Lila Leaving

Wellllll…we put Lila down yesterday and although really sad, it wasn’t as excruciating as I expected.

After I wrote that last blog I spent most of the night awake with her, as I had pretty much made up my mind that it was hopeless after she had a particularly rough seizure. I could feel that she was ready, and Drew concurred, which was helpful as it is very difficult to make that choice on your own. You second guess yourself and wonder if you’re just being a selfish asshole who would rather kill their own pet than deal with a problem. You weigh out the financial options for things like MRI’s for an aging cat, and then feel gross for thinking about it. It is so much easier when there is someone else in the room with the same knowledge and love of the animal who has come to the same conclusion.

Yesterday I took the day off of work to spend time with her and recuperate from a very emotional night. Drew had things to do so I was home alone with all of the animals, and the day went by slowly. Lila slept most of the time and it felt like we were all just waiting. Finally I got dressed and put her in the bag and started the 10 blocks to the vet’s office. It was nice out and I was glad for the peaceful walk in the sunshine, which enabled me to center myself somewhat.

Drew met me there and they hustled us with sympathy into one of the exam rooms, which was nice because it’s hard to deal with sitting in a waiting room with happy puppies and owners on cellphones when you’re weepy and planning on leaving someone behind. The vet apologized for not being able to help our cat, and we told him we understood. Lila was quiet but panting and he gave her an anesthetic first, which slowly kicked in until she was sleeping. He left us with our sleeping cat and we petted her and told her she was awesome.

I squeezed her feet, which is an act I love that all my cats hate, and Drew said, “This is going to be me on my deathbed one day, isn’t it? I’ll be unable to move and you’ll be poking your finger in my ear and looking in my pajama pants.” And I said, “Yes, Andrew. And it’s coming sooner than you think.”

And then the vet came in and asked if we were ready, and we said yes, and he gave her another shot. And within seconds she was gone.

It is so interesting that the minute the soul leaves the body it really is just a shell. There is a huge difference between being anesthetized and dead. She was so very obviously not there any more, even though her body was still warm and soft. It was such a quiet release on life that it felt right and clean. The last time I had a pet die it was via getting hit by a car, so it was very nice to have a choice this time. And it was great to be able to make a choice that I believe my pet agreed upon. In some ways I feel lucky to be a part of such a holy experience.

Anyway, the main reason for this blog is just to let those that are interested know what the outcome was, and to thank everyone for the lovely wishes and condolences. I really do appreciate it, I know that she was just an ordinary housecat and sometimes it’s hard for people to get their head around the loss of one being a big deal. I am grateful to be surrounded myself with people who get it, and the emails and texts and comments have been really lovely.

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