Friday, October 2, 2015

R.I.P. Angie

The smallest and youngest of my two cats, Angie, left this realm today, at the ripe old age of 8. She had cardiac issues and a blood clot had formed near her aorta, and it paralyzed her hind legs. This is her, earlier tonight, in that picture.

I spent the day crying alongside her, whether it's when we lay on my kitchen floor in between going to veterinarians' (three times), or at the last animal hospital where they, too, told us it was time to let her go. I use the ''us'' pronoun because at that last place, I called her former human, my ex-girlfriend (i.e. Former Lady Of The House) to join us. It was she who held Angie as the doctors gave her the anesthetic and performed euthanasia. She was hers at first, so it felt like a circle had been closed. It made sense.

And that's where my brain reacted in ways I wasn't used to. We're conditioned to want to avoid death, to see it as ''wrong '', and euthanasia on humans is illegal in many places but tolerated on animals and pets. And I know it would have been selfish to keep her with me for another day because of the inhumane level of pain she felt, even though she only expressed it when she wasn't in my arms or sleeping next to me.

Then I wrestled with my memories of her being louder than usual when she would talk to me these last few months, and wondering if there was anything I could have done differently for her to have a better quality of life; the doctors say her condition couldn't be cured, and even if it had been controlled by medicine, in cases like hers, the inevitable eventually happens anyway. I might not have even bought her more time.

But there's always that ''what if'' in the back of a human's mind. And although your mind knows right from wrong, truth from fiction - it still tries to play you.

Mine was telling me I was her protector, and that I had failed; but not only is death the only inevitability in Life, disease is the one thing no bodyguard can prevent, even the best ones.

I chose to cry to let my sadness out, and I chose to do it in front of her. With her. Towards her.

And I choose now to remember the love I gave her and the love I felt back. The good times we shared, and the bonds and closeness we had.

It'll be a while before I fall asleep easily without her sleeping either on top of me or with her back to mine, exchanging heat. And my other cat - who isn't the healthiest beast out there, I fear - will probably go nuts.

But she remains with me in thought. I treated her like a daughter, she treated me like a husband. I miss her like a sister.

No comments: