My beautiful friend Layla kitty cat passed away on March 3 at dawn--on a day that gave us a glimpse of Spring. Her death was as beautiful as her life had been. I was fortunate enough to have been able to stay home during her last days and spend time with her, letting her know that I loved her very much and that she could go whenever she wanted to. I found a great website that helped me create a peaceful and comfortable space for Layla, and for myself. The website encouraged the reader to do everything they can to make things comfortable for the animal, and to not try to force food or water--that only makes the animal feel bad for not being able to please the person. I don't know how much Layla, or cats in general, really care about pleasing us, but the minute I stopped getting her to eat and drink, it seemed like she calmed down quite a bit.
I was able to say goodbye to her Friday night, and on Saturday morning when I woke up, she was no longer on the chair that she's been laying on for the previous three days. I searched for her because I know that "they" say cats go away and hide when they die, but Layla had used her last burst of energy to rouse herself from the chair and walk into my bedroom, where she curled up peacefully and took her last breath under my bed, directly under the place where I lay my head. She looked so graceful.
D and I buried her under a full moon of a lunar eclipse in the park. I said goodbye to her one last time, covered her little body with earth, and scattered dried flowers on her grave. We stood over the grave for quite a while, watching the smoke from the incense we burned drift and play over the dried leaves.
Layla gave me the greatest gift at the end of her life of allowing me to be with her as she moved on, and not putting me in a place where I had to watch her suffer or make the decision to put her to sleep. I will miss her so much.