Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just Breathe

This is for my little friend, China, who was euthanized Monday due to complications related to renal failure. China was our foster cat, a partially blind, partially deaf, elderly cat who was so thin she could've been the poster child for starving cats. A birth defect affected the structure of her face so that it was almost flat and no one is quite sure why her legs were bent this way and she walked that way. She had long back feet that reminded me of a jack rabbit. We gave her pills for hyperthyroidism, wiped her chin after meals because she didn't groom herself, administered subcutaneous fluids, and mashed her food to mush because she only had a few teeth left. She was a mess, really, a being Mother Nature would normally never have let live to be 12-13 years old. Someone took care of her, however, and when she was abandoned, other people found value in her, and we were eventually led to her. We were able to fill her last few months with what we all deserve: comfort, companionship, and love. The last I saw her she was laying peacefully in her carrier, relaxed, aware, and ready.

In retrospect, China gave me signs that her time was near. She stopped meowing, rarely strayed from her room, and slowly she began to stop eating. She never tired of being petted, though, even during her last night, and I think if she could have said as much, China would have echoed the final lyrics of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe":

Nothing you would take
Everything you gave
Hold me 'till I die
Meet you on the other side.