The knock at the door created a thud which jarred my every cell together to awaken to the reality of this moment. I'm not quite ready to let go of my sweetest feline friend but her frail, failing body is no longer a fitting place for her tenderhearted and inquisitive soul. She finally let me know she was ready to go, so I need to be ready now, for her.
After a quick assessment of my home I greet the vet at the door, with a "Welcome to my circus" look. This small framed woman with her bags of mercy at her side, enters softly, as if her personal grace will ease my experience. I'm pretty sure it will. She first notices the red eyed Towhee calmly resting in my right palm. "It was a parting gift from Itsy Bitsy," I explain. "She is a stray cat my daughter Eden befriended after noticing our cranky old Satchy cat wandering the property with her for a couple of weeks. "Digs are good here" He must have said. So she stayed. "Itsy- bitsy has brought our two elderly cats (and us of course) gifts of mice, birds, and snakes periodically for the last three years. Although, they are usually dead."
The vet had never heard of such a thing.
This bird was left, unscathed, in the hallway next to Yangette. When Yangette was finished sniffing the cowering Towhee I scooped it up into my hand and carried it back to freedom. I sat it on the edge of a hanging basket where it seemed to shake off the truth of nearly being a sacrificial last rite and flew back into life.
Back in the house, I gathered a blanket around my faithful nineteen year old cat, bringing her up into my arms for one last cuddle. I sang her silly song and mourned the loss of her ready purr and encouraging meows. Her continence showcased the epitome of a positive attitude and always seemed to answer my questions with a yes. "Yes, I like that skirt. Yes, you should write that poem. Yes, I love you too. Yes, my brother must have been dropped on his head as a kitten. Yes. Yes. yes." Then the bunny hopped madly by and startled the patient vet. "That is Sugar Belle Dehlila Light. She is unbelievably strong willed, incredibly Wiley and intelligent. She only interacts with people on her own terms and is 100% potty trained." I forgot to mention She growls and my girls nick named her Bunacula because she is...... um...... fantastic at holding to her boundary's and my girls were a wee bit slow to learn them.
The vet brings us back to our goodbye by preparing the syringes and needles while explaining the procedure. She asks me how long I have had my dear "Temple" cat. "She was born in my first school bus home 20 years ago tomorrow," I choke out. Her mother went into labor at my feet under the covers in my bed. Her water breaking woke me up. The mother was lost while still nursing so I bottle fed her babies for a few days until they learned to eat." This sincere woman with a caring presence gave my first "baby" her shot while holding perfect space for me to allow my eyes to fill and drop... fill and drop. Yangette drifted off to sleep in my warm embracing lap. On her last great exhale I felt a part of her bubble up, out and into my heart. Literally. "So that is why we say someone will always be in our hearts" I thought. Energy is fascinating.
You were born at my feet
Died in my lap
Entered my heart
And will leave through my crown
You are love incarnate
A sacred day
Until we meet again
Yangettes little body twitched and even breathed for nearly an hour after she had been pronounced dead. The vet checked her heart beat 3 extra times in disbelief.
She had never seen that before.
After volunteering a compassionate hug I swear the vet left with a look on her face that spoke of an encounter with the Twilight zone. But, maybe I'm projecting. Just think how the morning would have gone if my resident elder had been awake or my children had been home.
A few more tearful goodbyes.
A little womb dug in momma earth.
And it is back into the day.
Feel the magic.....