Story Circle Network (SCN) is sponsoring their annual Lifewriting contest and the theme is “letting go” (www.storycircle.org/Contests). Although I am not entering as I have other obligations to SCN, I realized that I needed to write something for Trouble, our family cat, before I could move on to other blog posts. So, the following is not a full-blown story but something I needed to say. Thanks for “listening.”
I listened to the vet talk about options as I pet Trubs; mounds of hair flying due to dehydration. I knew it was time, knew it before making the call. She was almost 15 years old, had a tumor in her mouth and was experiencing kidney failure. But did I really have it in me to say the words? To begin a catnap from which she would not awaken?
I heard facts ~ down to 5lbs, IV bags, blood tests, dialysis, age, etc..…
I saw images ~ an eight week old kitten with a partial shadowed face amidst a solid black litter; the mixed aromas of Lysol, ammonia and dirty fur at the pound; a symphony of barking dogs, mews and children squealing “look at that one mommy”. My oldest daughter, then eight years old, quietly gravitated towards the smallest strangest-looking cat, matching green eyes looking somberly at one another until my daughter turned to me in a silent plea.
I’m sure I tried to talk her out of it. That’s been my way for so long, needing age to mellow like a fine wine, to learn that I don’t have to be in control of everything.
Except on this day at the vet‘s office, I do. I have to make a decision. Our cat was alive in that moment and could have more time. But Troubles was suffering in that moment too. So through tears I said “it’s time”, blanketed Trouble in her favorite bed and toys and prayed for a paradise of green fields filled with flower-shaped, salmon-flavored treats.