An Unusual Mo(u)rning

This morning I woke up to silence. I share the bedroom with my parents. I was used to the sounds of the tv on every morning and the small talk between my parents. Everyone was gone…

IMAG0067I checked the time and saw that it was actually 9, not that late, but today just felt… different. I couldn’t describe the feeling. Something was just… off.

Every morning, I’d usually be greeted by the kitties and the pup. They would paw at my legs routinely, gesturing for attention. It didn’t happen this morning. I wondered where everyone went.

I found the pup. He was lazing around in the living room with my parents, who were watching tv and finishing up their breakfast. I glanced at one part of the room and saw one of the cats in the closet, grooming himself. Everything seemed normal. I prepared my usual black coffee, one of the three I had this morning, before retreating to the bedroom to check some emails. I finally found my other cat, napping.

I did a double-take because he was not napping at his usual spot. I know him so well. He hardly hid whenever he slept so I pulled away from my laptop to check on him. He was lying behind a mass of pillows, in a deep sleep. I didn’t disturb him, but I observed for a few minutes. It was very odd.

I left him for a bit… I thought, ‘Maybe he’s just very tired. He’s being a cat. Leave him be.’ Still, something bothered me about the fact he was hidden away so I checked on him again. I pet him, but he didn’t respond right away. He didn’t even lift his head; just opened his eyes slowly to glance at me.

Something was wrong.

Not long after, he started meowing. It was unlike him to speak loudly. He’s a quiet cat. Next thing I knew, he got up on his two front legs awkwardly, hitting his face across the pillows in the process to vomit. He wouldn’t stop and he seemed to be struggling to breathe. The panic set in and I immediately left to grab the carrier. He needed help.

I rushed him to the animal clinic, glancing every once in a while to see if he was doing okay.

Thankfully, he was able to get checked in promptly. I did everything I was supposed to, signing away, totally oblivious to my surroundings. I was in shock.

Waiting was the worst part. Several techs came in to ask me questions at different times. I did a lot of waiting… I got news that he had a neurological / cardiac issue and that he needed to be oxygenated. Then she left me again. I let it all sink in and I knew right then that he wasn’t going to come back home.

It was probably the 10th knock during that visit when I was finally asked if I wanted to see him. When I got to the room, he was lying down in a plastic container, getting oxygenated. He looked fine. He was at ease. I had a glimmer of hope that he would be okay, seeing him so comfortable. He even lifted his head to look at me.

The vet told me briefly that there would be a chance he wouldn’t make it by the end of the day and that he would need to stay overnight for observation. She took a breath before giving me the other option…

He’s 10 years old, but I still considered him a baby; loyal to me. Not a lot of people liked him, but that was because they didn’t know him. He was a sweet little guy, just slow to warm up.

They didn’t leave me alone with him. They just watched me stare in shock over what was happening. I couldn’t say anything. My kitty just stared at me for a few moments before the tech lifted the top of the container to allow me to pet him one last time.

It was horrible. It was a quick turn from hope to defeat, all in a matter of seconds.

He clung to the edges of the box, gasping for air. I remember the panic and the fear in his eyes before she quickly replaced the lid on the box. She turned and apologized to me. It hurt so much to see him this way.

I left not long after; without seeing him get put to sleep because I don’t want to remember him that way, to see his last breath.

I miss him already.

R.I.P. Chicki

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