Monday, October 1, 2012

Isabelle

Friday came and I didn't call the vet to have Isabelle put down as I said I would. I just couldn't do it. By Saturday afternoon I knew that the broken promise to myself wouldn't matter, she was so lifeless she couldn't possibly last much longer.

She slept next to our bed all night and I was constantly putting my hand on her to feel if she was still alive.

On Sunday, around mid-morning, with me by her side and the rest of the family close by, she managed a few hoarse meows, and then took her last breath.

I, of course, immediately lost it. I wasn't prepared for the way she looked and I wasn't prepared to cry so much. I had been really strong the last few days and I thought I could do this. I'm glad Jay was there. He contacted the very kind people at Dignified Pet Services and we took Isabelle's body in.

The hardest part for me was believing that she was truly gone. I kept looking at her body, expecting her to still be alive, even though I knew better. I just needed to be 100% sure that she was gone before I left her to be cremated.

In a few days I'll get a little jar with her ashes. I'm not sure what I'll do with them or how long I'll keep them.

Over the past week I had tried to take pictures of us all holding Isabelle but she just looked so sickly, it wasn't how I wanted to remember her. But here are a few of her in her more robust days:

A goofy, big-eared kitten:

An adolescent cat playing with a baby Monty:

A little bit older, enjoying the comforts of a box:

As I was editing pictures this morning, I found this recent one of Isabelle in her beloved Qwirkle box.

I don't remember taking this but the photo info on my computer shows August 16, and that would make sense. I have no idea why I took this but I'm glad I did because she still looked healthy and shiny. She deteriorated a lot in the last month and a half. This is how I want to remember her.

These past weeks have been hard. Although I feel a sense of relief,  I'm also tired, emotionally drained, and incredibly sad. The house just doesn't feel the same. I've had Isabelle since I was 19. It's going to take me a while to get used to this new normal.

19 comments:

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I love the picture of her in the yellow container. She looks so disgusted with humans.
So sorry for your loss.
xoxoxox

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I am so sorry Tammie.
Losing a pet is no different than any family member. It hurts, it sucks and I wish I could take it away for you.
((hugs))

Visty said...

What a funny girl. I love that she stuffed herself in too small boxes.

I understand the feeling of wanting to be sure she was dead. I had the same issue. And maybe some nightmares after.

I'm sorry. I keep saying that, but it's true, I am. You lost your baby, and that is tragic.

Maria Rose said...

I am sorry for you and your family. I am hoping you found some comfort in the knowledge that it truly was time. I wish you comfort and healing.

Tammie said...

thank you everyone for your kind words.

isabelle loved a good box.

maria rose: that knowledge really is helping me. i know she lived a good, long life and im trying to focus on that when i find myself slipping into sadness.

Emily Sovich said...

I just clicked over from the NaBloWriMo page and I'm sorry to find you in the midst of such a sadness. It's terrible to lose a companion.

Thinking of you --

Daphne said...

I am so sorry she is gone, but I'm glad you were there with her and had her for such a long time. She was very loved for all her life -- what a gift to her (and you!). I'm so glad I got to meet her. Love these photos!

Jessie at LunaPacifica said...

May her energy ever help you win games at quirkle, smile when you see a box just small enough for her to lay in, and keep you company in your memories.

Aleta said...

I'm so sorry for your loss *big hugs* When Greg's 18 year old dog passed away, I cried my eyes out.

Your cat was beautiful.

Jaime said...

I'm so sorry, Tammie. I can only imagine how you are feeling. I was only 20 when I adopted my dog. He's 15 now and I actually had a tiny thought the other day that maybe, just maybe, he'll live forever. My heart goes out to you and I'm sending you thoughts of peace.

Carla Ens said...

Aw! So sorry. I was with one of my childhood cats when he passed a few years ago. It was hard. Thinking of you....

Not Hannah said...

I'm so, so sorry, my sweet friend. Sending you love and peace...

Tammie said...

thank you friends, old and new.

Natasha said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

hester said...

Hi Tammie. I'm sorry you have lost such a special companion. She looks like a beautiful cat. I'm thinking of you and I loved seeing the pictures of her life with your family.

Colleen said...

So sorry for your loss. Our pets are part of us, no matter how preposterous it may sound. Thankfully, her best bits can live on in your memories and that collection sweet photos.

Dawn said...

I love all these pictures! I'll miss spanking her butt. I try to do it to Sonny but he just bites me. Love and hugs to you!

Tammie said...

dawn: i know. its really a shame that most cats dont like that.

Liesl said...

I'm so sorry, Tammie. I hope and your family are all healing from this loss.