Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The worst part about losing someone you love is forgetting. You never forget how much you loved them, but you forget the details about them. I hate that eventually I will forget the shiny-silkiness of her fur and it's feel against my skin, the way her whiskers tickle when she sniffed me, the black patch of fur on her head, her little toes, how she liked to be petted, the delightful little noise she would make cause she was happy to see you, the way she was my cuddle bug. So many things I will miss.

Right now I need to remember yesterday.

We didn't know how close we were to the end on Saturday. But she had pretty much completely quit eating and drinking. She was kept looking at me as if to say, "Mommy, I'm hungry," and I would put out food, so much food everything I could think of, but nothing worked. We could barely force feed her a few milliliters of (kitty-safe) gravy without causing her great distress. We had planned on another week, but we knew she wouldn't make it. The vet's office was closed on Monday, so we planned for Tuesday.

Tuesday started early. Muffy woke me at 2:30am. I think she was hungry. I got up and opened a can of salmon and drained off the juice to see if she would have any. It didn't work. We went back to bed. Muffy had been too restless to sleep with us lately, but she did again one last time. She cuddle in the nook of my arm one last time, just for a moment. I'm so grateful for that moment.

We got back up again around 5am. I tried some more food with no luck. So I grabbed the oral syringe and forced some water down her. I knew she wouldn't need much to make it through the end, but she needed something and I had to do what I could.

I got up again around 6am. Muffy really wanted to go outside first thing. I had to take a shower first and I decided to eat breakfast too, because I wasn't sure if I would get to later. I ate my oatmeal with Muffy outside on the deck. Muffy got the bright idea to try to walk on the other side of the deck rail (where their is only about an 1" of deck edge). When I saw her going through the slats of the railing, I screamed, "Muffy, NO!" I grabbed her by the hips and pulled her back. She'd almost fallen off the deck. She's never, ever tried anything like that before. Her judgment had clearly failed her.

We went back in the house. I finished my breakfast and we went outside. We spent all morning outside. We visited the mud puddle in the woods, the last thing she would still drink out of. She desperately wanted to inspect the neighbors' houses, but since I have to follow her around, I stopped her (I don't think my neighbors would understand I'm just following the cat).

Eventually we ended back up at the garden and she napped in the mulch for hours. It was an overcast morning with some periods of light rain. It started to rain on her, but it doesn't bother it her, she's still sleeping. Eventually it's raining enough that I decided to pick her up and hold her under the overhang of the porch. I cradled her and she slept in my arms, so happy and content. It was a very special moment. After the rain stopped I let her back down and she went back to sleep in the mulch.

I had to call her clinic and make the appointment as she napped. I cried so much I could barely get it out. The appointment was set for 4:30.

Eventually it was 11:00 and I wanted to get a drink, grab a bite and needed a bathroom break so we went in. Muffy went and laid down under her chair, where she can hide. DH was only able to take half the day off and got home before we went back out again. She laid on the bed and let DH pet her for a long while. She loved how he petted her.

We finally let her in the the neighbor's back yard and followed her back into the woods again. This time she wouldn't drink anything from her puddle. We came back to the garden. It was about 2:00 then and a little sunnier. She laid on the retaining wall and slept for a long while. Eventually, I think maybe it was a little too sunny, she tried to crawl into the rose bushes. I was worried about her, and her recent judgment, so I gently pulled her out and pointed her another direction. Then she figured out that she could go behind the eunomyus to hide behind the roses. She laid down back there and slept there till 4:00.

She was very happy. Pleased to be outside, in the garden. She's always loved to lay in the garden and when I made this one, I made it for her. I remember right after we finished it last year and she proudly laid down and looked at me approvingly. She knew it was hers.

I think we gave her the best last day she could have asked for. There is nothing that makes her happier than being outside. But all the hiding behavior makes me think she knew it was time too, but it didn't make it any easier.

At 4:00 I picked her up and we hugged her and cradled her and cried. I had my husband get the car ready. We put her kitty cuddler on the floor in front of my seat cause she hated her pet taxi. I didn't want to make her anymore upset than necessary.

We got to our appointment a few minutes late. Why would you want to get there early?

After it was over, I held her and cried. Her body so limp. She was gone. I laid her back down. I took my last chances to look her over. Her little feet. Petted her coat. We looked in her mouth and felt her jaw a final time.

We cried on the way home but when we got back to the house, we lost it. She normally came out to greet us when we got home and that reflex of looking for her immediately is hard wired in us. There are lots of those things that are hard wired in us. Every time I go in the closet I will check to see if she is in her basket. I keep looking towards the window to see if she's in her cuddler. I turn my head as I walk by the laundry room to see she has enough food. There are many holes in me that will take sometime to repair.

Yesterday was a sad day, probably the saddest day of my life, but Muffy was happy, so very happy that last day.


Hillary said...

You loved her and took great care of her...and she loved you too. This was a beautiful tribute to Muffy.

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. This post has me in tears. She was beautiful and you can tell that she was very loved and happy. I've been thinking of you lots today and everytime I see a cat I think of Muffy.

Celia said...

Well that was lovely and now I am sobbing. You gave Muffy a wonderful life.

You know, we never have gotten used to not having Shaggy. We keep his picture on our fridge. I would agree that it was the very worst thing we ever had to do as a couple.

Jill said...

oh honey, I'm so so sorry! I know how hard this is for you :( She knew you loved her, and that's the important thing.

Anonymous said...

You gave her a beautiful last day. How happy she must have been to enjoy the garden and nap in favorite spots. Hugs.