Livin’ and Dyin’ … Lessons From My Kitty
Our sweet kitty cat, Tootsie, died on February 7. She was 18.
I still “see” her everywhere around the house. She was my constant companion for as long as I’ve lived here.
I got her from the pound when she was just a baby kitten. She was the loudest one of the litter, mewing constantly, trying to climb up the cage, insisting that I take her home.
I did. She fit in my hand.
As the years went by, we both grew older … she faster than I. We knew she was getting close to the end when she started having trouble jumping up and then climbing up on things, followed by trouble even lifting herself up and walking straight. We were preparing ourselves for her departure mentally, but you can never be ready emotionally. And then, like that, she was gone.
Our pets teach us some important life lessons. Every day, they show us how to be fully in the moment and how to love unconditionally. They also teach us how to let go when it’s our time. And, they prepare us for the deaths of our loved ones and for our own transition.
She lived a long and healthy life. After 18 years … roughly 108 in people years … her little body was just tired and worn out. She never got sick. She never suffered. She lived right up until the day she died.
The day before she left us, it was beautiful and spring-like. She lay outside on the deck in the sun, savoring the warmth. She even seemed a little frisky.
She modeled for me exactly how I want my transition to be. There’s an Abraham quote I’ve always loved. “Happy healthy, happy healthy. happy healthy, happy healthy, dead!” That’s how I want my life and my transition to be.
As she was fading that last evening, unable to get up, having not eaten or drunk anything for a couple of days, and clearly ready to go, she waited till “Mom” got home from a speaking engagement in Florida, so I could love on her and Tom and I could say our goodbyes. I tucked her into her kitty bed in our room, covered her with a blanket, and she gently went to sleep.
That’s exactly how I want to go, peacefully and serenely with no struggling, no drama … when my time is up, when this body has been used to the fullest.
I don’t believe we have to get sick or suffer. I know people have different beliefs around dying. I respect that, and I firmly believe we have a choice in how we die, just as we have a choice everyday in how we live.
She had a good long life, and she went peacefully, knowing it was time.
We loved that cat. She was a blessing to us and an example. Here’s hoping she gets a frisky new body up in kitty heaven.
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