Have you ever done something you thought you could not do? I did yesterday.
On March 18, 2013 our beloved cat, Cadenza, had to be euthanized. All of us knew it was “time” – even Cadenza knew. He had put up a brave and long battle with his final illness. He never suffered and received compassionate and loving care from our spectacular Vet, Dr. Bill MacArthur. Dr. Bill gave Cadenza quality and length of life and gave us hope in our fight against an illness we knew would eventually take Cadenza.
I will never forget that moment in Bill’s office when we knew Cadenza had gone gently into the sweet night. It was gut and heart wrenching. My husband, Louie, and I left numb and bereft but grateful for our 16 years with the best cat ever.
We miss Cadenza to this day, and though the pain of our immediate grief has turned into the softness of memory, I have not yet been able to think about getting another kitten. I also have never been able return to the office to say hello to Bill, who became more than a Vet to us throughout our routine care visits, our emergency care visits, and our final good bye.
Let me tell you about Cadenza. We got him when he was 2 months old. He quickly nestled into our hearts and our home. He was a little orange kitten, the runt of a large litter. He was delicate and shy with a sensitive stomach. Little did we know how he would meow like a rooster crowing when it was time to rise in the mornings. He greeted us at the door every evening – recognizing the motors on our cars from far down the street. At a moment’s notice he would agree to be picked up and cuddled. Our favorite place was the rocking chair where he purred himself to sleep in my lap. I think we comforted each other.
Cadenza’s favorite foods were corn on the cob (as we found out one evening when I left some on the kitchen counter a little too long), asparagus, and shrimp. We should have set a place at the table for him.
Cadenza’s stomach could not keep up with his appetite, and he had lifelong GI issues. We never minded that we had to re-carpet our house and eventually put down hard wood floors. There was nothing we would not happily do for our beloved cat who allowed us to live with him.
As he grew into middle and then toward older age and illness crept upon him, Dr. Bill provided loving, steady care to all of us. Until the end came.
I never thought I could go back into the Vet’s office again. It was too much associated with pain and loss for me. Until last weekend ….when our daughter’s cat, Willy, got very sick. Her family took him quickly to Dr. Bill – who takes care of our entire feline family. Without thinking, I knew I wanted to be there with her, her family, and with Willy.
And so Louie and I went to the clinic. Try to imagine 4 adults, 2 children, a vet, a vet tech, and Willy all in a small examining room. Fortunately, Willy only had a virus and is on the mend.
When we walked into the familiar waiting room at the Clinic, we were greeted with woofs and meows of animals with their owners. Bill came to greet us and gleefully showed us a short video of his adorable 6 month old son. I told him that I had not been able to come back to see him until today. Bill looked at me and said quietly, “It was hard, wasn’t it!”. He understood.
Life does go on. I realized that one of my saddest moments had begun to heal when I did something I never thought I could do. I went back to the Vet’s clinic.
Ironically, yesterday I read my horoscope. I hardly ever read those things. It said that I was going to do something different I didn’t think possible which would make me feel empowered. I don’t really feel empowered, but I do feel nearer to a sense of closure.
I hope you will share something that you overcame that you never thought you could. How did you feel afterward? I invite you to leave your reply below.
Featured Image photo by metin.gul
Photos of Cadenza by Julie Nagel