Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grieving

The Mr. and I are very sad because our little, gangly, bitchy, whining, demanding, unfriendly, extra-cuddly, in the end very trusting Peewee kitty was put down today. In the two years we lived together, she went from a worn-out, starving, very sad kitty to a peppy, curvy, friendly kitty that loved us both very much.

We gave her two good years, far more than she would have ever had in the wild or in a animal shelter. We gave her a safe place and let her personality explode. And she gave us laughter, responsibility, tears, joy, frustration, and years of memories.

The doctor was good to us both. During her last moments, I was next to her, touching her, and talking to her. She laid peacefully, with trust, as first the vein was prepared and then the medicine entered her bloodstream. She was gone within seconds but I stayed with her, alone, for a good while. It takes a long time to say goodbye. I was lucky to have that special time with her, alone.

I understand now why way-back-when family members were each given a few moments alone 'in the drawing room' with the deceased' body. Those moments - those words - can't be shared with anyone else. There is a freedom, a blessedness, a privacy in that one-sided conversation that cannot be explained - even when that conversation is with a cat.

When my papa died last July I had very few, very precious private moments with him while he was still alive. Although we had already had a goodbye conversation in May, in those few moments I promised him what I thought he wanted me to promise him. And I meant and mean every word. But I limited myself too, because he was there in body and in spirit. He was suffering, he was getting ready for a journey that I won't understand for (I hope) a very long time.

And after he passed away and he was rolled out, tucked under a brilliant quilt he would have most likely admired if pointed out to him, I kissed his cheek as I had a million times before, when it was still soft, still so warm, still able to smile.

I am thankful for those experiences. For those moments. But I do believe that when I die, I will write into my will that each member must be offered the chance to sit with my shell 'in the drawing room' for just a few minutes. Alone. Maybe more people are like me and will have just a few more words to say in a blessed one-way conversation.

And I will make damn sure that I'm there to hear every word.


Rest in peace, Peewee Mädchen.


You will always be missed, Paps.

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