My darling cat, Felix, her journey on this earth, in this life, ended yesterday. After listening to my inner voice, the one telling me to have her here with us, it became clear that she no longer could bear what her body was going through. And, all of us were suffering, in many ways.
The decision to take Felix to be put to sleep was easy, and hard at the same time. We had wanted so much to be with her, right to the point of her last breath, and have her here in the house with us. We wanted to be present to the fact that creatures in nature die every day, and wanted to allow for the natural process to take place. That plan ended up not being how it would turn out. Yet, it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
Yesterday morning, when I came downstairs, she was lying on a blanket, still, and not making much noise. It didn’t seem as if she could move easily. She was purring, but also seemed to be very uncomfortable. I hated to leave her to go to work, and after getting halfway to the office, I pulled over to let go of the struggle of feeling like I had to decide, between home and work. I returned to my peaceful center, and when I did that, realized that I need do nothing.
Last night, my love and I took Felix to the vet’s office, the doctor to whom she has been going her entire life, which is close to 18 years. We carried her in a basket, wrapped up in a blanket, and the whole ride, I was still not wanting to decide. I was pissed. I was sad. I was full of such deep grief and confusion and disbelief. Yet, I knew that we were heading right where we needed to be. And, Felix knew that too. She didn’t complain; she looked at me, she moaned a little here and there, and we all knew that it was the right day to say goodbye.
No matter how much we know we are making the right decision, it is still so difficult to let go. That was part of why we took her; NONE of us were ready to let go, including Felix. Her body was shutting down, she couldn’t move, and she was still holding on, looking into our eyes, purring right up to her last breath.
Coming home, with her, brought a new set of feelings, of loss and deep missing. I miss her so much. I miss seeing her on the kitchen chair, waiting for us to come down. How she would chase my feet under the covers of the bed, and spit when she got really excited. How she would lay down on command. How she knew how deeply she was loved, always.
Death is a part of this existence, that we all will encounter, that none of us can avoid; yet it is so hard for me to grasp at times, and even come to acceptance. Yet, this goodbye, this process that we all have gone through, is one of the most beautiful moments of my life. To care for such a beautiful creature, to be with her through one of the most challenging journeys, and to know that we did it while standing firmly in love.
I love you, beautiful Felix. Always.