Monday, October 29, 2007

Tribble Goes Home

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.

12 comments:

The Anti-Wife said...

I'm so sorry!

Maya Reynolds said...

AW: Thanks. I know you are going through the same painful experience and appreciate your kind words.

While this kind of thing is never easy, it was as good as it could be. Tribble had been to the vet every year for 22 years so she was relatively calm. I treated it as if it were just a normal vet visit, and she took her cue from me. She fell asleep very peacefully.

Stephen Parrish said...

From one cat lover to another, you did the right thing and you did it at the right time. Grieve just as hard as you want to. But keep in mind, too, that you had those 22 wonderful years. I know how much you love your pets, so I can say confidently that Tribble wouldn't have traded you for all the catnip in the world.

Maya Reynolds said...

Thanks, Stephen.

Gina Black said...

Just a week ago, I lost my beloved 20+ year cat. It's hard to let them go. It's hard to say good-bye. I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this too.

Maya Reynolds said...

Gina: I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.

Talking to my vet was interesting. One of the things he said was that this was the time of year--when the season changes and right after the first cold night--that elderly animals seem to let go.

He said he has to gird himself in late October every year to put down animals he'd cared for over many, many years. He said there was always a jump in the number of euthanasia cases between mid-October and Thanksgiving. His belief is that the Lord calls them home before the really bad cold weather begins.

{{Hugs}} to you.

Gina Black said...

That's very interesting what you say about the fall. It certainly makes sense. I'm in Southern California and I can't say it's been cold, but the season is definitely changing in an L.A. kind of a way.

((((Maya)))) as well, and thanks for your condolences.

Sherrill Quinn said...

(((((Hugs))))) I'm so sorry, Maya. Even though it was the right thing to do at the right time, it's still hard to say goodbye.

Tena said...

Twenty-two years is simply amazing. That old girl had a good thing going and she knew it. So sorry to hear she's gone. Hugs to you.

Maya Reynolds said...

Sherrill: Thanks for your kind wishes. I appreciate it.

Maya Reynolds said...

Tena: Thanks. It was hard to do, but would have been harder to watch her deteriorate further. She was embarrassed and shamed by her incontinence. I could always tell by her behavior when she'd had another accident.

sincereone said...

Maya, I do not always keep up with your blogs. My sincerest thoughts are with you. We had to put our dog down a few years ago, first time I had to do it. It was really hard. If ya need anything, just let us know. Cherrie