Today, I write about an unhappy event that I was not ready to document last week, but I can manage now. Over the holidays, my sweet little cat, Squeaks died.
Christmas is always a very busy time, with family and such, but it did not escape my notice that Squeaks was failing. She had been getting thinner for a while, but still tore up the stairs, as she often did, when she wasn’t carrying one of her little stuffed animals from the rec room. She carried these little ones in her teeth, like her own babies and I would often wake to as many as five in the living room in the morning.
Squeaks was still waking me in the morning to put out the food, although she was never a big eater. She was still drinking lots of water and using the litter box. I paid special attention to that because my daughter was visiting with her dog over Christmas, and while the dog is in the house, my cats stay in my bedroom, with a litterbox in the ensuite bathroom and I always have a water dish in each of our bathrooms.
Now, truthfully, she did not sound like herself on Boxing Day. I had thought about taking her to the vet before, but she hadn’t been outside the house, except on the back deck, since we had moved in the house and hadn’t seen the vet since she had been fixed. Squeaks was my cat and frightened of most people who came to the house, so I was afraid that taking her to the vet would worsen whatever was wrong. She was over 15 years old, which is relatively old for a cat. About 78, in people years I understand, so I was thinking that age was the greatest issue.
The day after Boxing Day, Cavan had work in Sudbury, so I wanted to drive with him, because the weather can be pretty bad between here and there. We were only going overnight. When we returned the next evening. I had to go through the house to find her. I found her in the front room, which is kind of a chapel now. She was dead behind one of the chairs. It was awful. I felt so bad that I hadn’t been with her when she passed. I had been with both my other cats when they died. One was an assisted death, the other was not.
We put her in the cold garage for overnight and I called the local vet to arrange cremation. Of my two previous cats, one was buried in the backyard that he loved to prowl and one was cremated and buried above him because she also liked to wander the yard. The two cats I have now, well, Squeaks and Jett, have always been inside cats, so cremation and an urn to keep in the house make the most sense.
Oddly enough, this is what gave me an idea for my ministry. If I can manage to bury my own feelings, I could do pet funerals. I’m giving it some thought. I’ll ask the vet if we have anyone in Cobourg who does it now and think about it. Until I become a priest in June, I don’t have the authority to bless living things, but I can do funerals.
So, dear friends, I have now lost three dear pets in my life and I pray for your recovery, if you have lost any of yours. It is a trying time. The oddest things will bring tears, I’m afraid.
Blessings be upon you all, in whatever your challenges are.