Well, we certainly didn’t expect this to happen. ‘A’ woke me up this morning and informed me that Coco didn’t “look right”. Coco has been paralyzed for a month, ever since the day she was hit by a car and hurt her spine. There have been ups and downs over the past month and I truly thought she was on the path to recovery. It might be a long one, but it would come.
Alas, this is not the case. Coco died in the night.
My initial reaction was to wonder what I did to cause her death. What did I do, and what could I have done differently? That’s pretty egotistic to think I could have caused or prevented her death, but it’s where I go when I am faced with an emergency. I have been giving her St. John’s Wort tincture for a few days, and although it seemed to help with her discomfort, she also went downhill in the past few days. Was it the tincture that caused her death? Deep down I don’t think so. It’s safe for cats and even if the dose was too high, it wouldn’t have caused the symptoms I saw during her last two days. A vet friend who administered acupuncture to Coco a few weeks ago wondered if her spinal injury was moving up her spine, ultimately causing her death. That could fit. Whatever the cause, she was in considerable pain at the end of her life. Yesterday when I tried to move her to change her blanket, she bit me hard. She did it out of pain. I feel badly that she ended her life this way. I don’t feel bad that we kept her alive all this time. There were times when she was making progress, and I had hoped her injury would heal. If we had put her to sleep, I would always wonder if she would have recovered.
I have done so much crying in the past month. When I saw that Coco was not breathing this morning, I experienced the same feelings I had when Erma died. I had cried so much while both of these beautiful cats were alive but at the end of their life, and when the moment of death came, I was at peace. Maybe my ego lets go at that point, because there is clearly nothing I can do to alter the situation. ‘A’ handled it in her own gracious way. She was sad and upset, and wanted to spend time petting and talking to Coco. It didn’t matter to her that Coco was cool and lifeless at this point. She spent time with her. ‘H’ initially freaked out, as she does with everything, but quickly moved on. She doesn’t really care. It’s not a bad thing, just that she doesn’t form attachments the way ‘A’ does.
Coco will be cremated, and her urn will join Erma’s on the shelf in our parlor.
Life here continues to go on. Grace came in yesterday evening with a leg injury, so she is under observation here at home. Another limping cat! I don’t know how much of these legs injuries I can handle. She was not hit by a car. I found a clump of her fur outside, so I am assuming she was in a fight with another cat. She might have a bite on her leg or a sprain. My own cat bite on my finger is not infected but it is tender and swollen, so if she does have a bite, it would affect her gait.
Today is a mental health day for us. We went strawberry picking, the girls had piano lessons, and we’ll meet friends for a movie later today, but the in between moments are spent doing whatever we wish to do, and I’m not holding anyone accountable for anything today. No school work or chores for the girls, and I’m not feeling badly about how little I’ve done to process the strawberries. I might make pancakes for dinner, or just feed the girls popcorn at the movie theater and call it a day. I should clean out the room where Coco has been living this past month and wash the blankets and towels she used. Or I can do it tomorrow.
Tomorrow is another day.