A Peaceful Passing: Dusk

While this is a blog about living, yesterday I learned something about dying.

Dusk in Grass

I suspect the Elysian Fields are the ideal place for a cat to roam.

After too many experiences to the contrary, I saw that the passage from this life can be peaceful.  Nine months after being diagnosed with liver disease (most of the time spent blissfully unaware, as in the photos above and below), our cat Dusk weakened this weekend to the point where my husband and I knew that this time, there would be no recovery.  In apparent answer to my fervent prayers, she was spared the most distressing symptoms of end stage liver failure. She even enjoyed a good appetite until the end—lapping up a saucer of warm milk shortly before the vet arrived to our home, and eating a treat out of my hand while the vet administered the sedative.

Cat Dusk napping in grass

After a good meal of oven roasted chicken and liver, Dusk slumbers under her favorite shade tree this summer.

In death, Dusk’s face had the look of a kitten napping, her eyes squinting contentedly above her characteristic chubby cheeks. When I peeled back the blanket in which the vet had her swaddled, and nuzzled her one last time, all I could utter was, “wow.”  What an astonishing gift her life and death has been to us.