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John

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final duties... [Oct. 26th, 2010|12:55 pm]
John

Skitty wasn't exactly a companion. I was her protector - she needed one, and I wouldn't hand that duty off to anyone. I was the only one I knew she trusted - and she didn't trust me all *that* much. I might want to give her medicine, or trim her nails, or, when she's wandering in the awful, scary, outside world, grab her, and yank her back to the safety of our home.

But she mostly trusted me; she knew that if she wanted "down", she'd (usually) get put down, and if someone needed to pick her up, better me than someone else. And, hey, I was the supplier of the cat food, and the producer of the Great Water Bubble Monster, and sometimes, a warm body to lay on top of on a chilly night.

And I protected an itty bitty kitty from the dangers of a harsh world.

Last night, I was able to spoon-feed her some baby food. The tumor had made it so she could only lick sideways; she was drooling a lot, and soaking her mouth frequently. She was still present - she was still Skitty - but she was awfully tired.

I wasn't sure she'd last the night. But she did.

I made myself some eggs with cheese for breakfast. She was (barely) able to leap up to a chair, and then to the table, to get some. I kept her away until I'd eaten my half (remember, constantly drooling...), and then chopped them up as fine as I could, and pushed the plate to her.

She couldn't eat anything. She may have gotten a few tiny scraps down. She was hungry; she was trying; but now, I could no longer protect her from hunger.

I'm not sure I had to take her to the vet today. How do you know how a cat processes hunger when cancer is swiftly killing her? But, yesterday, I could try to protect her from the worst ravages of the disease, I could still feel I was helping. And this morning, I realized I'd protected her all I could.

I took her to the vet, asked them to sedate her first, let her relax from the car ride, and then, to give her final release from suffering.

And if there's an fair afterlife, she's now in a place with many crafty, cozy hiding places - but nothing to hide from. A place with great heights to scale, and many feats of daring to perform, with nothing to move, and startle a surprisingly-scaredy-cat. A place with bubbling brooks and waterfalls, and evil water bubble monsters, and laser pointers, and soft coats on the backs of couches.

And a few trusted guardians, to watch over tiny kitties, and keep them safe from harm.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 10:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you; getting this message first just perfectly summed up my feelings, and it was a comfort.
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[User Picture]From: pagawne
2010-10-26 08:14 pm (UTC)
John, I am so sorry this had to happen. I am certain she is happy whee she is, and safe.

Hugs and tea offered.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the hugs, and tea, and I'll take you up on both, when we're closer together :-).
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[User Picture]From: janetmiles
2010-10-26 08:24 pm (UTC)
I am so very sorry for your loss. You protected Skitty to the very end, granting her a gentle passing without pain or fear.

May her afterlife be everything you dream for her, and may time make the bright memories shine.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you, darlin'.

It's funny you mention time and memories - because I've been clinging to the memories of how bad she was doing, for right now... reminding myself that it was best for things to end soon. But soon I'll have happier memories of her again.
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[User Picture]From: wcg
2010-10-26 08:28 pm (UTC)
It's just so damn hard sometimes, doing the right thing. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm sure she wouldn't have traded her life with you for the world.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and yeah - Skitty was often a good reminder of the difficulty of doing what's right...(nothing bad - but with her fear of coming out of a hiding place, even for me, oh, lord was it *hard* sometimes to keep her safe and comfortable).
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[User Picture]From: awryday
2010-10-26 08:29 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry, John. We make a terrible emotional bargain with the creatures we bring into our lives. And for the immense joy, there is this final service we can do for them. You were a good friend in the way she needed.

Thinking of you today.

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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you; it was hard, but yeah... there weren't any good choices left.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2010-10-26 08:32 pm (UTC)
My thoughts are with you, with great appreciation for your protection of a kitty.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 11:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and yes, the *when* hurt the worst. There's a time when it's clear, and there are times when it's not completely clear... but I feel a bit better today that I made a good choice, the best I could. The best choice? I'm not sure there's an answer to that.

