Monday, December 08, 2008

I'll Be Seeing You.

Sweet little Basil cat passed away today. 2 hours ago, actually. She had been ill, very ill with cancer and I fought like hell to keep her home, safe and warm and comfortable, and let her choose her own time to go. But Basil (aka Basilroni or Princess Baloney) had too damn much fight in her.....even today as she was unable to get up and struggling to breathe she would not let go. I held her almost all day as she steadily got worse, thinking certainly she would let go.....but it came to a point where I realized if I didn't take certain steps (that I really, really didn't want to have to do), there was a very good chance she would keep holding on, suffering, and overnight there wouldn't be a thing I could do about it.

A nightmare decision to make, all alone, wishing so badly she would be the one to decide when she went....but it wasn't to be. She was always a scrappy little thing, the runt from a litter born on a farm, brought inside with her siblings when I realized I am never going to be a person that can have outdoor cats (after they went missing for 2 days while their Momma cat took them out to learn to hunt). I found homes for all of them but this brightly colored tortoiseshell marked, freckle faced mini cat. Fifteen years ago this sweet little cat became a part of my family....

Basil retained quite a lot of feral, farm cat attitude and while most people never even saw her (she was a hider), she would occassionally grace me with her presence at bedtime and sleep near me....not close enough to snuggle really but close enough to feel a bond, and let me pet her now and then. Too much and she'd bolt. She loved to lay in the sunroom in a spot of sun, sit in window sills, drink bath water from a bucket left in the tub by my daughter, and loved to roll on the kitchen floor after a fresh bleach cleaning, rolling around on the floor getting some kind of goofy high (the floor was dry, mind you). She had the wee-est, tinist girlie miaow of any cat I've met in my life, even 'til this morning she would greet me with her tiny salutation passing in the hallway or from beneath the bed when I called to her.

So. As I made my decision, I called the vet I have had for the last few years and, crying, asked them if they do house-calls for euthanization as I had some sort of bizarre need to protect her from the cold Iowa winter air. They said yes, thankfully, but couldn't come for an hour and a half so I hoped and prayed in the meantime her body would finally release her from the pain on its own.....we sat on the couch, she a tiny thing to begin with now so terribly frail and weak. I knew I was doing the right thing but it was breaking my heart....I told her she would be better soon, have a new kitty body and would see our kitties who have passed before and the kittens she had years ago that were born very ill and passed away within hours. I told her we love her, and my cat Buhaki sat very near all day as well. I listened to the 40s channel on XM on the TV for some quiet, soothing music. I sat quietly, and Bu sat quietly, and we gave her our strength and stillness to face the transition.

The vet and assistant came and were wonderful. I took Bu in another room, certain he should'nt witness this.....but he came right back out and sat next to me, so I had one hand on him and one on her in a surreal yet perfectly right arrangement. Basil passed just during the first shot that is meant to calm, before the actual "real" shot....she was so close to being ready all it took was being able to relax. As she went the song "I'll Be Seeing You" by Frank Sinatra (especially poignant given that I am a big fan) came on the radio, and in that moment my heart both broke and was soothed by the poignancy of the lyric.

I'll be seeing you

In all the old, familiar places

That this heart of mine embraces

All day through.

In that small cafe

The park across the way

The childrens carousel

The chestnut tree

The wishing well.

Ill be seeing you

In every lovely, summers day

And everything thats bright and gay

Ill always think of you that way

Ill find you in the morning sun

And when the night is new

Ill be looking at the moon

But Ill be seeing you.

Click HERE to hear it if you'd like, its worth a listen if you haven't heard his version. Some friends of mine created a candle lighting page for Basil last night and you can click her image to go there and light a candle for my little kitty to help her find her way to the Bridge.

Good bye, Princess Baloney.....sweet Basil.


No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin