personally, i prefer 'if you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me'...but that's not always the most prudent! :-)
suzanne, my sweet daughtercat, has been diagnosed with kidney failure. she weighs in at 5 pounds--most likely because she drinks so much water. i'm not sure how long she'll be with me, and i feel a deep sadness at even the thought of her passing. i've read the rainbow bridge stories with tears dripping down my face.
i have no doubt that we share a bond that is rare. in some ways, i believe she may be my soul mate. i grieve in advance of the loss of that bond...my life has been richer with her, and i can feel the deficit already.
she's been skittish for nearly all of the 15-1/2 years she's been with me. her early years are full of crawling under the bed up inside the box spring, hiding from strange voices, loud noises, and door bells. yet with me, snuggled in our bed, she curls close with an unguarded tummy for stroking. she grooms my hands and face, occasionally licks my leg or arm. she cuddles between my wrists with her head resting on my forearm when i'm at my computer keyboard. she sits on my left knee in the bathroom and leaves tiny pink paw impressions on my skin.
i've spent 15-1/2 years with her wanting to sleep under the covers, and sometimes spending the entire day there after i've gotten up. i usually leave a pillow with her so the blanket doesn't disturb her ears. at other times, she has slept on my tummy and chest, sometimes to keep me calm when i'm restless. she sleeps on my hip, my back, my lap. i'm her soft and warm. she treats me like furniture in the most familiar and loving of ways.
i've discovered her nose velvet and the point where the nap changes. she's learned to love a caress under her chin and down her chest. she's tolerated claw clipping--on the same days that i trim my own toenails.
she's ridden inside my sweatshirt, warm against my heart, on more trips than she would have chosen to take without me. the trauma of leaving home has increased and i take her infrequently as possible. when we do go, it's almost always preferable to go via mama's sweatshirt instead of the carrier that is just too big and cold.
when we talked last night about her illness, i told her that i would not leave her, that i would make good choices for her, and that i did not blame her for breaking our promise of 6 more years. she looked deep into my eyes and closed hers half way in loving agreement.
we've talked about the real meaning of 'euthanize'. in greek, it means 'good death'. we interpret it further as a dignified death...one with choice and kindness. she knows that i am a careful observer and will be watchful of her comfort.
between now and whenever then is, we will continue to be warm and cozy for each other.