Miss Celia Bedelia
My little Celia, on Tuesday, you let me know, in your own stubborn little way, that you didn’t want any more treatments for your CKD, your anemia, and your arthritis. Already, last Friday, you were reluctant to go into your carrier. Your front half went in, but your rear legs wouldn’t budge. Tuesday, your silent, non-violent protest grew. I put you in front of the carrier, and though your head was inside, the rest of you remained firmly planted outside. I tried to pick up a front leg. Ouf! Every bit of your 4.6-lb self was intent on keeping your legs out of that carrier. I understood.
In January, when your creatinine and phosphorus levels were off the charts, I told you it was okay to let go, and that I was ready to free you. And in response, you nuzzled against my face, purred your Mack truck purr, and slept on top of me that night for the first time in weeks, and the next day, you started eating again and coming downstairs again.
What a huge spirit you harbored in that tiny body! I know you hated those twice-weekly vet visits for fluids, but you tolerated them for three months. I don’t think you ever realized that the fluids were what were keeping you going. You were just terrified. But you would have hated getting them at home. You fought tissues to wipe water off your chin as if they were lethal weapons, and after getting ear drops for five days, you hid from me for at least twice that long. So last summer, when your kidney numbers started to creep up, I made the decision: home would remain your safe place, the vet would remain the scary place, and when visits became too stressful, we would stop treatments.
Thursday and yesterday, Friday, I think you were the happiest, and the most comfortable, you’ve been in a long time. You were finally sleeping deeply, you were up and down the stairs several times, and mommy had more time to sit with you. Thursday night, when I came up from the basement, you even tried to slip past me and downstairs the way you used to, and when I headed upstairs with your milk later, you nearly beat me up the stairs!
A couple of weeks ago, I had bought grass-fed milk for the first time. But you were having pooping issues, so I went back to the lactose-free milk. You were unimpressed. So yesterday, you got the grass-fed – and whole milk – you’d always had the 2% stuff before. And you must have smelled the difference. You were asleep, and I was fretting that maybe I wouldn’t get to spend time with you the way I wanted. But your eyes suddenly popped open, and you practically flew to that plate of milk.
And that roast chicken. My goodness, I hadn’t seen you so excited about food in months! For a split second, I considered canceling the appointment. But kitties cannot survive on Greenies treats, milk, American cheese, and roast chicken, Miss Celia. Kitties need to eat kitty food too, and CKD kitties need fluids. You would have started to feel yucky by today without those fluids. And I wanted you to go while you were feeling good and full of positive experiences.
You went out in the warm sun for a little bit, and then you got to do your favorite thing: sit on mommy and soak up attention. You got your brush-brush, ear rubs, and lots and lots of loving. You had a tummy full of roast organic chicken breast and organic grass-fed whole milk, and then you were sleepy. You moved off me to curl up on your blanket for a snooze. You were already half-asleep when Dr. B arrived. You barely even reacted. Maybe you knew.
So mommy has no regrets about whether it was the right time or not. I know it was. But I will always regret not ever having enough time to spend with you. All you wanted was time with mommy. I know you didn’t understand why I spent so much time with those papers and the computer instead of with you, but I hope you know that I would have much rather been employed full-time as Celia's favorite bed.
Mommy will have to live with that regret, but it's her only one. I hope it's the only one you have too, my little bunny. Mommy will send you ear rubs and cheek scratches every day. I hope the cows at the Rainbow Bridge are fed grass. If not, you go right ahead and start a non-violent protest, my little feline Gandhi.
Lots and lots of love to my little Celia Bedelia.
Celia in 2002, when I adopted her, and then yesterday, just a couple of hours before she headed off to the bridge: