Losing Zoey

Zoe_brightI’m sitting here nose to nose with my little gray cat.
She breathes in; I breathe in.
She breathes out, I breathe out.
We are breathing the same air, and feeling completely connected.

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.

Zoey and Cally

 

Opposites Attract – A Cat Butt Valentine’s Day Story

Today is Valentine’s Day and more importantly, a Saturday. This means John and I can enjoy a leisurely morning together reading before we start our day. Here’s how this morning went:

John and I are sitting on the love seat in our sunroom, each with an iPad in hand. Our little gray cat, Zoey, is wedged between us purring like she is extremely pleased with life.

I’m absorbed in the story I’m reading when John starts cussing. He is jabbing his finger on the iPad screen. He yells at the iPad, “I can’t get his goddamned thing to work!”

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

Frustrated, he shoves the iPad in my lap. He says, “I am trying to login so I can finish reading The Bible, but it won’t accept my password.”

bible

The Bible

He harrumphed and continued to poke at the screen. John subscribes to a site that takes him through daily Bible passages and offers insightful tips. He rarely misses a day, and being such a creature of habit, it irks him when something goes awry.

He continued to jab at the screen for a minute or so, muttering intermittent curse words to himself. Finally, he gives up and exclaims, “I can’t get it to work. I guess I won’t read The Bible today. Screw you, Jesus!”

angry

Yes, he makes the hand gestures

At this, I look up and say, “Really?” I pause. “Screw you, Jesus? That seems a bit harsh, don’t you think?”

Most of his anger abates and he smiles. “That is a bit harsh. But I can’t get this website to work.”

I say, “Perhaps it isn’t you, maybe it is the website. They have glitches from time to time. Just try later.”

He thinks about if a second, picks up the iPad and tries again.

A pleased look comes over his face and he declares, “I got in.”

“Good,” I say and return to my book. But a few seconds later, I hear cursing again.

“Son of a Bitch!” I’m 98% through The Bible and I can’t find my place! This is fucked!” he exclaims.

Without missing a beat, I deadpan, “And you don’t think the ‘Screw you, Jesus’ comment had anything to do with you losing your place?”

At this, he burst out laughing. “Perhaps it did,” he agrees. “By the way, what are you reading?”

Limbus, Inc.,” I reply. It is about monsters, demons, serial killers, Satanic cults…. You know, the usual stuff I read.” Then I add, “And my iPad is working just fine.”

Limbus, Inc

Excellent book. You should check it out.

He gives me a kiss on the forehead and says, “This only goes to prove that opposites really attract.”

“Yes they do,” I say.  “Yes they do.”

Happy Cat Butt Valentine’s Day!

Karen