Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cayenne - the Final Day

I haven't posted much about Cayenne's last day because it was painful to do so.  I'm feeling a bit better now, though I'm still sad.

The morning of her last day, I left the windows open even though it was a bit warm because she always enjoyed sitting in front of the open window.  And she did spend quite a bit of the morning there.

I think that's such a beautiful picture of her.  She was such a beautiful girl.

She ate turkey baby food and lots of Pounce cat treats, which were her favorites.

We took a nap together on the couch and I woke up with her resting against my head, purring while she groomed herself.  That was almost my undoing, right there.  I could not bear to think that this soft, warm, purring kitty on my head would be gone in just a few hours.

But I wanted to love her enough to do what was best for her, even if it was hard for me.  And keeping her here would have been hard, too.  Watching her suffer would have hurt me terribly.  If I was going to suffer either way, I was going to suffer knowing I spared her suffering, knowing I did the right thing, know she was at peace.

I talked to her, sang to her, chanted softly to her.  Mostly "from love, into love, carrying only love" and "May you walk in beauty.  Beauty before you, beauty behind you, beauty above you, beauty beneath you, beauty all around you, beauty within you.  May you walk in love.  Love before you, love behind you, love above you, love beneath you, love all around you, love within you.  May you walk in light.  Light before you, light behind you, light above you, light beneath you, light all around you, light within you."

I took a bunch of pictures.  I brushed her with her pink brush.  She's always loved her pink brush.  I petted her.  I cried.

Mike went with me that day, so I didn't have to go alone.  He drove, so I could hold Cayenne in the car on the way there.  Normally I transport her in her carrier but I wanted to hold her as much as possible.  For some odd reason, she chose to ride in the back seat of the car with Isaac for part of the trip.  It really surprised me.  I am so glad I was able to get a couple pictures of her back there with him.

I'd debated about whether or not to take Isaac with me.  I guess I didn't really need him there, but I wanted him there.  I also wanted him to have the opportunity to see Cayenne's body after she was gone.  I thought, and some other dog owners told me, that might help him understand that she was gone and help him with the grieving process.  Because animals do grieve.

If he was restless or needed more attention than I was able to give him at the vet's office, or if his presence seemed to be upsetting Cayenne or causing her any distress, I planned to ask the vet tech to please put him in another room during the procedure.  He was very subdued, though, rather unlike his usual self.  He mostly lay quietly in a corner of the exam room the whole time we were there.

So we got to the vet's office and Mike and I both had time to hold and pet Cayenne before the procedure.  We were both crying some.

They wanted to weigh her so they could calculate how much anesthesia to give her and she only weighed 5.9 pounds.  That means she'd lost about two pounds since May.  A full 25% of her body weight in less than four months!  Hearing that made me cry for her.  I knew she wasn't eating well, I knew she'd lost weight.  But I wouldn't have guessed she'd lost that much.  Poor baby.

The vet came in and was ready to do the procedure and part of me really wanted to just get up and run out of there with her in my arms, screaming... but then I thought of how much weight she'd lost, about how infected her belly looked and smelled, about how sick she was and how I didn't want her to suffer.  And somehow I stayed.

If you've never seen a pet euthanized, it's a really quick and painless procedure.  It's sad, but it's not scary or traumatic for the animal.  They inject an overdose of anesthesia directly into the vein and before the injection is completed, the animal is gone.

I held Cayenne while she got the injection.  The minute it was done, I wanted to scream that I'd changed my mind, that I wanted her back.  I've felt that way a number of times since that day.  But of course, that's not an option.

It was quick and it was painless and it was peaceful.  One minute she was there, resting in my arms, the next she was gone.  Her body instantly became extra soft and floppy, her eyes closed... and that was all.  And I am so grateful, so glad, so relieved that she was able to go peacefully, without pain.

Afterward, I held her for a long time, and talked to her, and kissed her, and cried, my tears falling on soft warm fur.  Mike held her and cried, too.  I let Isaac sniff her, which he did briefly, but he didn't seem real interested.

Then I wrapped her in the cloth I'd purchased shortly before making the appointment, when I knew the time would be coming soon but didn't know exactly when, cloth that was soft and beautiful and just perfect for Cayenne.  I wrapped her in it, except for her little face, kissed her one last time, and then I lay her on the table, on her soft fleece blankie, and I walked away. 

It was hard.  I kept wanting to go back, to say no, I changed my mind, I want her back.  Instead, I got in the car and drove away.

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