Friday, January 21, 2011
Letting Spankee Go
Spankee, my beloved cat companion of eleven years passed away peacefully on my lap this morning, surrounded by people who love him. Letting him go was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. The rest of the day, I have moved back and forth between being numb, and being overwhelmed with grief, anger and disbelief. Right now, even though he is tucked up in to a blanket, cold to the touch, I can't believe that he is actually gone. It seems that he is just resting.
He was sick less than three months. Well, he showed symptoms at least, for just the past three months. He was diagnosed with kidney failure on October 21st. The time since his diagnosis has been frantic: regular visits to the vet, doing research online, trying different medications, ensuring he was comfortable. One of the most difficult parts for me throughout all of this, was trying to find the balance between enjoying the time that I had with Spankee and celebrating the beautiful cat that he was, allowing myself to feel the moments of anticipatory grief when those tides would wash over me, and then still managing to go through the day to day tasks of living. I did not find this balance.
Tomorrow we will drive to the city and leave him to be cremated. We'll drive back up the next weekend to pick him up. I don't t want to let his physical body go. I believe that his spirit is still here, will always be, but my attachment to his physical body remains, and so I am crushed knowing I will be letting that part of him go. Knowing that I will never have him in my lap again, purring and soft, is unbelievable. The weight of this loss sits heavy on my heart, and I cannot catch my breath.
Already, my cabin feels so empty with him. He is everywhere. Every cushion, blanket, pillow and jacket has his hair on it. His medication is on the counter. His bag of fluids is hanging from a nail in the kitchen. His food is in the cabinet. His water dish is on the floor. His litter boxes are in the corner. His carrying case is on the chair. His last meal of turkey and tuna is still on the plate, next to the bed, where we spent so much time of our life together, just hanging out and being. I am leaving everything just as it is for now. How can I do anything else?
I miss Spankee. I swear I feel his weight in my lap. I swear I can hear his purr and his call to me. I swear I can hear him jumping from the bed to the floor. Am I crazy? Yes, crazy with grief.
And so today I have lost my dear friend, son and companion Spankee. I was emotionally paralyzed and could not write about the experience of going through this with him before today, though I had wanted to. I had to hold all that I was feeling inside, a refusal to believe that he would not get better, that this time would ever come. Writing anything would have made it too real.
I do not know how to begin to grieve this loss. I miss Spankee terribly and I want him back. I want just one more minute with him, one more purr, one more meow, one more pet, one more lick, one more flick of the tail, one more anything and one more everything...