Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Last Days

This afternoon I picked up my beloved old lady cat Isabelle and carried her out to the back porch for some fresh air. Since going blind a few months back, she isn't allowed out there anymore because I'm afraid she'll fall off the balcony.

I built a little safety wall out of our bikes, the container garden that I wish would just fucking die already because I'm sick of caring for it, and the stuffed animals that had to be bagged up three days ago when I thought we might have a lice issue, (we don't, but those toys are staying bagged up for ten days just to be on the safe side).

I've set a date.

If she hasn't passed on by Friday, I'm calling the vet and having her put down. I didn't want to have to do that. I wanted her to die at home, peacefully and naturally, preferably with me close by, but it isn't happening fast enough. She's sickly, frail, at times looks confused, and honestly, doesn't smell all that great. I don't think she purrs anymore. She has no quality of life. I know what I have to do.

I don't know when the exact day will be.  Maybe that day, maybe the next, maybe the following business day. But it's most likely she won't be in my life this time next week.

I cry a lot. I'm crying as I type this.

I've had animals my whole life and I'm not new to this process or the pain that comes with it, but this one is different. This cat is older than my oldest child, older than my marriage. She's my buddy. I know that technically she isn't a person, but seriously she is one of my top ten favorite people of all time. I don't care if that sounds crazy.

Back in January of 2011, I posted this picture of Isabelle in our Qwirkle box.  Jay and I still play Qwirkle at least once a week and the Qwirkle box is still Isabelle's favorite, but when we played most recently Isabelle was too blind and confused to notice and probably too weak to get on the table.  Midway through the game, Jay commented, "The last time we played, Isabelle could still get in her box." As silly as it is, that was when it REALLY hit me that she wouldn't be in my life much longer.

When you have a pet this long I think you can kind of fool yourself into thinking that they'll be around forever, because, in a way, it seems like they already have. It's hard for me to remember my life before Isabelle and it's hard for me to imagine living without Isabelle.

Soon I'll be doing just that.


Visty said...

I am so sad for you. I wanted to pick her up and cuddle her today, but I didn't want to hurt her or scare her. Make sure you get some pictures of you all holding her. I was so glad we did this the day before we put Felix down. I bet she loved being on the porch. Poor Isabelle. Poor you. :(

Jessie said...

I am crying. Love you, T. You're pain and her pain is felt.

Love, J

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

So we start the morning here crying today. It doesn't sound crazy that you love her like a person. A pet becomes one of the family. And sometimes we like them more than family. (as is my case!)

I'm so sorry you are going through this right now. I can't fathom the depth of pain.
I agree with Visty - take photo's of the 2 of you together if you don't have many already.

I do hope that Isabelle can find comfort and peace in her last days.

((Cyber hugs))

Violet Marbles said...

Aw, Tammie. :( I'm so sorry, hun. *hugs*

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I am so, so sorry. I know she has been so loved, and she knows that too.

Daphne said...

Oh, so very sorry. I completely know and understand this pain and sorrow. You are doing the best you can for her, and making that incredibly hard decision is also a kindness to her. I'll say again that if you can find someone to come to your house, that makes a huge difference. But in either case, know that you loved her the best you could, and you're continuing to do so now. Big, big hugs.

Maria Rose said...

I am so sorry. Losing an animal family member hurts down into the deepest parts of us. I am hoping that your last days with her are special and comfortable.

tracy g said...

So painful. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you both peace in these last days. Hugs from your blog friends!

Mari said...

I'm sorry Tammie- we had to put down Kitty in August and it just sucks. The only comfort is that she isn't suffering anymore, and for that I am grateful. Hugs to you and your beautiful Isabelle.