It’s with much sadness to announce the sudden passing of dear Gris Gris yesterday. Thank-you for the outpouring of love and support on Facebook.
So much happened in 24 hours, I’m reeling and not ready to write about it yet other than just the facts. In a nutshell: we enjoyed a quiet Christmas and Gris Gris was happy and friendly with our guests. The following morning we noticed his left eye was red but he was as perky as ever and no warning bells went off. Hubby went out to get cat food and Vetericyn for eye care, thinking it was just conjunctivitis.
When he returned, he gave Gris Gris some food. Normally, he’s always hungry thanks to a thyroid condition. One sniff, he walked away and keeled over with an ungodly howl. We called our vet Dr. G. who was on the road but out of our area. Plan B was our nearest vet clinic and they told us they’d see us right away. Gris Gris lay limp but responsive and five minutes later, he was being examined by a caring, young vet who said he’d had a seizure. He couldn’t stand up or walk and promptly had another seizure. He was whisked to the back and placed on oxygen. The prognosis wasn’t hopeful. They had no overnight staff that day and recommended either taking him to a specialist or putting him down on the spot.
Seeing a specialist would mean an MRI for a diagnosis but the risk of anesthesia and other invasive procedures was too high a risk. So against their recommendation we took him home. We took turns doing Reiki and energy work. He refused any food or water and yowled the moment either one of us broke contact or stopped. Finally @4 am, I’d dozed off and he slept peacefully. Something had shifted and I felt he wasn’t with us anymore. In the morning, there was no change and we decided to have Dr. G. over for a second opinion and if need be, euthanasia.
Dr. G. arrived at noon and gave Gris Gris a thorough exam. It appeared there was likely brain disease, perhaps a tumor on the left side and no hope. We were left alone to say our good-byes. I’d communicated messages of love and support to him all night long. Whatever he wanted, we would do it. If wanted help dying, fine. If if wanted to go naturally, fine. He wanted a natural death and he got it. No euthanasia was needed. The timing was immaculate and he quietly died at 12:45 surrounded by clouds of love. It was enormously comforting and valuable having Dr. G. there answering questions.
I carried Gris Gris inside and prepared an altar or something one might have for an Irish wake with a Zen Buddhist twist. He will be buried in the garden. All the other cats knew what had happened and surprisingly kept their distance. Only Odin decided to pay his respects with one last sniff.
Thank-you for your kind words, purrs and prayers. I have no plans to blog for the next while except the bare minimum but a memorial tribute is in the works. The soul of the grieving experience and tips for navigating the pet loss journey will be in my book. Call it good, bad or Divine timing, but I will have Gris Gris to guide me. Ironically, I thought it was going Merlin but the first rule about life and death is: expect the unexpected.