Saturday, February 13, 2010

Goodnight, my angel

At 1:35pm MST yesterday, February 12, 2010, Guy and I released Maddy's soul back to the Universe and helped her to the Rainbow Bridge. She went peacefully, without any pain or hesitation. She was ready, so Mama had to be ready with her as well. She was just a couple of weeks shy of being 12 years old.

Towards the end, Maddy was obviously no longer feeling good but was not yet pooping herself or really really hurting. Many folks told me that when it was time, Maddy would "let me know". While talking with a friend of mine last night who lost a cat to cancer and old age, she observed, "You sent her along before she needed to give you The Look and 'let you know'. That was a really good thing actually."

Before she went, I think she and Hazel made their peace, after Maddy spent nearly all of their 12 years together kicking Hazel's butt. They were able to coexist peaceably on the chaise together, sometimes on the bed, and even in the closet occasionally.

Maddy spent a lot of time in the closet, and I kept going in there to pet and snuggle her, knowing that her time was coming. One day early this week, I came in to find Hazel running interference for her. "Mama, back off--Maddy needs her rest!"

Thursday night, Maddy sat on the futon with me, and we watched the snowstorm charge towards the Southeast, at which point I'm sure it was sending all of my sister's town into a bread-and-milk-buying frenzy. She let me pet her now-near-emaciated body gently, so I didn't make anything hurt but did provide a little massage. She purred and tried to rest.

Friday I took the day off from work, and Maddy and I laid on the chaise and read a bunch of fashion magazines that Aunt Kitty kindly sent us. We flipped the pages while I pet her, and we clucked our tongues over the dubious fashion choices of Rihanna and Lady Gaga. I pulled the blinds all the way back so that Maddy could see the balcony and the view outside. As the sky went sunny to cloudy to sunny again, I whispered to her through tears, "Today is a good day, sweet pea. Today is a good day." She chirpy-purred her assent.

I scooped up her frail, soft body and took her for one last tour of the Happy Kitten Highrise: here's the balcony where we shared many wonderful summers together, playing in the "garden" and snoozing; here's the closet where you and Hazel stayed warm each winter, so touch noses with Hazel for one last time (they did); here's the bedroom where you've woken me up just before my alarm clock every morning for nearly nine years, here's the TV room where we all hung out and watched TV or a movie and you sat on Papa's lap while he played computer games. Then we put he in the carrier (which she still fought with what little strength she had, Bastet bless her!) and we went to the vet. The vet put us in a nice, quiet room with a sofa and some candles, and we held her and said our final goodbyes, my tears wetting down her soft fire-colored fur, and she breathed gently while the vet gave her the final two shots that would take all the pain away and then stop her heart.

And then she was gone.

I never realized all the things I do around the house because of her. I walk a certain way because she was always underfoot. Everytime I walk into the bathroom, I reflexively look into my shower/toilet room to see if she's laying on the rug, and I perk my ears as I walk by my closet to see if I can hear her in there. I've spent a great deal of nearly every night since June of 2000 (when I moved to Denver) sleeping on my left side so that I could pet or spoon with Maddy, both in my downtown loft (which was cold as hell, so Maddy actually slept under the covers with me) and here at the HKH. I touch the indentation in the back of the chaise where she was just hours before, and it hits me that she is truly gone, and the sadness is raw and fresh again. And I weep.

As I write this, dawn is just about to break over the Mile High City. The sun is coming up red-orange and faded ultramarine in the southeast, more pinkish and faded watercolor-cobalt blue in the northeast. The dawn causes Capitol Hill's buildings to reflect back a gentle, grayish-white glow. The building across from ours now reflects my building in its windows. A few more cars are driving by on the major streets outside--the world is waking up but not totally awake yet. In my condo, Hazel is curled up on a horse blanket in a chair near my desk in the living room. I occasionally hear her snore (*gzzzzz*) and even purr. Across the living room, the back cushion of the chaise sits crooked, bearing a dent still left behind by the kind, furry soul who once lay on it. I weep still for that kind, furry soul. She was an integral part of my life, my being. She was with me through so many things, so many ups and downs, never judging or blaming or getting angry with me, and always forgiving when I was angry with her or anyone. No matter what had transpired during the day, she would hop! up into bed with me at night, purring and licking my hand, just wanting to be part of the pack.

Goodnight, my angel. I carry you with me forever in my heart and in my memory. May you be comforted on the other side, and until I see you again, know that I love you so much and miss you more than I can describe.


Miss Kitty said...

[crying hard]

Best. kitteh tribute. EVER.

OHN said...

You did one of the hardest things in life that need to be done.

Thinking of you.

nologic said...

I want to say something and am afraid I will say the wrong thing. I am so sorry Maddy is gone. Your words paint a beautiful picture of her and of her life with you. I'm sitting here with tears streaming. Sending gentle thoughts to Maddy for her journey to the Rainbow Bridge. I'm asking my sweet Pecos Lady to greet her and show her around. Peace

ms. kitty said...

Oh, Pixie, your post is like a memorial service for Maddy. I like it so much. Thanks for the pictures and the memories.

2H said...

A very moving and beautiful tribute. I would be honored if I were to receive such loving thoughts when it is my time to go. My best wishes to you and Guy.


Summerset said...

This Rainbow Bridge movie may be of some comfort:

MiniKat said...

Wonderful words. Can't seem to think of more than that. Very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and Maddie.

EllenS said...

Each day becomes easier than today. It's not necessarily linear (ie each day becomes better than the one before) as you will still feel the pain come out of nowhere some days.

Carry with you her love and the love (as a verb) you showed her in caring for her. It is an honor for a cat to allow us to tend for her/him when she/he is unwell. You could not have made a poor decision as you made it with your heart, as she wanted you to.

am saying a prayer for the 4 of you.

St. Blogwen said...

Feeling so sad for you and Guy and Hazel. I'll give my 11-year-old Wennie an extra-hard hug in Maddy's memory.

(My verification word is "crynator" . . .)

EvylFashionista said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Pixie. What a lovely tribute to a beautiful companion.

bluedogok said...

We went through the same thing two years ago with our Blue Heeler due to Cushing's/diabetes. The day it happened I just knew, I could see it in her eyes. I was a big, blubbering idiot for the rest of the afternoon at work. I had raised her from a pup, my wife had 4 years with her and I had 9 years, I still miss her.

Best wishes to you and Guy.

Nancy said...

My thoughts are with you. Maddy was a special kitty.

ElectricDaisy said...

So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful kitty she is - and I am so glad you had her to comfort you in your times of need. My current kitten does exactly that for me. You did right by her and I hope you can find some solace in that, and in the memory of a wonderful companionship.

Tom Harper said...

RIP Maddy. She's in a better place now.

2 years ago we had to put one of our cats to sleep (cancer). He was eleven, same as Maddy. The most agonizing part was those last few days when we knew he wouldn't be with us any longer.

Sorry for your loss.

Mile High Pixie said...

Thank you all so much for all your kind words and thoughts. It's getting a little better day by day, and Hazel is doing her best to be pesky and keep me company.

wilderness gina said...

Oh Hell. Here I go . It's like loosing Teddy all over again. I think I saw Maddy on the back porch this weekend. She was looking for Hazel with her neck bandage.

xtine said...

Oh, honey.

I'm so
so sorry for you <3

I know exactly what that dent in the cushion does when we still have our kitties...and I wish I could help you deal with what it does to you know.

There's a different Maddy in my house right now - the mother of my cat. They both just got some snugglins dedicated to your Maddy.

dissed said...

Oh, so hard. So hard. My Olive was 21 when she told me. It's so hard.