It’s amazing how the loss of such a small body can leave such a large hole in your heart. – Mom Hayes
Those of you who follow me on Twitter are aware that I had to put down Xena, my sixteen-year-old Maine Coon cat, on Friday the 20th. It was not an easy choice to make. I am still coming to grips with it, dealing with the loss, and can only write about it now.
Xena, physically, was healthy for her advanced age. She had a thyroid condition that was well managed, but no other physical issues. Her mental status was a different story. Six months ago, she began crying out in fear at night, staring at us like she didn’t know who we were, and getting lost traveling the hallways from the family room to my mother’s bedroom. Our vet quickly diagnosed her as suffering from Feline Cognitive Dysfunction and prescribed an antidepressant to help with her anxiety. It worked miracles for her, until three weeks ago when she stopped grooming herself. She lost weight and became matted no matter how much time we spent brushing her. At the same time, she started hiding under the bed when it was time to give her medicine. It quickly turned into staying under the bed all the time, sneaking out to use the litter box or eat. Mom and I could not let her suffer. Our vet agreed and arranged her last appointment. We were with her when she passed, petting her as we told her her how much we loved her and how much we will miss her.
She rests in a small wooden box next to the remains of her adopted brother George, who was lost to kidney disease nine years ago, and Sweetheart, the cat who came into my life the same time my dad’s final illness began. Mom told me, “I know it’s said that animals don’t have souls, so they won’t get into Heaven. I hope that’s not true because it won’t be Heaven without her.”
Goodbye Xena. I hope to meet you again at the Rainbow Bridge.
May you see with eyes of light in everdark, may your mind walk free and unfettered amongst all, touching wisely and well, may you go in peace. But wait for me, beloved. – Gayle Greeno