Saturday, January 9, 2010
And then there were none...
I'm telling people that Louise decided to leave this mortal coil within six months of Thelma and Itty Bit because living alone with me was too boring.
That's right, I'm cracking jokes because my alternatives seem to be either going numb or wailing. Everyone keeps reminding me that losing three cats within six months is too too much. I know. Cognitively. I prefer not to feel all of the loss all at once and all of the time.
I want my grief in manageable slivers as defined by me. Lord, have mercy, I'm still checking the front window for Itty's face as I pull into my driveway and wondering why Thelma isn't making sure I'm flossing my teeth.
The fact is Louise was either 17 or 18 years old. She had already communicated that her back legs hurt. In addition to not being able to breathe very well, she had started missing her jumps and falling.
I called our blessed vet on Wednesday after it became odoriferously clear that Louise could not get down the stairs to use her litter box. And Louise, being the ever-considerate people-pleasing Louise, chose to take a huge steaming dump on a floor mat rather than the broadloom.
Louise was characteristically such-a-glutton Louise by chowing down prodigious amounts of cat food during her final month of life. I thought it was equally likely that she might explode, but that didn't stop me from letting her eat an entire bowl of cat treats before the vet arrived.
And Louise was characteristically low-maintenance Louise by finding a patch of sunlight away from where Patti and I were sitting. Turning her back toward us, she lay down. (Itty wanted to be held close by me the entire time. Thelma stretched out between Patti and me so we could both pet her.) Out of my need more than hers, I wandered over to rub what I always called her "bunny belly" as Louise drifted into unconsciousness.
Louise's death brings a significant period of my life to a close, one that I probably would not have survived had I not been ministered to by these three fur angels every stumbling step of the way. My tears find their source in gratitude as well as grief and I thank God for that.