Tuesday, May 13, 2008
5,318 Rainy Days
Yesterday at 4pm, I watched the ever-compassionate Dr. Brown slip the thinnest of needles into the fore paw of my beloved Rain Dance Little Shoes. 30 seconds later, her heart stopped. Before that heart-stopping moment lay a mountain of effort to avoid that decision and a mountain of love laid out over the coarse of 14 and 1/2 years. Alimentary lymphoma in the small intestines, with tumors present and no hope of improvement, led me to let go of one of the sweetest loves to grace my life. As a woman with no children, cats have been a needful outlet to channel the love I carry in my heart. The pleasure I get from animals is profound. The pleasure I got from Rain Dance was at times, life-saving. Because my 2 cats are elderly girls, each morning I would hug them and kiss them and thank them for staying with me another day. Because Rain Dance was ill for the better part of a year, we had many talks about her need to do what was best for her soul, regardless of how sad I would be without her. I told her God's plan for her was what we would follow, not my need for company and fur-love. On the drive to the Vet for last-ditch-effort tests, I reminded Rain Dance that all her angel friends were with us, and her highest and best would be served. While at home, waiting for the dreaded call with test results, I cleaned up the mess and the effort of many months. I sat with a cup of rose petal tea and listened to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", knowing deep down Rain Dance had reached the end of her winter season. Back at the Vet, with trusted opinions given and no hope offered, I asked for 10 minutes to talk with Rain. I kissed her a thousand times. And this is what I told her: "There is no death. There is only a dream of love. In this moment, you are held in my arms of love and in a moment soon to come, you will simply and sweetly drift into someone else's arms of love. Your angels are waiting. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift of your life with mine. You live in my heart forever. You know I love you". I put her in her favorite green walnut box and drove home with one hand on her still-warm body. I let her companion and nemesis, Miss Romance, sniff her in the box. I found a shovel and dug a round hole next to the yellow iris in the backyard. I lined the hole with a pink towel and her favorite catnip pillow. I knelt in front of the little pink womb, picked her up and cradled her against my heart. And then I sobbed. Big, fat tears that soaked her fur and baptized her into her next life. Finally, reluctantly, I layed her down and gave her body back to the Mother. Today, I am the indentured servant to only 1 cat. Today, I mourn the loss of Rainy days. But all endings contain new beginnings. All endings bestow freedom. Somewhere, someday there is an orange cat that will come to me. I will name it Sun Dance. Because after the Rain, the Sun always appears.