Farewell sweet queen

I've been trying to find the words to write this post and I still don't think I have them. I'm going to give it a try though since it's part of the healing/grieving process.

Thursday I went over to my parents for my usual lunch hour. My mom came out of the bathroom when I came in the door and she was crying. My heart sank. "I think Cleo had a stroke," she said. I started to cry a little too, though somehow, those words weren't terribly shocking to hear. I have a weird, almost creepy sixth sense about this kind of stuff and I had been having a feeling for a couple of weeks that this was coming.

We sat down and started talking and I told my mom it was time to let her go. The vet had always said we'd know when it was time, and based on the symptoms my mom was describing, it was clearly time. Cleo was sleeping, rather unresponsive, not able to walk. We agreed that neither of us wanted her to be suffering. My dad needed convincing though, he was sort of thinking she might snap out of it, as she has with several other issues over the last couple of years, but it was pretty clear this time that it wasn't going to happen. So, I finished lunch and I left mom when she said she'd be ok and she said she'd talk to my dad about it and hopefully do what was necessary, maybe even that afternoon.

Unfortunately, it drug out to Friday morning. But, my dad came around and agreed that it was time and they got her in on Friday around 10:00 am. She was more or less sleeping and out of it, and thankfully did not appear to be in any pain. The vet said they were making the right decision, difficult as it was. With my parents by her side, she went very peacefully. The vet staff were extremely kind during the entire process. They even took back some of her unused special diet kidney food and took all of her medications to be destroyed.

I came for lunch on Friday and painful as it was, was hoping it was over. I made my peace with it on Thursday and said my goodbyes, not really feeling I wanted to be there at the very end. I just hoped that she was suffering no longer. And I came in the door and found my poor mom packing up all her old stuff and I knew it was done. And we cried some more, but we again agreed this was the right thing to do and she's in a better place.

Again, I'm sad about it, but I'm not overcome with grief. I'm sure it's because, as my mom said, she really was more her cat for the last ten or so years as I was busy with college and getting married and then moving out. Or maybe I'm just numb right now, but I think that it would be different if I was still there every day. I think it'll hit me more when my parents go out of town in a couple of weeks and I go get the mail for them and she won't be there.

My mom was having a hard time over the first couple of days and I think she will be sad for awhile to come, but she is getting better each day. Getting used to the new normal. We went out for some retail therapy on Saturday (well she did, I just drove since I'm still on shopping ban for Lent) and just spent some much needed time together and I think it helped a bit.

They will not get another pet. At least not in the foreseeable future. They are also finding the positives in the situation, such as now they can be a bit more spontaneous, if they want to drive up north for the day and stay the night, they don't have to worry about having someone come care for the cat. Little things like that. And they said that they have their "grand-kitties" (my cats) to come love on whenever they need a kitty fix.

Still, it is strange right now. I sat over there for lunch yesterday and kept seeing shadows and thinking she'd be coming around the corner. My mom said she's used to looking out for her when she's doing stuff in the kitchen, because she'd always be underfoot, so that feels weird right now too.

The only thing that helps is time. I know that it will get easier each day and I can already see my mom getting better with each day.

We have wonderful memories. She was a sweet and very special cat. And she will be missed and loved forever. She'll always be our queen of the house.

Side note - go here for a post I wrote reflecting on Cleo a bit a couple of years ago around the anniversary of when we adopted her.


Gina said...

I was so sad to hear about Cleo! I will treasure the memories that I had with her (especially when I would house sit for your parents) She was a wonderful cat! That was a very beautiful post! Love you!!

Jes said...

I still remember when Cleo joined your family! She was a wonderful cat, and will be missed. She is in a far better place now! <3