My cat just died in my lap.
She was lots of fun when she was young, but then she started to get fat, and then got fatter than that… she got bumpy and her spine curled up and then her bumps got lumpy, and she started to appear weighted down and went less and less on our beds and kept more to the ground when she got too chunky.
She limped and she wobbled and her head bobbled and in her later days her breathing got faster and I didn’t think she’d last much longer, but, nevertheless, she didn’t weaken – it appeared she got stronger.
But clearly I was seeing it wrong. Her breaths became shorter and she stopped eating and kept her eyes open, and all the while she was staring and looking and shaking and no longer interested in the noise we were making as we called her name.
I picked her up many times and she roused from her waking dream but she didn’t seem to want to ‘be’. I desperately wished I could help her, release her, slow her breathing and give her peace and ease her.
And then she got colder, and when I held her it was like I was holding a boulder.
It hurt her to breathe. I could see her pain through her fear and I gently told her over and over that she can pass… I was here… and before long, her breathing slowed and then she spasm’d, and as I held her I knew she was close to the chasm, shaking and numb in my hands.
She tried once more to stand but she spasm’d again and her jaw grew wider and I could almost see right down inside her as she laboured to breathe while her heart gave out.
I cried when I looked through her eyes as she looked back knowing it was her time to die, allowing me to watch her once bright spark in that final moment subside.
I counted to 5 and I told her it’s okay to not be alive.
I’m sure she knew what I’d said as she rested her tired body on my skirt and lay there bravely, blissfully dead; a part of me journeying with her as I stroked her lifeless – but beautiful – feline head.
© Tamara Natividad | pisceanesque.com | Written 7th April, 2017