The heaviness of the day was further emphasized by the thick grey ceiling of clouds that snuffed out any ray of sunlight that would lift the sadness in our hearts as we prepared to say our last good bye to our cat, Kyle. Our two cats were our binding pillars that held us together like a family, attached to every movement and utterance a family cat is likely to make, we would talk endlessly of what he and his sister, Keyla, were up to. Ironically, the more weight he loss because of illness, the younger he looked, until he almost reverted to being a kitten in appearance. Now what is holding us together is the impending sense of loss that will finally and forever wash over us as we ring the death knell that will lay him to rest. The entire process of deciding his fate has weighed like Solomon's judgement on us...the power of life and death. We now move forward in the direction of removing him from life's misery and carrying him to the point of finality at his equally saddened vet's office.
Not wanting to believe he is going to be gone forever we hold on to each second, watching each breath hoping for a familiar whimper, a reassuring gesture, a helpless meow. As he lay limply in my arms, we deliver him to his vet who tries to calm our fears with a soft and encouraging explanation of what we can expect in this process. It seems so benign for all it's deadly results. We try to recall moments in his life with one another, that will stay in our hearts, but the sting of tears makes it impossible to complete the sentiment. With nothing left to say, we turn him over to the vet who administers the succession of shots that renders his virtually lifeless body to a body without any life in moments.
Once the lifeless body of Kyle was placed into a biodegradable box, sealed with tape the emotions slowed to a trickle, the flood of tears receded and finality sets in. There is nothing left to do or say and no one left to say it to. Though relief replaced the heavy weight of sadness, a shroud of disbelief now blocked the sun that now fill the skies.
Photo by Joe Steele