You may think it is strange to say this about an animal, a little cat. But you have to understand something. Zoey, my tiny kitty, is dying. She is only nine years old, but her small body is betraying her. It is betraying me. I am losing her.
Her little moist nose presses gently against mine.
We breathe. I try to give her my energy. I try to sustain her.
She closes her eyes and offers the tiniest of purrs as thanks.
The tumor compressing her heart and lungs is too big and too complex for the doctors to remove. They tried. Zoey spent six days in the hospital. The surgeon tried to help her, but in the end, he could not do it.
She looks content at she breathes.
I smile even though my heart is breaking.
I bury my face in her fur and inhale deeply. How much of her can I keep? Can I breathe in enough of her to keep her with me forever?
The doctor told me she was terminal. Before her surgery, he asked if I wanted her to be euthanized if the tumor could not be removed. I think I screamed, “No! No! No! Don’t kill my kitty.” I could not let her go, not without a little more time. We need more time.
She is with me now. We are together.
Her fur smells like warm sugar cookies and cinnamon.
Her soft purrs warm the very core of my soul.
I smile. I cry. We breathe.
We breathe together.
The tumor is causing fluid to accumulate in her chest. Eventually, within days, the fluid will either need to be drained, or she will start to struggle for air. The procedure to drain the fluid is not complicated, but it takes a toll on her small, frail body. I can’t put her through that again and again. As much as I want her with me, I want her to be happy, content, comfortable and loved. I know she wants the same thing. No more procedures, just love, warmth, and kisses.
I feel her, as we breathe together. We are bonded, she and I.
Knowing that she will no longer be with me is tearing and shredding my heart.
An emptiness made from pure despair is trying to pull me under.
The world has turned sideways. Everything is colorless. I don’t hear music, I don’t hear laughter.
I see nothing, nothing at all………until I look at her once more.
And we breathe.
She is asleep now. Her little chest is rising and falling rhythmically. There’s no sign of struggle or distress. She is good for now. Maybe God will hear me. Maybe God will grant a small miracle for a tiny gray cat. Yes, I’m asking. I’m begging. God, please heal my little Zoey. We are so good together.
Cheek to fur and fur to cheek. We breathe. We breathe. We breathe.