Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Words, as catharsis

I didn’t bring the cat home. Didn’t have the strength—not for the first part of the journey, rather for the return, back to the vet. I was emotional enough already. Besides, I didn’t know if I was doing it for her, or for me. Whether, by doing something that seemed right to me, I was inflicting more pain on her.

The decision made before I left home. Paid the bill when I got there before I went to see her—easier to maintain that tenuous emotional equilibrium—signed the consent form to euthanase.

The drip had helped. She seemed more robust, heavier, healthier. But no yowl to greet me, no response to my saying her name. (In other days, when we’d gone away & she’d stayed in a cattery, my calling out her name would be met with a yowl of pleasure.) I took her out of the cage, held her whilst the assistant removed the drip feed, then took her outside into the sunlight, cradled her, let her prowl the grass, stroked her, said those things to her that one says at times like this—meaningless, full of meaning—stayed with her for about half an hour without her purring once, took her back inside to her cage where the consent form was now on the top of the clip, said goodbye, scratched her nose through the wire.

Came home, cried, cried some more. Gathered up the appurtances of keeping a cat—litter trays, tray liners, open bags of litter, food & water bowls, cans of food, a half-full bag of dry crunchies, an unused cat collar, her vaccination history—& put them in the garbage bin. Some things won’t be so easy to dispose of. My shirt has cat hairs on it from holding her; we’ll probably be sweeping them up for weeks, maybe months, to come as they emerge from those hidden spaces in the downstairs room where she was wont to sleep. The cat door in the back screen door, which, though she was quite capable of managing it on her own, she would ignore if I was around, would yowl & then wait for me to open the human door for her. The memories.

So vale Little One, valiant & vigorous defender of the Young territory in your feisty tortoiseshell way. Thank you for letting me share your life. Friend. Familiar.


Blogger Rebeka Lembo said...

My thoughts are with you.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Ernesto said...

Te abrazo.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Nicholas Manning said...

So sad mon ami. Sending you all love, Mark.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Tom Beckett said...

Death sucks. An absence is a static that is fucking hard to shake. Associations rattle in the brain pan in ways that defy reason. Love is real. A hug across the distances.

11:26 AM  
Blogger richard lopez said...

having gone thru almost the exact same situation with our cat berta last fall, i share yr heartbreak.

biggest, big hug

6:13 PM  
Blogger rcloenen-ruiz said...

A sad and moving tribute. I'm sorry for your loss.

9:11 PM  

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