Our oldest cat had to be put to sleep the other day. Mini B. Or was it Mini Bee? Or Minnie-Bee?
We never really knew. She was a barn cat, born at my parents place in Oakley CA. She originally was going to go to a friend of my parents, where someone was nicknamed “Big B”. So she of course was going to be “Mini B” but the spelling was never established.
I have to write this, because it feels like it will haunt my brain until I spill it out like tears. Grief, along with worry and doubt, are a virus of the mind and soul. It takes hold and spreads and is often communicable. So I’m sorry to my anonymous reader, but this is my therapy. Maybe I prefer it this way, because I don’t want to have a conversation about it. I don’t want to hear “its going to be okay”, because its not okay. I don’t want to hear “Shes in a better place” because I would argue she was better off with me in the first place.
Selfish I know, but this is my process.
I don’t think I know how to grieve and accept, but maybe no one does. This hurts just as much as the last time I lost a pet, and the time before that. It hurts as much as loosing a pet to soon like Coal, Zoey, or Sage. It hurts just as much as when it was my childhood cat Joey, and my Mom told me she had to have him put to sleep.
It just hurts.
The main reason why my grieving introspection is so high, is because I have to watch Caralyne process this. She and Michele were the ones to take her in to the vet Sunday. I was (am) sick with Covid round two apparently. She was the one to hold her to the end, and its just tearing her apart.
What fatherly advice can I possible give? I can hold her, tell her I’m here and I’m so sorry, just like my parents would do. But it doesn’t subside the anguish. It doesn’t ease the guilt of being there, saying yes to the question “Do you want to euthanize?”
That is they heavy part. There is no undo. No “wait, stop, I changed my mind”. Its a process that is absolute, and never feels to sink in until their body is shutting down. Michele said she felt like she killed her, and wished she was back home the day after.
She was miserable. We did not take her in on a whim, she couldn’t eat or drink and was vomiting and gagging. I keep looking at pictures and seeing her at her happiest and its painful, but I have to keep in mind she was not okay.
Then, there are the things left behind. The next day I took Owen to school, and started silently weeping because I could see her bed and cage in the back seat. Her food bowl was still on the floor, along with a half can of eaten food in the fridge. The worst, is the empty space and silence where she slept. I could always hear her gentle snoring while I was working downstairs or watching a movie.
So, the only thing I can think of is to think about the life she lived with us. She had been with us on every adventure and move. She was with us when we lived in Antioch, and always went in and out, coming home every night. When we moved to Felton, Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek, she never wandered and just hung outside to bask in the warm sun. She was our guard dog, one day a pair of pit bulls got loose and ran into our yard. She immediately ran out and made herself known. I’m thankful they were pretty benign and I was able to quickly find the owner.
By the time we moved up here, she really just wanted to sleep in her bed. We’d still let her out on the back deck to warm up in the sun. I’m a little sad our weather this year has been so cloudy she had not been able to go out much the last few months. She was nice enough to barely tolerate the other cats and dogs we brought home, but she was very much a solitary cat. She actually never really came upstairs the last 4 years, but I knew I was in trouble if I heard her claws clicking up the stairs. It meant one of us neglected one of our duties and she was coming up to be vocal about it.
Mostly, I remember her snuggling up to me late at night while I watched movies. She loved being pet and scratched, so I would just spend the evening watching a horror movie, petting her. Usually the next morning Michele would confront me with “So it looks like you pet mini bee last night” pointing to the mountain of loose dander and fur left behind. Hey, she was happy and it was to dark to noticed a foot tall pile of cat hair.
I had about 60 photos picked out, had this idea of going through them, commenting and really fleshing out her life. I can’t. I couldn’t stop crying. I had to leave, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, sat back down and just deleted them all from this post.
Here is a Google Photo Album, I’ll get back to it one day, Mini B’s theme was definitely warmth and comfort. She brought a lot of smiles.
Goodbye Mini B, I love you and you will be missed.