Thursday, May 24, 2007

bye bye, cat

Those were our words of parting, Steve's and mine, as we stood in the middle of our living room holding a very watchful Daniel at about 4:00 this afternoon, watching the vet put Ingrid's body into a little basket and cover her with a lilac-colored towel. It was clear that she was dying when the vet (who makes house calls) arrived an hour earlier. She had taken a turn for the worse overnight, and all day she had just been lying mostly still, barely able to get up and walk. I let her lie on one of Steve's T-shirts because it had his smell on it, and she is such a daddy's girl that I thought it would give her comfort. Steve came home right away so he could be there when the vet did what had to be done. We could have tried to hydrate her, but it probably wouldn't have bought much time, if any. She was almost 15 years old, and her kidneys had been failing slowly for several years. I know it was time for her to go, and I am glad we got our chance to say goodbye — even Daniel pulled her tail one last time.

It's so wierd. Afterward, almost the moment the vet left, I felt this compulsive need to clean the house. I threw away every remnant of her litter box, and Steve mopped up the floor in the laundry room that has been kitty-litter central ever since I moved in. I stripped the sheets where she used to hunker under the covers (and where she had recently peed) and threw the bedding into the wash. I threw away all her food and her little cat toys. I picked up the pink wire brush that I'd used so many times to brush her furry coat, and I started sobbing when I saw some of her white fur still clinging to it. But after I'd had my cry, I threw the brush away, too. I don't know why I couldn't wait, or why I didn't want to keep some things around. I said as much to Steve, and he laid his finger on my forehead and said, "The important stuff is right here." Yes, and in pictures, like the one here of Ingrid in better days, with one of her (and my) favorite people.

So ... rest in peace, Ingrid. You are with your sweet brother George* now, and I hope you are lying together in kitty heaven, curled up in the yin-yang position like old times and licking each other blissfully. I miss you, girly-girl.

(*who died four years and one week ago)


Kristie said...

Oh Emilie, I am so sorry. Your post has me crying. It is so sad to lose our pets. I am still grieving the loss of my Harley just over a year ago. I know they are in better places now where they can run and play pain free.

Rest in peace Sweet Ingrid.

Liz said...

Poor Ingrid. I'm sure she will be missed. It is lovely to picture her curled up with George again though, happy and warm. It takes a strong kitty mom to know when it is time to say goodbye. I'm sure she knew your love (even Daniel's type!). I'm sorry that you had to say goodbye though, it is never easy to do.

Anonymous said...

I'll miss leaving Ingrid messages on the machine.
I know I've told you this before, but I can still feel Miss Chewie sleeping in the crook of my knees sometimes.
May Ingrid and George visit you and the family when you need a little kitty comfort.
Love you, Mean it.
Elizabeth M.

liz said...

Oh, Em, I'm really sorry. I am so sad for you! I am sure Ingrid felt so loved and is looking down on you from kitty heaven. Knowing how much my kitties adore each other (and sleeping in the yin-yang position), I am sure Ingrid & George are just blissful right now!

Big hugs.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Em. It is very common to want to remove yourself from anything that reminds you of your loved one. In fact, I've read that when you lose a loved one, it's healthy to remove anything that reminds you of her. So your cleaning and throwing away of toys is normal and okay. Adorable picture of her and Steve.

Anonymous said...

BTW the above is from Susanne

Carrie said...

I am so sorry, Em. My heart is with all of you as you grieve over your loss. May she be happy now w/George, crossing the Rainbow bridge.

ELLEN said...

Poor kitty, I am so sorry for your loss. She and George were loyal kitties and they could not have had a better quality of life!! Our kitties also died of kidney failure and deteriorated the exact same way you described Ingrid's. Before the vet put down Winken and Katie on a metal table in the back room at the vet's office, mom took a few moments to pet them and pray soothing words to them, but left when it was time to do what had to be done. In fact, she couldn't even look back down the hall after she got back to the front waiting area where dad was.
It's hard, we are here for you.

Missy said...

Emilie, I'm so sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and your family.