I was getting ready to go to my local tax revolt Tea Party when …

by CynthiaYockey on April 15, 2009

Just before noon I was in my bedroom getting ready to go to my local tax revolt Tea Party, which was scheduled for noon to 3 pm, when I noticed that my dear little cat, Grace, who was in kitty hospice care on my bed, was working her tongue like she might be thirsty. She was on her favorite pillow against the wall at the foot of my bed. I gently scooped her up and gently set her on the floor near her water fountain. She was not interested in water, milk or food. And she was too weak to stand, so weak that she was almost limp.

Yesterday I had taken Grace to her veterinarian for his opinion on whether there was anything he could do for her, or any way I could make her more comfortable, or if yesterday was her time. Her lymphoma was advanced and she had lost a lot of weight and was very frail. He examined her and said there was nothing he could do but he thought she could last a few more days. As he handled her, I could see her charm and friendliness revive a bit. It had crossed my mind that euthanizing her then would ensure I could go to the Tea Party without worrying about her. But that is not the way I handle end-of-life care. She was not ready to go. I would never push. So I brought her home and made her comfortable in her favorite spot on my bed.

I was up late working on my blog and then petting Grace and loving her up, saying blessings for her and calling on angels of all specialties — healing, guidance, love, prosperity, wisdom, enlightenment — to care for her always. So I didn’t wake up until around 9 am. As was her routine, when she sensed I was waking up, Grace walked over to lie down near my shoulder so I could stroke her when I was awake. This made me think she was feeling better than she was. I didn’t know those were her last steps.

After I got up I checked my Sitemeter and looked to see if any comments needed to be approved and got involved writing a reply. When I went back to my bedroom to get ready for my local Tea Party, I found Grace as I described above. I called her doctor, but he couldn’t see her for euthanasia until 3 pm. I still thought she had time and went downstairs to make a sandwich and brought it up to sit with Grace and eat and wait with her. But when I came back in the room I saw she was taking deep breaths alternating with no breath. I realized she was dying, but did not put down my sandwich fast enough to be petting her as she took her last breath, which I regret. I expected more deep breaths, but then saw her eyes had no expression. I got out my stethoscope and there were no breath sounds or heartbeat. She was gone. The time was about 12:40 pm. My sweet, brave, smart, beautiful little girl.

I lay on the bed and petted her and blessed her more, just in case that would help her newly departed soul feel loved and honored. I cried.

I didn’t arrive at the Tea Party until 2:30 pm. It had been raining since before noon when it was supposed to start and it was a chilly day here, only around 47 degrees F. By then no one was at the Tea Party location, but I saw some people coming out of a sandwich shop with Tea Party signs. They said there was a good crowd, around 600 by their estimate, and a lot of energy.

It would have been great to have gone to the Tea Party, but there were plenty of people to do that while my little cat had only one human on earth to comfort and support her as she died. I believe feeling comforted and supported when you die makes a great deal of difference in your spiritual progress. My duty was to my little Grace.

I went home and took Grace’s body to her veterinarian’s office for cremation. It was a comfort that one of the techs there particularly loved her.

Next my duty was to my father because today is his ninety-third birthday. I made him a nice dinner — low sodium chicken cacciatore, angel hair pasta and asparagus — but my dinner was three chocolate ice cream cones because sugar and chocolate are analgesics (really — there’s research and everything). Oh, and he had birthday cake left over from the family celebration we had for his birthday on Easter, April 12.

I may not get to bed until late tonight. I am washing all my bedding because seeing Grace’s fur in her favorite spots would make me cry. I love my little kitty with all my heart, but I also sleep on a respirator and need to be able to breathe through my nose; crying makes that difficult.

I don’t have the heart to take my own advice and make a YouTube Tea Party video. I would be so grateful if one of my readers who wouldn’t otherwise have made one does it after all so I would feel less like I let the side down.

Thank you.

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  • Maggie

    Cynthia,
    my condolences over the loss of your dear cat. I went through this agony with Ruby, my dog last year. She and my cat Skittles were the best of friends. It was hard but we made the right choice to not allow her to continue to suffer. We had her for 11 years and it was heart wrenching.

    The way you took care of your cat was truly wonderful.

    • Maggie,

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m so sorry for your loss, as well.

      Cynthia

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  • I accidently posted this over at you “About me” section, so am posting it in the right section now…

    You have me absolutely in tears–remembering my old cat–and going through the same thing. I am so sorry for your loss.

    (In an unrelated part of this post–how can I change my name? I didn’t know what the connotation of “teabag” meant–and I thought I was a woman of the world! *Groan….) Could you email me?

    Thanks, and as a current owner of 3 cats that I rescued from under my porch–I am grieving with you.

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