This morning, I said my last goodbye to Tribble, my calico Manx.
I've been praying to know when the right moment arrived.
Tribble--as gracious in this as in the rest of her life--told me it was time. For the last six months, she has not slept in my bed. She has preferred to sleep where she could look out the French doors into the night. If I brought her into bed with me, she would wait until I fell asleep and then leave.
Last night, I woke up to find her beside me, purring. She stayed the entire night.
In the past, I have had cats who were not purring machines that began purring when their time drew near. I think it is a form of self-soothing. Tribble found a way to soothe both of us.
Friends and family had offered to go with me, but it felt right for Tribble and I to take that last drive together alone. Tim, my wonderful vet, spent thirty minutes talking with me and petting her. He didn't try to talk me out of euthanizing her, which, in itself, said a lot.
The two of us stood together stroking Tribble until long after she'd breathed her last. We shared our viewpoints on death. Not surprisingly, we both regard it as the Last Great Healer. We hugged, and--as always--he refused any payment. I know that he will send me a note that I'll receive in a day or so, and I'll send him my own note of gratitude.
I'm having trouble typing this because three-year-old Bob is draped across my arms. He leaped up when I sat down at the laptop and will not be denied.
Bob--a confirmed glutton--usually gobbles the food Tribble leaves in her dish the minute I turn my back. To my surprise, her dish was still sitting untouched when I got home from the vet. Maybe it was his own tribute to her.
Tribble and I had been together twenty-two years and eight months. They were good years, and I wouldn't change a thing--not even this last long, slow farewell.