Thursday, March 7, 2013

And Finally

about Carmichael....

Last night, I sobbed, at times howled, low and long, like a wolf in the wilderness.  I let it all go, since the only creatures who heard were the dogs, cats and unnamed, unseen creatures living in, under, behind the walls of this house.  I cried so hard my chest hurt and had a brief thought that I might beat him to the promised land.

I called for Mackie, or Big Mac, as I like to refer to him, until I was startled by the realization that I had been calling Carmichael.

After  a night of much interrupted sleep, I dragged myself around the house, feeling prepared and "strong enough" for the unpleasant tasks that had to be undertaken on this morning, as though I had come to terms with "what must be done."

I've been going to my vet's office for about  8-9 years, but I don't know the names of many of the people there.  A kind woman let me hold Carmichael in one of the rooms until Brooks and Debbie, the vet techs, came in.  I thought he looked better until his "third eyes" rolled halfway up his eyes.

He laid on my chest and purred while I stroked his ears and neck. He pushed his paw outside of the blanket we had around him to keep him warm and curled it, gripping my wrist. I told him I love him over and over again. I told him I was sorry and all the while, kept searching for a sign, praying for a miracle, second guessing myself. I weighed him, he had gained 5 oz... maybe if we kept trying he would bounce back.
 I asked about his levels, although I don't know what levels are, vitals maybe, but I know his life  hung in the balance.  Brooks told me they could check, but that he was too far gone.    They came into the room with a large syringe.

Debbie asked if I wanted the ashes back.

Cremated?  Is it the law?

"Does he have to be cremated?"

"Are you going to take him home?"

Yes.  I am going to take him home.

We laid Carmichael still in a towel, on the steel examination table.  He protested weakly. Brooks put the needle in his arm and began plunging the pink liquid while I cupped his head, stroked his neck and told him I love him and that I would see him soon.

I didn't even know when he was gone.  Brooks said it was within seconds, but his eyes were still open, as if he was looking at something on the far side of the room.  He was warm and soft.   I kept running my hand over his body softly. I stared for signs of breathing and when Brooks took out the stethoscope minutes later, asked her if there was anything...anything.  "He's gone," she said softly.

That's when I began to fall apart, couldn't stop the flow of tears.  Dr. Ohman, Brooks' daughter, came in and hugged me.  Brooks hugged me, then Debbie did too.

They gave me a box where we laid the body.  It fit perfectly and looked like he was sleeping comfortably.  They told me I could leave out the back door, probably for their sake as much as mine.

When we got home,  I opened the box, laid it on the floor and told the dogs that Carmichael was dead.  Jade and Tyler curiously and cautiously approached the box, quickly retreating at any sound. Kayla stayed away.  Scratch ran away and Mack hissed from my arms at the box.  I noticed that Carmichael's jaw had slackened and knew that NOW, he was really dead.

I buried him, laid in the towel in which he died, by some bushes on the southwest corner of the house where the morning sun shines with a silent ceremony that included the dogs and I.
Grief rolls in and out like the tide, but I know mine is not the only loss.  My favorite ex Sister-in-Law's brother died yesterday, losing his war with cancer. A friend of mine lost her best friend from a brain aneurysm on February 15.  One prior co-worker and one FaceBook friend each lost a feline family member recently.  Suffering seems to be contagious these days.
Besides, I have five other animals to care for, although the thought did occur to me that I may have to go through this five more times.
So I don't have time to live in the deep waters of Misery, but I know I will go back for a dip now and then.
Goodbye my Carmichael boy!  I know we will see each other again some day.

1 comment:

  1. It's hard. Always. One day at a time, though. Trite? Yes, but true.
    I've been through your experience twice now, and with both cats, when it was time, there was no doubt about it. Thank God.