“I think we need you to come today, rather than on Monday. She’s really got a lot worse, she can hardly stand up, and isn’t even drinking at all now. Could you possibly come and help us with her?”
“Of course I can,” I replied. “I’ll be there sometime mid-afternoon.”
“Thanks so much,” she replied, sadness lacing her voice.
I’d been talking to the owner of the cat for a couple of days. The poor old girl had end-stage kidney failure, and had been anorexic for 5 days, and obviously not feeling too well. Blood tests had shown that her kidneys were hardly working at all, and that the levels of toxins in her blood were sky high. I’d been helping them decide when to help her move on, and we’d had several long conversations, none of them easy. I could see from what she told me that the old girl was ready to go as soon as her people were ready, but sometimes that takes time. There’s no hard and fast rules about when you have to take that step, as every situation is unique. It’s only time when it’s time, in the end, however that unfolds for a particular person and their old friend. It’s not my job to boss people around when they’re in this very painful, difficult situation – rather I simply offer my opinions and hold space for them to make their decision within.
My little vet van climbed up the range, sweeping around sharp corners, the view expanding with every meter gained in height, until I could see for miles. I checked the directions, and slowly made my way through smaller roads until I pulled into the driveway. A tall, white-haired old man welcomed me in with a strong handshake. I made my way inside and sat down. There was a lovely old Burmese resting on the lap of his mum, and recorded chants echoed gently through the room.
“Thanks so much for making the time to come today,” she said, through held back tears. “The old dear just isn’t happy anymore. She’s been bright and engaged up until today, even though she’s not been eating more than a tiny lick of her food, but today she just seems miserable, not so connected with me. I’ve been sitting here chanting with her all morning.”
I gave the old cat a gentle pat, let her snif my hand, then went on to explain what I’d be doing…
“Yes, she looks like she’s ready to go,” I said, gently. “The first step is for me to give her a sedative – this will make her very, very sleepy – she’ll hardly be aware of anything when that’s taken hold. Then I’ll be injecting an overdose of anaesthetic into her kidney. I use her kidney because it’s often impossible to get a vein in these very old, sick cats, and the kidney has a very good blood supply.”
I drew up the sedative while I was talking.
“Are you ready?” I asked. “Hold her gently, as this one sometimes stings a little.”
She held the old girl, and I gave her the sedative. Over the next 5-10 minutes the old cat went totally floppy, and it was time. I drew up the euthanasia solution, slipped the needle in and gently eased the liquid through the needle. She slipped away so gently and easily, and while she was going I did a simple energy healing technique I’ve found really helps at this time.
“While she’s going, and you’re sending her off with love and thanks, setting her free to go wherever she needs to go to, just be aware of your heart center (chakra) for a moment. Your heart is connected to hers with subtle energy cords, and I’m going to help you let them go, rather than them tearing out. Imagine a soft pink energy filling up your heart center, and gently dissolving these energy cords out of your heart, so they can come out without tearing and damaging your heart chakra.”
As I spoke, I was also energetically untangling and releasing the old cat from her mum and dad – holding space and focus to free all the connections, so she could transition cleanly. As almost always, when I spoke the pink energy meditation, tears feel like rain. The room was filled with grace and power – it brings tears to my eyes as I write, such a sacred moment. I sat with a hand on the old cat for a while, waiting until I could sense that she was utterly gone, and all was complete.
“She’s gone,” I said.
“Yes, she is,” replied her mum, with her dad standing beside her. “Thanks so much for coming to our home. I just didn’t want to have to take her to the vet hospital to do this…”