And just like that I'm 16 again and I feel like a part of my soul is being bled out my eyes. The first time I was this sad was the day that I put my horse to sleep. I wasn't present for that; was told that it would be all I would remember. So I remained stoic at school trying to keep busy. When I finally got home from school I felt like my life was draining out of me with each step toward my bedroom. I finally collapsed on the bed and wept like no happiness would ever return. As my mom came and hugged me, I only wanted to cry harder. I feel that same way now. I'm losing a companion I've had for the last 19 years of my life.... the last half in fact. Dr. Phil says there are critical moments in your life that will always stand out to you. Going over her critical moments, I break down yet again.
I'm talking about India, my short haired domestic barn cat that has been with me through more than any other soul on this planet. As I sit here watching her take what's remaining of her last day's breath, I remember her critical moments. I think to her .... do you remember how scared you were when you first left the barn? Remember when you had your first litter of kittens behind me as I napped on the couch? Remember how you wouldn't let me leave your side when you were having your second litter? Remember how Sasha the Rotti used to love to chase you and how often she almost caught you?
This is a kitty who ran away from home when I started working long hours at a car dealership. And she stayed away until I left there. I called her that one night for a few hours and the next morning there she was on the doorstep. Never to leave my side again. They always say that no parent should outlive their child. I ask you, should an alpha outlive her pack? And if so, why does it feel so wrong? I used to have a huge pack and this orange kitty is the last of them. It went from including horses, dogs, cats, and lovebirds, to just she and I for the last seven years. A few blogs back I spoke of what happens when you lose someone for whom you care, and around whom you have built much of your life and your routine. This is happening to me now. I know it's time ... that doesn't mean it will be easy to experience. Looking back, I remember trying to differentiate the love I felt for my various pack members. As though the love for one would feel different than that for another. Now I see how each touched me in different ways, but all are inside me now, and swirling around me in energy form.
The day before she passed we had a moment where I kissed her head the way she liked, and I told her she was such a good kitty. And even though she hadn't eaten in almost three days, I could feel the purr in her chest. Barely enough energy to breathe, but energy to purr. She purred through both litter deliveries if I remember correctly, and as she sat beside her furry sister Laya while she welped her own litter of cocker spaniel puppies, she purred for that too. Nurse Indie we called her after that. She would come running when she heard a baby cry. In the past few years I've noticed her bundle blankets, reusable shopping bags or most recently curtains up under her belly and purr ... the maternal yearn is ageless for some.
Original Name: Indianna (after Indianna Jones since the farmer thought she was a boy and she loved my houseplants from day one)
Actual Name: India
Nicknames: Tit-Tat, Kitty, Indie
Age: 19 human years
Birth Place: Hutching's Barn, Westport, Ontario
Known As: Pet, Mother, Sister, Friend, Confidant, Pack member, kitty
Earliest achievement: Above average paw-eye coordination while playing floor hockey with a crumpled up piece of paper at a very early age. She played the week before passing. Athletic til the end.
Lifetime Achievements: Two litters of kittens, mouser extraordinaire, fearless in the face of most dogs. Master of the sneak-in, a bedtime trick where she would wait til all lights were off to silently sneak into bed thus averting the attention of larger pack members.
Favorite meal: Red Sockeye Salmon and Turkey
Most loved phrase: "Such a good kitty"
Dislikes: Being picked up, stale water, stale food. No surprise there, she was a food-snob.
Likes: The sound of kisses on the top of her head, the baby leaves of fresh catnip, a good body massage, her best friend Molly the Boston Terrier, standing water anywhere. In fact, if there was water outside, she HAD to drink some of it.
Final Destination: a small cedar box inscribed with her name ... kept in view for now. Purely symbolic really since I know she is still here.
Always to be remembered.