Saying Goodbye

June 22nd, 2014 by Magdalena Tabor

I shy away from calling our kids “pets”, our cats “animals”. They are nothing less than family and as they age we mourn the passing of isistime in their fragility. And we dread “the day”. We say we’ll know it when the time comes. We’ll know when the time is right. We say it with such conviction.
But when the day actually arrives, we procrastinate. No, she isn’t eating. And yes, she is emaciated…..but look how she greets us! See how she perks up whenever we enter the room! What we fail to realize is that her deep love and devotion is unfailing. She will greet us with her dying breath. Living on love alone.
Are we being fair in letting her wither away? Aren’t we suffering alongside by refusing to let one another go? Do we stave off the inevitable with prolonged treatments that will ultimately end in bitter disappointment? Tortuous visits to the vet that only place more stress on both her and us? Or maybe, just maybe…..we should try this….
A favorite home cooked meal. One she cannot possibly resist…..C’mon baby, it’s easy. All you have to do is eat it. Just a little nibble.
But food no longer has the appeal it once had. Food is sustinence. Life. A life that no longer requires what food has to offer. The body is, quite simply, shutting down. Why is that so hard to comprehend?
Today, I’m spending time with her. Sharing the bed on a lovely summer day. The quilt is like a picnic blanket spread with a banquet of her favorite foods, all of which lie untouched. But no matter. Today, we’re celebrating her birthday. She’s just about a week shy of 20. Long time. Lots of memories. I tell her about the day I first brought her home while Dad slipped away to a Giant’s game: “Remember when we were on the back of the bus? I took you out of your carrier and you snuggled up close under my chin. You were so small.” She’s heard that one a thousand times. I can see her practically rolling her eyes. But it bears repeating. It has weight.
Her blanket is freshly laundered. There are soft murmurings of “I love you” spoken between us. Her restlessness tells me what I still refuse to accept. But I know it in my heart.

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3 Responses to “Saying Goodbye”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    Michael Tabor Written by Magdalena Tabor
    22 hours ago · Like

    Tina Marie Harriott Mustage Sorry to hear this Parting with a loving family member is so Hard Hugs to both of you
    21 hours ago · Like

    Michael Tabor Thank you
    21 hours ago · Like

    Kathleen Wells I could go on and on about this topic… My first kitten I had Friskie…I picked him out when I was 10. I got lucky bc my mom said no to a mostly white cat bc we had dark furniture. AND we were only getting ONE kitten. So we started to walk away with just his brother Tiger….and other ppl showed up and my mom knew they’d take Friskie bc he was so beautiful! So she ran back and took him too! So we had the typical sibling rivalry between the brothers. Tiger was the alpha and Friskie, well we knick named him the great white hunter bc when A he couldn’t catch a thing unless it ran up to him! And once when his brother was in a fight with another cat we all ran outside to stop the fight and there was this almost all white cat standing in the middle of the shrub in the pitch black and I called him and he pretended like I couldn’t see this big white cat! But unfortunately his brother eventually succumbed to injuries he got from being hit by a car 2 years prior after several surgeries etc we had to put him to sleep at the age of 4… Friskie howled walking in the yard at night mourning his brother. But he grew into the alpha and we had our struggles with him. He was diagnosed with FIV and the vet insisted I put him down immediately. I refused and nurses him back to health for another 3 years and about 2 & 1/2 good quality time but then he faded, wasted and we agonized over the thought of putting him down. We prayed please die and spare us the decision of having to do that. But he too lived off of love and would Spring up from what we thought was death to run over to us and give us some more love. We finally made the painful decision that it had to be….we had to give him a peaceful passing. Usually ppl don’t go in during the event but I felt I owed it to him to be the last thing he saw and feel the love from me and the appreciation of all the wonderful years and wisdom he had grown into. The procedure actually didn’t go as planned….since he was so far gone, the lethal dose they gave him did not circulate to his heart and he popped up and was running around the table. My mom and I were horrified thinking maybe we made the wrong decision but he had a fatal dose already…they had to give him another shot to paralyze him and then the last shot would be directly into his heart. I braved the 3 shots, was holding him the whole time petting him, telling him I loved him and he was such a good boy. His eyes never left mine and he passed. I still cry about the memory and it’s been about 15 years but I know it was the absolute right thing to do and I DID owe him my love to the very end. Though I loved him greatly and still ache over his loss, I love my next kitten just as greatly. He just turned 13 and I worry about how many more years do I have with him. But I know I will make the right decision when that time comes and I will endure the pain again because I owe it to him for the unconditional love (even though he’s a stinker at times) he has given me. Thanks for the post.
    13 hours ago · Like
    Michael Tabor

  2. magdalena Says:

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind thoughts. Isis is still hanging in, miraculously. The appetite stimulate combined with another drug has prompted her to feel better and EAT. For now, it’s one day at a time, and every moment another blessing while she’s still ours.

  3. Chipster Says:

    Animals are amazing in their ability to capture our hearts. What’s even more incredible, and something I just don’t understand, is that we love them SO much, but as the time approaches, I swear the love deepens even more, to the point you wonder if you can bear the pain and loss. We do everything to stay with them and show them our love; there is never a love so deep; hence the pain we feel.
    You can take solace in the fact that you HAVE loved them and protected them more than many do on this planet and you’ll do whatever you can for her. You have many happy (and I’m sure funny) memories of Isis and despite what some people think, I’m sure she has many of her own.

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