Paw Steps In the Stars (Trigger Warning)

Nymph left us today, and the experience is one that I didn’t know how I would feel. Every other loss in my life of such a companion as she was during a time when I had no control in my life even over my own food, I was a child as well not a woman and those caused so much pain as the experience was full of suffering, deceit, and often the death of the animal was a punishment against me. My dear friend Nymph’s last moment was perfect. There is no other word I can use. There is nothing I would chance, except her having been ill at all and as it was, she had a very good life.

The veterinary center that I go to is amazing, the set up protects the humans and the animals, it was a guided journey in absolute kindness. Furthermore I am aware that the staff became attatched to Nymph, her illness effected so many people, not just me. I didn’t have to be alone, M the Carer was with me. I gave her the option of waiting outside during the process but she did not do so.

They set us up in a quiet room, the lights were dimmed which was nice for both Ny and myself. Sprite doesn’t like the darkness but that’s alright. Sprite climbed into the bed they had set up for Nymph and laid down, which I think made it far easier for Nymph to do the same. Ny was curious and wanted to poke around the room. Sprite was not, for the first time in a new place. Instead she and Nymph held one another. It was beautiful. We were there settling in for a good half an hour, this gives the humans and the animals enough time to relax. There is enough time to change your mind if you want, and nothing happens until you, the pet friend are ready.

Sprite and Nymph both met a few nurses, and Sprite for once let people in public pet her without any balking, she just made sure that Nymph was okay with everything. We played music, I set up a play list on my MP3 player and brought speakers. The playlist is the songs that I like, Sprite likes, and the ones that Nymph responded to most favorably. I felt a bit unsure about playing her favorite song at first, during the process but it was fine with everyone. Though Rob Zombie isn’t excactly what was expected I am sure.

I went with her favorite song because for some reason the Devil’s Rejects makes her dance, run, AND play. She had been fighting the Nurse a bit, she didn’t want them to touch her. So I hit play and she put her head on Sprite. I put my hand on her after they gave her the medication, and the first thing that happened was her pain went away. She was awake and alive at that point and I felt her being her again.

Pain changes how your body feels, from the texture of your fur on to the way you hold yourself. Nymph hadn’t felt like her at all for days. This is how I judged her pain, besides asking her. She felt soft, warm, and she purred. Then she was gone. I felt her go but I also felt Sprite’s awareness as I was touching her too. She was sad immediately, and pressed up into me, pleading for a bit. After the doctor and nurse confirmed that everything had gone as it should they laid Nymph back with Sprite and I cried. M the Carer hugged me, which was what I needed at the time. That need surprised me but she was good about my redirecting where she touched me, because I knew she didn’t want to hurt me and she confirmed that.

We sat with Nymph for almost an hour after, I was okay to leave before Sprite, but Sprite literally would not let go. So I let her process and be sad. I knew she was ready once she was out of the bed, even though as soon as I reached for her she jumped back in. We played most of the playlist I set up, and Sprite for a time had her head on the speaker. She is even now very sad. She was alarmed we didn’t bring the body with us, but she does know Nymph isn’t going anywhere else.

My vet’s office will be mailing me a cast of Ny’s paw. I have one of Sprite’s and I will reframe them together. Likely I can use the same frame, since neither cat is giant. I came home, I talked with a few people about some unsavory things but that is life, they were careful with me too and made sure to ask if I was up for the conversation. As it is about Murder, I had to be. If I put that off it would hurt me more.

Then I talked with friends. I realized I was fighting my natural resting patterns and let myself go lay down. It started to rain immediately, which explained to me why I hurt so much bodily. Mentally I feel the same peace that hit me when Nymph felt like Nymph. There was no wrong in this decision, just right. I had the right facility, the right doctors, and the right day and time. Any longer and Nymph would’ve been tortured. Any shorter and she would’ve not been in enough pain and it would have cost her days that she could enjoy. I never expected peace.

I expected guilt, anger, sorrow, doubt, but peace was there.

It was in my rest that the glass shattered in that empty house and the ice cracked further. In that house are my regrets, losses and it is a house on a foundation of pain. The entire house collapsed as I let myself remember every moment I had with Nymph. Her first steps in my house as Sprite greeted her with a big lick and her last morning here with me. Her delight when she realized Catnip is VERY good, and her frustration that Sprite wouldn’t let her pee at the same time. I don’t think we had any bad moments, though our worst was indeed the moment she became sick and I knew I had to take her in. Yet even in this there are so many good memories.

This morning I woke up, and before I could even shift I realized I had a chest full of cat. This left me with a bit of a pain in my back but that’s fine for Nymph.Sprite rarely stays on my chest but after my walk yesterday predominantly stayed with Nymph. She even let her pee at the same time. She dislikes sharing her litterbox, yet it was what Nymph needed. Yesterday was horrible for her, Nymph hurt so much that all she could do was lay with Sprite. Today she was too weak to do much, though she made a valiant effort at hiding from us when she heard me say, “Okay lets get the cats ready to go to the vet.” She went under the bed, not as far as before as we blocked that off but enough that I couldn’t get her, then she went to try and get under the shelf. That was hard to see as her belly was so full of fluid that she couldn’t fit where she should’ve.

Even then she purred for me. She was only wanting to avoid the other people with their poking and their prodding. That was at a minimum too, and that she purred in her last breath is something I am grateful for.

During our settling in time, as I watched Nymph I told her what I think Kitty Heaven is. It is a place where I would love to be myself frankly, not the death part but who doesn’t want rivers of fresh milk full of fat fish that jump into your paws, plump mice that run through rows of catnip, growing everywhere, and where cats are made out of stars?

The storm has concluded it’s fury as I write this, and this is the second time that a storm has mirrored my grief. I will still be sad when I wake up and she isn’t there. I will be sad when she doesn’t poke my feet trying to figure out how I can be so big. I will be sad when I think of the things she loved to do. I will not be sad when I think of the pain she did not feel. I will be happy as I think of her as a cat made of stars, she sparkled even in life and I would expect that she could be no other way in death.

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6 Comments

  1. Kat, I’m so sorry for this. Though I know Nymph is liberated from all pain. *Hugs*

  2. ((((hug))))

  3. There are no words more beautiful and honest than the ones you have written here.

    My thoughts are with you, and I am very glad to know you found peace within all of this.

    Much love.

    C

  4. Yes, you did what you had to do. It isn’t easy, but it is so much better than making her suffer more. You are the best cat mom I have ever known, both for Nymph and for Sprite; too many people think that animals don’t mourn but they do and it is good for Sprite that you know that. I only hope Sprite can find the same peace as you. (((hugs))) for you both.

  5. My sincerest condolences to you and Sprite.

  6. And i also send you some support here, even if it’s a little late.


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