Thursday, July 26, 2012
And a journey ends on a grey and rainy day ...
The grey and rainy day kind of matches my mood right now ...
This morning I had the sad task of taking Chloe, the calico pictured above, to the vet for the final time ... she had some fight left in her despite the failing health she was experiencing in recent days. As the vet put the needle in her hip for the sedative, she growled and spun around and bit him!! Thankfully it was with the side of her mouth missing the big sharp fang that had been removed some years ago after an infection. The vet for his part graciously accepted her final act with a laugh and the observation: "She's still got some fight left in her!"
Yes, she did ... but fortunately, she went quietly and peacefully as the sedative took effect and she slipped into a deep and comfortable sleep ... I don't know if animals go to some kind of heaven, and I don't even want to think about the Theological Implications and DEBATE that would start, but I would like to think that Chloe is somewhere peaceful with her old chums who have taken that road ahead of her ... as she slipped into sleep, I whispered into her ear that I hope she'll soon be back together with Mindy, Angus, and Diesel, our dogs and cat who have come and gone from our lives in the 19 years Chloe was part of the journey.
Nineteen years! That's a grand run for a stray kitten that arrived on our doorstep on Thanksgiving weekend in 1993!!
Nineteen years of memories and recollections to look back on.
Nineteen years that saw Chloe outlast two dogs, a cat, two rats, two rabbits, and a couple of stick bugs ... this morning Chrysanthemum is out of sorts - looking around for her old friend ... and Simba, though he is sleeping off the effects of his neutering, has been looking in all the corners where Chloe has hidden in recent days ... life goes on, but a familiar (and grouchy) presence is missing!!!
But, in the last few weeks Chloe has not been comfortable nor well, so it was time ... as hard as it was, it was time ... in this moment, I'm thinking about the snippets and images etched in my mind of Chloe and her life in Bella Coola, Langely, Minnedosa, Brandon and Flesherton. She has seen more of Canada that many people ever will - and she has taken each move in stride, although she made known her displeasure of being put in a box and moved from here to there each time!!! And really, who can blame her?
Right now, the image I have in my mind as I think about the old girl, is one from the summer of 1994, when Noahkila was still just a babe ... I was working in my office in the basement of the manse in Bella Coola, and Noahkila was sleeping on the couch, wrapped in his blankets. I glanced over and saw that Chloe had crawled in the bottom of the swaddled blankets leaving only her hind legs and tail showing - at the other end, Noahkila remained blissfully asleep!!
Before I could get the camera and snap a picture, Chloe freed herself and laid beside the babe (something she would do frequently!!! I lost count of how many times I carried a sleeping baby into his crib and had push Chloe aside, or later came back and found her snuggling her Boy!!!). The image though that I have is of a strange merman-like image of a baby with calico cat legs and tail!!!
Such was Chloe ... always looking for a place of comfort and warmth, and for most of her 19 years, she slept with Noahkila - and for his part for most of those years, he would curl around her giving her the best and warmest place on the bed!!!
She truly was the matriarch, and despite the annoyance of finding puddles and surprises all over the house in the last few months - we WILL miss her, but after 19 years, we can only wish her a peaceful rest and say "thanks for the memories!!!"
R.I.P. Chloe - 1993 to 2012!!!