This morning was like every other morning. I got up, fed the cats and let the dog out. I walked back to the kitchen, made my coffee, let the dog in, and gave her the requisite dog cookie. She snatched it up cheerfully and ran upstairs–like usual.
But, this morning was unlike every other morning. Instead of doling out a few spoonfuls of wet food for each cat and mixing the portions with warm water, I opened up a new can, took a couple of scoops out for Mia and let Min have the rest. I think she relished every bite.
I usually listen to the radio while I have my coffee, and then head upstairs to have quiet time with God. This morning I waited for Min to finish, helped her find the water dish and carried her up to rock with me awhile–I wanted to spend as much time coddling her as I possibly could.
As I got ready for the day I let her go wherever she wanted. It just didn’t matter if I had to clean up any more messes anywhere–not today.
As the time drew near I rocked with her some more. I stroked the fur over her skeletal frame and remembered how mean she was when we first got her. As I rocked and wept, I thought about how she slowly transformed over the years into the most wonderful cat a family could have.
They say your life flashes before your eyes when you know you’re about to die. Funny, in those last moments I got to spend with her, it seemed as though a virtual timeline panorama of the past eight or nine years with Min rolled through my memory.
I watched her chasing Loco and Mia up and down stairs–the three of them tumbling over each other, a flurry of fur and wagging tails. Saw her sitting poised by the refrigerator door for endless hours. Remembered how she loved to cuddle up around our heads and nudge us, sliding her face along our cheeks.I almost changed my mind this morning… again. Maybe just a little longer… But, no–I’d made the decision (and the call) yesterday, and I knew it was time. I was no longer able to control where she messed, which tended to be my computer desk, lately. Yesterday, as I was disinfecting it for the umpteenth time, and thinking to myself, “I can keep doing this, it’s not that hard,” my daughter’s words rolled through my mind once more: Mom, we need to put her down.
When I found her sitting up on the desk and it was clean, I wondered if I’d jumped the gun–until I went to use the keyboard and it started leaking.
Even so–it was so hard. Love makes you lose your bearings sometimes. She’d gotten to the point of being perpetually soiled under her legs, so I had to pick her up with a sheet or blanket–but, that was okay, it was nothing, really.
Last weekend I made the decision to put her down when it seemed as though she was suffering, but as I held her, I felt the Lord telling me to wait.
The kids and I prayed for a dog once, and God restored him to life. I wondered if God would restore her, and so I prayed earnestly. For a couple of days she seemed to bounce back, and I thought we were in for another miracle. But it was short-lived.
I wondered why–why the emotional roller coaster ride if He knew this was where it would lead?
Today I know.
This past week God has taught me things, and reached depths in my heart that desperately needed to be reached. I was awed, again, with how precious life is–all life. I know that God was reminding me to choose life; choose life whenever possible.
Min likes to go outside, and I’d brought her out on the front lawn a few days ago. The neighbourhood kids gathered round and loved on her. No royalty or celebrity could possibly have garnered as much adoration as she did that day, each one waiting for their turn to hold her and pet her.
Children always choose life. Something happens to us along the way that clouds our eyes from seeing what our hearts instinctively know.
I cried a lot this week, and especially yesterday and today. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been healing. As the grief gives way to treasured memories, and a knowing that I am walking through a whole new season of my life, I am comforted and infused with calm.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted…