Last Wednesday night, Holmes stopped eating and drinking for some unknown reason. It was almost as if she had forgotten how to do it. She'd put her face in the bowl and nothing would happen. She would smell the food, and then walk away. She stood in water and did nothing. I tried dripping water into her mouth and she fought me as if I were trying to put a pill down her throat.
We went to the vet at 9:30 AM this morning. Holmes weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces. The vet gave Holmes a complete exam and told us it was time to let her go. We had previously received the four points vets used from CMHL and knew this to be true, but I needed the professional support to make the decision. I held Holmes in my arms right to the very last second of her life. I could be there for her to make sure she wasn't scared. That was my responsibility, it was also my choice.
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan..."
"The Once Again Prince" from "Separate Life Times" Irving Townsend
I am always interested by the statistical argument that half of all marriages end in divorce. Most people never realize that the other half end when one partner dies. Either way, endings are tragic in nature, existential shall we say. Going to Houses of Mourning, and sitting and reminiscing have given me an insight and a way of turning the tragedy of death into something positive. In a single sentence, it's "remember I lived, forget that I died."
On Monday, I will make a donation to the local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Holmes' name. I can't think of a better way to honor her.