“I have some bad news about Madison,” he said on the other end of the phone. The minutes following held shock and grief.
I’m not ready to let her go.
My furry, glorious, feline companion of over two and a half years is dying of kidney disease and kidney failure, which is death by dehydration. There is nothing I can do about her pending death and there is no cure. The little light of my life is facing something I cannot save her from after she all she has walked through with me. Now I am forced to consider what life will be like without her while she is still here.
In some ways I am grateful to know about her condition because it allows me to be present and truly cherish each precious minute with her.
But I hit moments of resistance where I don’t want to accept reality.
I sat with her on the bed today, petting her and begging her through tears not to leave me.
Life with Madison has gotten more complicated. Vet bills, multiple medications, prescription cat food, and a daily IV are a part of the picture now. She requires specific attention each morning and evening. The living room has become a sort of cat hospice area filled with her blankets and all of her life-sustaining substances that remind me of what is inevitable. While I’m able to provide dietary changes and administer IV fluid therapy, which enhances her quality of life, I still have to wrestle with the pain and discomfort of what’s happening for her.
The truth is that I don’t like what this situation brings up in me. I struggle through thoughts that I am not a good enough parent or that there was something I could have done to prevent this. It’s just not true, though. So, I’m forced to accept myself and the reality before me. I have the choice to embrace the grieving process and feel it all, accepting that I can’t change it, and to do the best I can to be a good parent till the end.
And that’s a brave thing to do.