Horror in the Heart (Trigger Warning)

I woke up this morning and sat watching Nymph for a half an hour. At first I had begun to doubt my choice for Euthanasia tomorrow, then I saw it in her eyes, There was no light, just this darkness. The only moments she looked like her usual self were my own fears speaking. The fears are silent now. Those heady doubts that feel like a punch in my gut will return but not for a long time. I went to sleep feeling peace in knowing that I will do the right thing, and that feeling is here today. Every other time I have had to help someone pass on, I have felt none of this. I mean my pets, I don’t mean when I sat and spoke to strangers who were dying or sang to children in the ER as their parents never showed. Those times make me very sad but no, not the same.
It is different because as a pet owner I have always held her life or death in my hands. She knows it to a degree, as do I. I think that is why she trusts me. She knows that this choice is one of the last resort. After seeing her eyes change like in a horror movie I got up, went to the bathroom and as I started the morning feeding routine for the cats and the other things one does in the bathroom first thing in the morning, she sat at my feet and shook, crying silently against me. In agony.
She is due for a pain medication dose in half an hour. M the Carer will be doing that, but, I am worried that it won’t be enough. I understand why people use animals in place of children in their lives. That was never my intention but the feeling is the same. I love Nymph and Sprite so deeply that this wound feels like the same sort of wounds that my baby sister’s illnesses as a child gave me. Each time she nearly died, it stopped a part of my heart.
Looking at Nymph now is no longer a pleasurable exploration of her potentials, but is instead a horrible process as I see the bodily changes. I am honored to know that I acted far sooner than most humans in the face of this disease. Many don’t find out their cat is sick until their belly is swollen from the fluid that FIP forces them to excrete internally. Not I, I felt that heat in her and I felt her stomach and I actually presumed it was very bad.
Not being able to hear her as well today also makes my mind make leaps, and I know some of them are accurate. She is sitting and staring at me. Her eyes are so dark, I understand stories of possession to a degree because the pain has taken away what is Nymph. Nymph is buried beneath it. This listless cat that is quite sad and horribly angry, though not with me the anger is very present with in her, this is not the cat that I loved. It is that cat in pain.
This is the transformative moment that I mentioned I was waiting for, that if this happened I would be taking her in. I knew yesterday the odds were high she would get to this point first because Nymph has proven to be strong. I have learned another lesson from my little Ny, It is not always right to be strong. Sometimes being strong is more damaging than being weak. With weakness and strength there can be only deviation depending on the circumstances. No one is strong. No one is weak. We all simply live with in a moment that defines what we do and how we act defines the perception given our actions.
I say this because I do not ever feel strong, when others see me as such. I most often feel vulnerable, in my mind I see images that Frida Kahlo would love to paint. In my mind I know just how many hard edges I have, and I know now why I cannot see the strength until either after or never. Strength is a perception that others overlay onto a moment to understand it. This does not mean they are wrong, it merely means what I need to understand something is not strength. This may be because I have always been willful, though I am not sure. I do know I am strong it is merely something I don’t see in most people or moments unless it is detrimental.
Another analogy to make this a bit clearer, Roses are fragile. Roses are strong. If a frost comes the roses blooming in my yard will die, most assuredly. In their fragile beauty the petals will fall from the bush, decorating the ground with a visible loss. However, what is not seen is the strength, deep with in the earth the plant still feeds and grows, and soon more roses will bloom, and the cycle starts again. Living on even when there is a loss is what makes the Rose bush strong.
For humans strength comes in a variety of ways, most often physical strength is prized, at least from my perspective of not having any. I know mental strength is as well. The strength I see in Nymph, this fight to live when that is impossible, this is the wrong kind of strength. I see her get stronger around the time of her medications, food, and when she nearly loses it. She fights so hard.
So the horror in my heart is knowing that this valiant being cannot win. She wants to live. She wants to be with me. She wants to be with Sprite. I know that she will not stop fighting for weeks now. She already has fought for a lot longer than the average cat with FIP, and still could degenerate further. The horror in my heart is there, because I love her.
So I will be strong, I will be weak. I will cry. I will wish she had seen snow. I will joy in that she has loved and I will try to not doubt myself and the pain in her eyes will haunt me for my life time.
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3 Comments

  1. I’m in an airport reading this between flights. If it helps any, my heart is with you and Nymph and Sprite.

    Once I get to where I’m going, I won’t have internet access for a few days. But I’ll look for anything new you’ve posted, if you have chosen to do so and have the spoons, after I get back.

  2. For me, in my books, after what I have seen in myself and others, I am convinced that strength lies deep inside fragility. That the brave are those who fear. I told a friend once, that people who do not know fear are idiots, not brave at all.

    Kat, that is the strength I see in you. I know it costs. Dearly, too. That is what makes you and Nymph and Sprite so beautiful. Because you are all battling so valiantly in the midst of fragility. And knowing you has enriched my life all the more so.

    I am whispering goodness and watching with you from across the oceans. My heart is holding all three of you.

  3. I read this after my latest post, asking what I need. It turns out this was it. I just needed to be loved I think. Thank you.


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