Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Last Gift Of Romance

I rang the bell. Now the girl-in-fur who stole my heart from a bottom cage 11 years ago, lies wrapped in a pink towel under a slab of stone in my backyard. The last several days have been hard. No, make that excruciating. For me, not for my cat. I cried so much my throat is raw. I hardly slept. I made anxiety my constant companion. And all the while, she purred.
In the turmoil and second-guessing and straining to hear her every move, my beloved Romance kept her motorboat running. I spent every possible minute with her, the last 4 days of her life. I lay beside her in the hallway. I cradled her in my lap. I stroked her gently for hours. I sang to her and thanked her and was completely honest with her. I even managed to find a few little things she would eat.
I did everything I could to give her comfort and peace, even if I could not give those same things to myself. As the end was looming and the bell was scheduled to be rung, we faced our last night together. In that good night, I received one of the most beautiful gifts of my life. The gift came from Romance herself.
As I lay down in bed, Romance jumped up and set herself beside me. I started to cry and she started to purr. She put her face less than one inch from mine and continued her purr. The entire night. We lay nose to nose, wide awake. Me, not wanting to miss a split second of this never-before-offered gift, her, seeking mightily to comfort me. She circled me throughout the night, never venturing more than inches away, pressing herself against my thigh when I broke down sobbing at 3am. Never once halting her purr. I don't know where her strength came from, but it came and it lasted and it gave me comfort and peace.
Then came her final gift. As I lifted her into the towel-lined laundry basket for traveling to the vet, she purred. As I put her gently into the car, she purred. As I sang Happy Birthday to her on the ride over, she purred. As she lay on the exam room table, she purred. As I knelt before her and held her sides and whispered, nose-to-nose, "I love you", she purred. As the tranquilizer flowed through her veins and I told her the angels were waiting, she looked me right in the eye and continued to purr. Romance purred for me into unconsciousness.
Just as her heart stopped, an angel whispered to me, "I've got her!" I told the angel to treasure her new gift, to be sure to enjoy those big, pink ears and mismatched eyes, and to know each purr she receives is a blessing and a prayer.
Update: August 10th~ Thank you all for the warm and wonderful comments. Each one has made a positive difference for me. I wrote about my cat in hopes that it may help even one other person face a difficult situation. My recommendation would be to follow your own gut instincts before the advice and possible contradictions of your veterinarian. What most medical professionals do not know is that LOVE is such a powerful energy, it is Universal pain management. Do only what your heart, as connected to your animal, says to do. And for yourself, have a supply on hand of Bach Flower "Rescue Remedy", in the spray bottle. It's calming and clarifying affects allowed me to face the task at hand. Use it for all situations that cause mild panic. Find it at health food stores. Thanks again for the blessings.


  1. Graciel~
    My heart goes out to you. What a thing to go through, how brave you are to put her needs before your own. How hard it must have been. You rang the bell. I read those words and cried. I am still weepy; for being a cat person I know how awful it is to lose that unconditional love when they die. I dream of my cats, and I am sure you will too. Each day I remember mine in some small way or another, their little faces etched in my memory forever more.
    I am so very very sorry for your loss. Only time will heal you, words cannot do that.

  2. What a gift Romance gave you before she passed and even still, she's still with you, comforting you. Be open to the sounds of purring as you drift off to sleep or when you're daydreaming or meditating. The two of you have such a special relationship.

    Sending you blessings of healing love to help you move through this very sad and difficult time. ((Hugs))

  3. Anonymous8/07/2008

    I have been where you are on more than one occasion. I share tears with you this morning.


  4. I so understand, it just seems unbearable. We have four cats, two of them are old and ailing,and reading your words made tears come for me too.Romance will always stay around you,we often catch a glimpse of Purdy out of the corner of an eye, she has long been away from us but she comes to comfort us when we need her.
    Sending you hope and peace and hugs.

  5. Thank you for your post about your last hours with Romance. You left me sobbing in front of my computer at work. Thankfully no one has noticed.

  6. susan@80o8/07/2008

    You got me at "I've got her!"

    Such an intimate telling of goodbye.

    I can feel the love you had for Romance and send you more.


  7. I have cried & cried reading this. To have your strength when the time comes for my sweet Maggie to leave me. It may be her last summer.

    Romance was a gift & gave you a gift. May peace be with you. My heart is.

    Love, Debi

  8. Graciel, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Romance. This has been such a difficult year for you to have lost the companionship of two dear and beloved pets. You will carry the love of your sweet cats with you always, though, as I am sure they took your love with them on the next step of their journey. What a blessing to know that Romance spent her last days, hours, and minutes with you, purring. She was with the one who loved her most and that made her happy. That was the best gift you both gave to each other. I'm wishing for you hugs, prayers, and peaceful thoughts.

  9. Beautifully written, Graciel, and well done on seeing her through to the end. I'm sorry for your loss.

  10. Oh that image! I am overwrought by this entry - it is so touching and I swear to you (and if you know me, you know it is true) that tears are running down my face in Marrakech. I am so very sorry Graciel.

    Sending you my warmest wishes, as always,

  11. Anonymous8/11/2008

    Oh Grace, I'm so sorry to hear about Romance. Your stories about her were touching that they almost brought me to tears, and THAT IS NO EASY TASK, let me tell you.

    I only met her once, but I'm very thankful for it because she was very cool. I'm a huge sucker for cats, and I'm grateful for any bit if joy they bring into my life.

    I'm also very happy to hear about Remmi! I miss seeing you so hopefully I'll get to see you and meet Remmi soon!

    All the best,


  12. Anonymous8/13/2008

    Rest in peace with the Angels sweet Romance.

    Once again you move me to tears, but also fill my heart with love.

    A letter sill come soon! The children have kept me so busy, as has spending much time with my brother and his wife this summer.

    Always thinking of you!


I always appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by. Peace from my heart to yours. xo, Graciel