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On Friday, I said goodbye to Lila Bean, two months after a tumor was removed from inside her month and determined to be melanoma (and this after 6 weeks of treatment for what appeared to be an inner ear infection).  She passed at home, assisted by her veterinarian and favorite vet tech.  During her last week, she essentially stopped eating – would take just a few bites and then growl and attempt to cough something up, so even on Buprenex it seemed like pain was winning over hunger, and it was time.

I miss her when I come home, and she’s not there to greet me, bright-eyed, tail riding high, circling around me, chirpy little meow probably saying “I’m glad to see you now feed me please” (though she hadn’t done this in weeks).

I miss her when I go to bed and she doesn’t stop by to say goodnight on her way to her sleeping perch.

I missed her this morning when I woke up without the alarm and realized she wasn’t who woke me up.  Her little paw, gently tapping my back, careful not to claw me much, letting me know she is there.

I will miss her when I call Michael tonight.  In recent months, whenever I would settle down for a phone call, she would come in for a cuddle, and actually permit me to snuggle with her.  I will even miss all 12 pounds of her walking over my midriff.

I will miss her when I next fold laundry or change the sheets.  She liked staking her claim on any fabric on the bed.

I miss her amazing floofiness.

I miss her every time I get Muki’s Buprenex out of the cupboard and avert my eyes from hers.  I can’t yet bring myself to dispose of any of her things.

I miss her now.  I haven’t stopped missing her yet.  It has only been 4 days.

I am grateful for the 11 1/2 years with her, which were mostly good.  The past two months were particularly special.  She has never been much of a cuddler, but became more so during this time.  Maybe she knew somehow, or maybe she finally resigned herself to my increased attempts to snuggle with her … in any case, her last few hours were purr-filled and affectionate.

I deeply regret that her last conscious moments were fear-filled, and will live with the guilt over that forever.  When she saw the vet and tech approach, she clearly knew that Something Bad was going to happen, and darted into a corner.  I deeply desperately hope that the valium they gave her initially truly did help her relax, and not simply make her unable to struggle.   I was petting her and telling her I loved her and was sorry and crying throughout the procedure and did not feel her passing.

I can remember how soft and solid and warm she was, and how her purr felt and sounded, and hope I can keep that memory with me forever.

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22 Comments

  1. Poor Lila Bean, and poor Homey. She had a good life and a good end, and she got to go at home.

    Some of us who never met her miss her too.

    ((hugs))

  2. Despite our ongoing competition for your chair (a competition she often won), I think I got along with Lila best out of all your cats. She wouldn’t let me hold her, but I like to think she liked me. She never once hissed or scratched at me…and I occasionally got a few pets in when she wasn’t paying close attention. I certainly miss her. I wish the best for you, Muki, and Ella as you deal with your loss.

    • She did like you. She also has you to thank for helping me appreciate what a great cat she was. The other two were/are so high maintenance that my attention mostly went to them. Her quiet independence didn’t demand any attention. I am grateful to have finally really bonded with her in her last few years and months.

  3. I am sorry, so sorry,

  4. Oh …I’m crying now. I’m so sorry. It must be so hard, and I feel I can relate somewhat and will understand more fully all too soon. I’m sorry about the tense late moments but I think she had to know you wouldn’t do anything that wasn’t out of love. Still, i know it must be awful to experience that. *hugs* for you and Muki and Ella. May she rest in peace in a nice sunbeam. *sigh*

    • Thank you, Cranky. Aw, she would love a nice sunbeam.

  5. You did her the good of letting her pass at home — far, far less stress than going to the vet’s.

    So sorry for your loss.

  6. Aw, I’m so sorry…it’s so hard to lose a furry pal. Hard to watch them grow old.

    • Thanks, Phantomxii. It is hard to watch them grow old, but then I remember it’s better than the alternative. And it’s better to have loved and lost etc.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear this about Miss Lila Bean! I count myself very lucky to have met her once.

  8. so very sorry to hear of Miss Lila’s passing, Beth. I can’t even imagine how sad you must still feel.
    Lila Bean had a charmed (if short; it’s always too short) with you.
    I’ll miss seeing her smiling face and serene demeanor in your sketches.

    • Thank you, Mariser. I’m feeling better, though I still miss her at “her” times.

      Yesterday was the first changing of the sheets. Before I could get too sad, Ella dove in and attacked the wafting fabric. Ella likely feels more at ease without the threat of Lila throwing a paw when their paths cross.

      • aw. maybe Lila Bean’s playful spirit is still in your house and influencing Ella

        • That’s a nice image!

          I had some prints made of some of my favorite photos of her and have placed a couple on a recently cleared shelf that’s gonna be a remembrance place. I will pick up her ashes tomorrow and place them on that shelf until I someday when I have a garden in which to bury/scatter her.

  9. How did I miss this? I’m so sorry. It’s never easy to say goodbye to an animal companion, no matter how old they are and how well you know they had a long, happy life.

    Jaypo said to me when my Eliza died that animals, particularly cats, turn into sunshine when they leave their earthly form. When you see a sunbeam shine through a cat’s favorite window, that’s them coming back to play.

    • Aw, I just love the sunbeam image. The sun has been beaming in her favorite window all morning, and I can see her stretched out on the bed, exposing that floofy tummy… Thank you.

  10. Such a pretty, intelligent face. Little buggers sure do take up a space in your heart, I still look outside and think I see a glimpse of Betty every now and then. When we had her cremated the guy there said that when your pets die they wait for you on a rainbow bridge and then you can move on together. The thought of which actually kind of scared me, I just had this image of a madhouse up there with all the pets I’ve had over the years.
    R.I.P little Lila.

    • Aw, Betty … It’s funny, catching those glimpses… although having cats with the same color fur gets me confused even among the living. Maybe they’re all making friends on the rainbow bridge while they’re waiting.


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