On loss

My cat died today. She was 11 and a half years old. Our little world at home will never be the same.

It was sudden, but not unexpected. She’d been sick for a while, but we did our best to make sure she didn’t suffer. I accept that our pets must die for they don’t live as long as we do, but as their owners, we must make sure that we keep them free of pain and suffering. I have to remind myself almost hourly that we did our best by her.

Now, our condo is a constant reminder of her absence. I think that’s the hardest part. From the place where her food and water constantly got in the way of my feet in the kitchen, to the sun shining in the window onto the bed, where she would lay for hours in winter soaking in the heat. Even the color of the carpet and the shades on the wall are reminiscent of the grey of her fur and the green of her eyes.

I feel cheated. Angry. Furious at the unfairness of the world. She was only 11 years old. Cats live longer than that. I knew she was getting old and had arthritis in her hips, but I wasn’t prepared for this. She got sick. She stopped eating. We took to the vet, we got her IV fluids, we tried to get her to eat. But in the end, I think it was cancer that got her. We had a biopsy taken just yesterday. The results won’t be in until next week.

I console myself that she went when she was ready to go. It was her choice, not ours. We just weren’t ready for it. We didn’t recognize the signs at the time. We rushed her to the Veterinary ER at 6am. She was gone five minutes after arrival. The staff there were exceptionally kind and understanding for people who probably see this every day. They said that some animals ‘check out’ when they go and that their body takes a little longer to figure it out. I think this was the case with our Coby. It’s going to be hard to remember things other than the glazed-over look in her eyes as I broke several traffic laws to get to the Vet as fast as I could.

When we came home, broken hearted, to an empty home, we cleaned, the activity giving us something to take our mind off. But it’s not enough. Eventually you run out of things to do. Your mind wanders back to that shadow, is that here laying there in the corner? Or you see the corner of the wall where she used to rub her cheek. Or the end of the couch that was essentially reserved for her. But the food bowl is gone, waiting to be washed and put away. The blanket on the couch is in the wash with all the towels we’d put on the floor to make cleanup easier.

How do you get through? I can just hope that the hurt is less tomorrow than it is today.

God, I miss my cat.