The end came slowly, but not unexpectedly, for Inky, our four-legged senior citizen (The Husband is the two-legged senior).
In recent weeks, her walk had slowed, her appetite lessened and her ability to jump to places higher than the floor was compromised.
But the hardest part was the look on her face; not so much one of pain, but seeing the light slowly die in her green-gold eyes. Those black-lined Cleopatra eyes, always her best feature, were going sad and resolute. They were telling us the end was coming, and asking us to let go, before the end moved from sluggish to hideous.
And so we brought her to our vet, and spent time with her, petting and talking to her, telling her that the pain would soon be over. The vet did his tests, and confirmed that her body was shutting down. We wanted to close her life while she still had pride and dignity and beauty and some control over herself. The process made me think of my mother, who made her decision about when to end treatment, but only after pain and disease had completely obliterated any hope of recovery and had rendered her physical condition a sight no one would want to behold. I couldn’t help but wonder why there was no means available to help my mother end her life peacefully, when there is such a method to help our beloved pets end theirs.
As we said our final goodbyes to Inky, we talked about the fun stuff. How she came onto the bed in the morning and sat on my head when it was feeding time. Her preference for sitting between your knees when you were stretched out snoozing on the couch. The way she liked to test the water in the kitty drinking fountain, using her paw, to make sure it met her standards (she liked ice in her water). Her odd-sounding meow, with the accent on the second syllable – it sounded like “me-YA’OOW”. And her favorite spot on the patio – the half-moon rug near the door. She could observe all comings and goings from there.
Our senior citizen kitty, our queen of the house, is gone. Our other two cats miss her, and still look for her. We know how they feel.