Yesterday morning, after sunrise, I came out in the front and found Whitey curled up between the fountain and Goldie.
I’ve been around enough sick animals to know that Whitey was in bad shape. I tried to approach him but he wasn’t having it and dragged himself into the high grass beneath Jack The Spruce, right next to where the three fairies (named after my three granddaughters) sit in a circle.
He just lay in the high grass with labored breathing and every time I went to reach for him, he hissed and made some weak attempt to scratch me, so weak in fact, that he wouldn’t even drag his reaching front paw back into his body. He lay face down with his right arm extended. I figured he would soon pass. He didn’t move a muscle. His tail didn’t even flicker.
I actually documented some of it with videos, but I can’t share them here.
So I sat with him the way I’ve sat with other dying animals. Just sat there under the tree a foot away from him talking softly to him, letting him know that he was safe and that he was loved. That he could relax and release, and that a large group of my fur family would be waiting on the other side for him. He lay there prone with his eyes closed.
We could have probably tossed a blanket over Whitey and taken him by force to a vet, but then I saw how traumatized he was when I would try to reach for him. I figured that if he came back here to the grotto to die, I wasn’t going to take that choice from him. I didn’t want to have him put down in strange surroundings and that the last thing he felt was stress.
Every once in a while I would pass my hand a few inches over his body, because I didn’t want to touch and spook him. I wanted him to feel my presence, my energy. He didn’t respond. His breath was barely perceivable.
Lisa came out and asked if there was anything she could do, and I asked her to go to a local nursery we frequent and see if she could find a memorial stone, because I didn’t think it would be long and that we could bury Whitey in the grotto beneath Jack The Spruce.
While I was sitting there, a large humming bird appeared before me at eye level – I was sitting Buddha style on a soft bed of JTS pine needles – it was maybe a foot in front of my face. It hovered there moving laterally left to right, looking right at me in one eye and then the other. Then it hovered over the cat for a moment and took off.
I’ve never seen a humming bird in the grotto in the six years I have lived at Casa Claire.
I did my best to meditate and wish for Whitey’s peaceful and painless transition.
Lisa returned in an hour to tell me she couldn’t find a memorial stone but that she found an awesome stone Cat Buddha statue. We figured we’d place it above wherever we buried Whitey.
Well I had been sitting there for over four hours and I finally asked Lisa if she could sit in my place for a while, while I went and did the weekly food prep in the basement. I didn’t want him to pass alone, and I was afraid that a hawk might come for him.
Two hours into the prep, Lisa called my cellphone to tell me that Whitey let her pet his head – he wouldn’t let me near him. He didn’t move, he hissed a little but then didn’t resist. I thought that was amazing. I figured he was close to passing.
What was more amazing was that an hour later, just as I was finishing up the prep, Lisa called to tell me that Whitey had suddenly stood up, opened his eyes and walked over to the food and water and began to eat, like there was nothing wrong.
I ran upstairs and there he was, recovered. Sitting watch where the driveway meets the entrance to the grotto like he was as right as rain.
He hung in the grotto all night, I assume he slept in the cat bomb shelter. At 4 am, when I usually go out to feed Smokey, there he was, looking as good as ever.
And then he went to his bowl and ate a good meal.
Now I cannot explain this. But the superstitious Celt in me knows that something magical happened.
And that’s all I need to know. But it is one more anecdotal reference to support my belief that Casa Claire is a magical place. Especially the grotto.
Well, here we are, Monday again.
There is just a couple of weeks left of the unofficial summer season. We all feel it. It creates a little sense of desperation.
But we must do what we must do, so it’s off to work.
First, the kitty cuddle and rounds.
And you fine, five readers, go out there and make today a great one.