You are never truly ready. There isn’t much that prepares you. Resolve and fortitude crumble when loss touches your heart. When the time comes, second guessing tough decisions only confuses, as doubt tumbles in your head. Did I do all I could? Is it really time? The mind is flooded with emotions running so deep that fond memories and joys of yesterday become blurred like vision through a veil of tears.
I whispered her name in her ear. With each breath I took I felt her relax until the once sinewed muscles grew limp in my arms. I held her as I knew my own mother would have done. I was instructed to place her on the cold steel table where the warmth of her life melted my hands. I wouldn’t let the sterile metal steal the heat of her life. To preserve the little bit that remained I lifted her tiny head and shoulders in my hands to feel the last breath, the last heart beat, the last flame of life extinguish. I tried to absorb the essence of the miracle, the power that allows us to be alive. I could give her nothing but peace and it seemed such a little gesture. Boots, surrendered from this world, her limp body, a fragile mass of silky black fur rested on the table. Everything happening in the universe, the world, my life stopped.
I have read that animals will tell their owners when they are ready to pass on, as if their mission had been completed and now they move on from this world to the next. Boot had it backwards. She waited until we were ready to let her go. But like I said, even when you know the inevitable the end is never easy. I watched my tears moisten her face and pool on the table. If it had only been tears I was losing.
Known as Bootsie, or Booter and sometimes fondly referred to as BooterHead, the black long-hair cat with a smart white bib and painted paws, was my mother’s cat. This was another piece of Mom gone missing. It broke my heart even more.
It is just two weeks beyond three years since Mom passed away. There have been many things I wanted to tell her during this time. Putting that BooterHead down is not one of them.