On Sunday night, my boyfriend Savoy and I sat in the living room, aka kitchen, aka bedroom all warm and cozy watching a show on TV. My cat Guinness stretched out at the edge of the bed right between us, and I could hear the rain patter against the window.
Savoy’s Mom Carol called him, and she sounded distressed. Savoy had her on speakerphone as she described her kitty, Bailey, and how he was wandering around bumping into things because he can no longer see or hear. She had a stroke a couple of months ago. Until then, she was a happy, talkative 16-year-old Torti. I could hear the distress in Carol’s voice and I dreaded hearing this. I stroked my cat Guinness’s head as she continued, and I saw tears pour down Savoy’s face. That’s a big deal. I had never seen my boyfriend cry since I’ve known him. I know he’s suffered some tragic loss, but he won’t talk about it. About a year and a half ago, Carol moved to Oregon from Florida with three cats, Bailey, Sophia Rose, and Morgan. Just a year ago, she had to put Morgan down because he had diabetes. He was only around 11. For Carol, her kitties are family, and Savoy and Bailey had a special bond from all the times he visited his mom in Florida to help her out. I believed it because now he’s attached to my cat as well, and that makes me so happy to see the love he has for Guinness who has moved so many times with me and been through so much. Now he is a happy, healthy 14-year-old. All of our furry friends are getting old, I thought, as I sadly listened to Carol and watched Savoy.
He hung up and laid down on the bed, and I laid down next to him and comforted him. At first, we thought Carol would wait until the next day, but she called back a little while later and said it needed to be done that night. It was already after 11 pm, so she made arrangements with the 24-hour Emergency Vet clinic close to where she lives.
I told Savoy I’d go with him, and that I’d even go in with Carol because he wasn’t sure he could handle it. We experienced the quietest car ride ever in the history of car rides. No music playing. Neither of us talked which is almost unheard of for me. We went inside, and Savoy picked Bailey up and wrapped her in the blanket Carol gave him. Then he handed Bailey to her, and I took Carol’s purse and cell phone. Carol sat in the front with Bailey and I sat in the back. She began to sob uncontrollably as she held Bailey close, but then sniffed and said she shouldn’t cry because she didn’t want to scare the cat.
The folks at the Vet Clinic were wonderful. They took Bailey right away but made us sit outside for a little while. I helped Carol fill out paperwork, and we sat outside under an awning watching the light rainfall. Savoy said it was too cold and sat in the car. We were finally escorted inside to a sterile room. A vet tech brought Bailey to Carol, and she sat on her lap until the end, Carol hugging her close.
What I’ll never forget is how Carol thanked Bailey over and over again for being such a wonderful kitty and for how much she meant to her. Then I began to sob remembering how just a year and a half ago, I was at the vet with my dog, Sydney Girl, when she was euthanized. One of the hardest days of my life. I understood exactly what Carol was going through. I held her as the vet finally came in. Bailey looked so peaceful and even purred right before that final shot. Carol spoke of the Rainbow Bridge and how she’d see her kitty friends and even her younger son Ross who passed away suddenly years earlier.
Later, back at Carol’s, she mentioned Ross and Bailey, and my boyfriend completely fell apart. I’d never seen him do that. He and Carol held each other and sobbed for what seemed like ages, and I quietly let them mourn, mother and son. We stayed at Carol’s until the sun rose at 5:30 a.m. I saw the orange sky peek through clouds through the living room window and rays shined down. It looked like a message from heaven, or was it just a message from the Rainbow Bridge that Bailey had made it?
(I apologize that this is SAD… I’m running out of words and I’m getting sad all over, so I will end it here. True story, just happened the other night.)