A very hard day for us today but I felt I needed to blog about it.
Every year my neighbors go away in the winter for the entire winter. One of the things we do for them is take care of their three cats. Mitzy, Tiger & Picaso. They are wild cats that live in these barns above. Everyone who knows me knows that I love animals. I baby my dogs (probably too much) but I love all animals. I have had cats all my life. Well the past two weeks we have been under a foot of snow. It has been a bad winter. Every morning my husband or I walk down the path to the barns to feed and check on the cats. This photo is a year old. If I were to take a photo today you would see that the snow is high all around the barn doors. It is difficult to do in the cold and the amount of snow but they are God's creatures and what we do for them we do for him.
Well during the past week, the littlest one, Picaso, has been sick. She (I just found out she is a girl?) Anyway, we noticed she was having trouble walking and breathing. I brought a remnant piece of rug out to the barn a few days ago along with Matt's fleece blancket and placed it in a corner of the barn. The temperatures had dropped and it was awfully cold. We checked on her every few hours yesterday but she didn't look like she was getting better. We left her last night on the blanket and found her this morning same position and very weak. I called my neighbors in Florida this morning to ask for their permission to take her to the vet. We took her and after a half an hour found out she had cancer, liver failure, cardiac failure, water in her lungs and severe hypothermia. After giving her IV and trying to raise her body temperature the doctor said there was nothing left to do for her and she was suffering. Rob and I stared at one another knowing the inevitable was to come. This all too close form the loss of our own dog a few day after the death of my father.
The doctor asked us if we wanted to be with her when they injected her with the drug to put her down. Rob said no, with tear filled eyes, since he had held Max when he passed. It was all too raw still.
I immediately said yes and followed the doctor to the back. Last night I had trouble sleeping thinking about her in the cold barn at night wondering if she was in pain and it made me think about our lives and how lonely it can be. I felt pain for her, and a great sense of sadness. I wanted to be there with her so that her last breath would be with someone who cared and prayed for her. I know she's a cat, but to me she mattered.
As I walked back I saw her on a small little table under a very comfy red heating blanket. The assistant placed her hand on her side and was rubbing her head as she warmed her with the blanket. The doctor asked me if I was ready. I couldn't speak. I just nodded my head touched her little head and whispered in her ear "go with Jesus, you are not alone. I am here to be with you."
The doctor injected her through the tiny IV and she let out a small little breath. It was so painful for me. I felt a huge loss. But I am thankful that I was there by her to witness the end of her little life. It was a gift from God and I was there. I have not stopped crying all day and I feel terrible. I know that an animal's life does not compare to a humans. I know that. But these little angels are here without the ability to speak or signal when they are in pain or afraid or lost. We are there keepers, like Jesus talks about the shepherd who kept his sheep. We are responsible for them.
I feel a great sadness but at the same time I am thankful that tonight she will be held in a warm place with our father in heaven, whole and pain free and cancer free. I am thankful I was there for her.
I wish I had a picture to post but all I have are my words and an image in my mind that will be with me forever.