Gone

24 07 2013

And then, just gone. My Rosalind is gone.

She spent two nights in the hospital after her surgery and was cleared to come home.  Then the vet called and said while they were getting her ready to come home, she collapsed without a heartbeat.  They did CPR on her for ten minutes, and I had to give them permission to stop, to let her go.

I won’t compare this to the other deaths in my life.  But I won’t trivialize it with “just a cat” either.  Our companion animals are never “just” anything.  There are ways in which this death is more basic – there are none of the worries about legal proceedings or filling out the proper paperwork.  Instead, I brought her home in the back seat.  Not in the carrier, because she hated it.  Driving carefully so that she wouldn’t slide around.  I carried her into my back yard and laid her in the sun.  And then I wrapped her in one of my silk lace shawls and placed her body in the ground.  She is among the hydrangeas and peonies, her place marked with a stone from my grandmother’s farm.  I planted the forget-me-nots that the vet’s office sent home with me.

And with that, the physical effort of her life is done.

What isn’t done is grieving for her.  It’s still so fresh, there is a howling void of loss in my chest… so immense that I could stuff the entire world in there and it would still be just as empty.  And I torture myself with the what-ifs, the things I could have done differently.  I can’t even list them here.  I did the same thing when I lost my husband.  The what-ifs, the bargaining… even as I know there is no bargain to be made, there is nothing that can be changed.

Clara is now my only cat.  She has never lived in this house without another cat.  And truly, Rosalind dominated her for seven years and they weren’t buddies.  Right now she is wandering the house and calling.  She is emphatically my son’s cat.  But last night she slept on my bed with me.  She is lingering near me.  And she, like me, grieves.

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2 responses

24 07 2013
Katherine

Thank you for sharing that with me. I am still very raw. And even though I know I’m not the only person to ever lose a beloved pet, it helps more than you know to have a specific person share their loss with me. Blessings to you. This is terribly hard.

24 07 2013
Robin

I still grieve over my furboy Pilot who died back in September, my heart will always miss him. His death to me is no less than any other important person in my life because he was my baby boy. Must stop now, will start to cry.

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