09 April 2022

Until we meet again someday


I'd be lying if I said I wasn't taking everything extremely hard. Habits you don't realize you had when you shared a space with your companion for so long sink like pebbles in your chest, followed by the faintest "oh, right..." Little things piling up, like tiptoeing in the morning to quietly open the fridge, tilting my glass to softly add ice to my water — things I did so I wouldn't wake her up. The hardest one is not seeing her out of the corner of my eye anymore, because she was never too far away. She loved sitting in my lap, hanging over my arms or resting her chin on my desk while I worked. As soon as I got in bed, she would jump right up and immediately start sleeping next to me. Nibbles was the perfect companion for a lonely person like me, and I miss her terribly.

I picked up her ashes from the hospital today. The staff who greeted me took the time to say such tender words about her, about how everyone in the hospital felt her loss and will miss her chattiness. I told her how I genuinely believed she lived so much longer than her initial diagnosis because of their love and care, and I really meant it. As much as I try to fight back what-ifs and the beginnings of regrets and guilt, I think I, and they, did everything we could to make sure she was as comfortable as possible. I try to hold onto that these days.

On the day we laid her to rest, they gave me a couple options beyond cremation or burial. One of the options was a communal cremation, where her ashes would be scattered along with other families' beloved companions. There's beauty in scattering ashes into the wind, the forests, the ocean, and apparently for us it's at the top of Mt. Rainier. It's my first time giving a pet something proper, and while the idea of that was so achingly beautiful, I ultimately decided on a private cremation. 

I wasn't sure what to expect, so I worried about how everything would arrive once her remains were ready to be picked up. Once I sat down to look at everything, my worries softly faded away and I began to cry. Everything came packaged beautifully, the urn itself delicately delivered in a velvet navy blue pouch.
Her urn is everything I could have ever imagined, and caught me completely by surprise. The delicate hand-carved flowers, the rosewood... I didn't think it would come personalized, let alone engraved. 

The clay paw print really drove home just how small she was for a cat. I'll treasure these forever.

Thank you to the veterinarians and specialists who make this process kinder. I think I can sleep a little better knowing she's home.

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