But I did journey to the cat spirit, and was told that it was okay "when she couldn't hunt" and I figured this qualified.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 11:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: tiger_spot
2010-10-26 08:44 pm (UTC)
::hugs::
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 11:31 pm (UTC)
Hugs back - and thank you.
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From: the_ogre
2010-10-26 08:54 pm (UTC)

...

Always difficult, and definitely the right thing to do.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 11:31 pm (UTC)

Re: ...

Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: kshandra
2010-10-26 09:06 pm (UTC)
'bye, Skitty.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 11:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: iamjw
2010-10-26 09:29 pm (UTC)
*hugs* You did right by her; that's all any of us can do.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-29 11:33 pm (UTC)
(hugs back) Thank you - yes, it was right, even if sad.
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[User Picture]From: ms_interpret
2010-10-26 09:54 pm (UTC)
Everyone's already said it, but you did the right thing. The damned hard, totally miserable right thing. I'm so sorry for your loss. She was a lucky Skitty to have found a wonderful human like you.
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[User Picture]From: griffen
2010-10-26 11:37 pm (UTC)
This, dammit. This.
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[User Picture]From: ztrooper
2010-10-26 10:31 pm (UTC)
my condolences on your loss. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 12:10 am (UTC)
Thanks, and hugs back - I was thinking of you; I know you've had similarly tough times with pets.
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[User Picture]From: siptah
2010-10-26 10:44 pm (UTC)
*hugs* it's never easy to let them go, but sometimes it is all you can offer them. I'm sure she'll be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge when the time comes.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 12:18 am (UTC)
Thank you; I imagine I'll see her, but I imagine she'll wander off, happily unafraid :-).
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[User Picture]From: tsjafo
2010-10-26 11:13 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 12:18 am (UTC)
Hugs back, and thank you.
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[User Picture]From: pernishus
2010-10-26 11:18 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you had to go through this necessary thing, John.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 01:33 am (UTC)
Thank you - I have to admit, I had hoped that I wouldn't have to make the choice. But once the time had come, I couldn't let her down.
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[User Picture]From: ftemery
2010-10-26 11:50 pm (UTC)
How beautifully you put what others of us have suffered through as well, and your writing brought me some peace that I didn't have before. My sympathy, and thank you.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 01:33 am (UTC)
You're welcome, and thank you in return.
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[User Picture]From: sfw_dc
2010-10-27 12:20 am (UTC)
I'm very sorry.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 01:33 am (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: phoenixpdx
2010-10-27 12:45 am (UTC)
*hug* It is the hardest thing I know about having an animal, and while every one of our decisions over the years has been different, each one has been difficult yet necessary. Your heart told you the right thing to do, and you did it. And now I believe she will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge, frolicking and enjoying herself in the meanwhile.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 01:35 am (UTC)
Nod; about the only peace there is, sometimes, is that in her case it wasn't a question of "if", just when... but choosing when still hurt.
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[User Picture]From: laurarey
2010-10-27 12:47 am (UTC)
Many hugs sent to you....and you're in my prayers.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 12:23 am (UTC)
Hugs back - and thank you.
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[User Picture]From: suzilem
2010-10-27 01:04 am (UTC)
hugs and you're in my thoughts.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 12:23 am (UTC)
Hugs-back, and thank you.
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[User Picture]From: erin_c_1978
2010-10-27 02:04 am (UTC)
You did right by her, in life and death both. I'm very sorry for your loss.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 12:23 am (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: wordweaverlynn
2010-10-27 02:48 am (UTC)
(in tears)

I am so sorry for your loss, and glad that Skitty had you to protect her -- right to the end.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 12:23 am (UTC)
Thank you - as hard as it was, I've slowly become glad that I was there to make the decision, as well.
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[User Picture]From: kightp
2010-10-27 04:40 am (UTC)
Love you, darlin'. I'll miss her, too; when she deigned to lie on my jacket or sleep on my hip for a little while, I always felt like I'd accomplished something special in earning her trust.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2010-10-30 12:22 am (UTC)
I think you had, darlin'... she trusted you pretty quickly, more so than most other people.
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