Thanks to my readers who have sent their comfort. It does help.
After the past two weeks of constant intensity, I’m feeling a little numb. I think I reached my limit, and my emotions automatically shut off to give me some rest. I’ve been cleaning the house, catching up on neglected work, donating the leftover medications to the animal shelter.
I can’t really get away from it, of course. The house is too quiet, and wherever I look, there are signs of the life with three cats I used to live. Winter came while I wasn’t looking. The cold lurks in corners, ready to envelop me the moment the heater ticks off.
The surviving cat has never been alone in the house in her entire life. The first time I left her, after… she ran and hid when I came home. She came out when she realized it was me. It was someone coming in the door that had frightened her. The last person who came to the house was the vet who euthanized her sister.
I always wondered how the cat dynamics would change when there were only two, but it never occurred to me I might lose two at the same time.
Mom and daughter will be cremated together. It wouldn’t surprise me if my emotions come back when the ashes are returned to me in a couple of weeks. I’m grounded in the physical realm – cremation has always seemed more final to me than death, as if, as long as the body which was the vehicle of our connection still exists, that connection is not really broken.
In the end, one cat died “naturally,” and I had the other euthanized when every breath became a struggle. Neither of these was a “good” death. Maybe there is no such thing.