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Evander’s Fight Has Ended (Hospice Cat Update)

Last Thursday night, Evander made it very clear to me that he was done. He enjoyed his time with me, but he had enough of the pain. The trade-off (fun, food, lovin in exchange for a bit of pain when his meds wore off) was no longer worth it to him. Fortunately, Dr Blair Burggren of Peaceful Transitions came to the house on very short notice, very late at night, and while he was under the weather. I swear, nobody is more compassionate than Dr B; He’ll do anything to relieve animals of any suffering. It wasn’t easy for me to say goodbye to Evander, my very first hospice kitty. But Dr B made it as comfortable as possible for all of us.

I'll miss waking up to this!

I’ll miss waking up to this!

Evander was the most grateful cat I’ve ever met. Each time he sat on my lap or lay on my chest in bed, he kneaded the bedding and all the while he chirped little “thank yous” and made intense eye contact broken only by his winky-blinks. He taught me so much about pain, cancer, living in the moment, and letting go of fear and anxiety. My life has been enriched by having him live with me for a year and a half – a year longer than we originally anticipated. We had a fabulous time cuddling and playing together. Not to mention the excitement of figuring out his favorite foods and treats so I could indulge him. I had hoped that he would be around to move with us to our new home in Lacey this fall. As a guy who was being rented out along with a rental house, I wanted him to know that some humans don’t leave cats behind when they move. I wanted him to feel what it’s like to be part of the family and to move along with the rest of us. The room that will be dedicated to fostering is one that Evander would’ve LOVED. I often imagined him in that room. His cremains (along with his 2 favorite toys that were cremated with him) are still coming with us, but I won’t get to see the smile on his face while he enjoys being a room that has so many windows from which he can watch birds and squirrels. Nor will I get his thank-you winky-blinks as he realizes that we’ll be together forever.

Evander-imag3287What a strange year it’s been for my family. First we said goodbye to Princess Emma, then a month later we said goodbye to Rosey (aka Dumpster Dan). Two months after Rosey, Evander has died. Yes, that means 3 of my 4 cats have died in less than 4 months. For the time-being, Rumi and I are the only ones here.

I can’t even begin to describe how strange my house feels now compared to 4 months ago. So still. So silent. Meal times are oddly simple and quick. Instead of working my days around feeding and medication times and spending 30 minutes going through the routines, it’s totally flexible and takes just a couple minutes.

I understood that this grief would be part of the deal when I opened my heart and my home for cats without families who are near the end of their lives. Still, as painful as it is, the grief is outweighed by my satisfaction in knowing that I’ve made so many more feline family members and that they’ve had a last hurrah here. I love remembering the how happy they were to indulge in play, cuddling, sun bathing, and tasty treats.


1 comment to Evander’s Fight Has Ended (Hospice Cat Update)

  • Lin

    Gentle hugs for you and Rumi. These kitties have been so blessed to be cherished by you and it’s more than that. They know that you have their best interests in your heart and that you listen to them for the guidance they can give to let you know when “it’s time”. What gift for them and for you.

    Kari, I hope that you find peace and ease as you move through these first days and weeks with the holes that they’ve left the physical world and soon you’ll begin seeing the subtle signs and energy they will project to let you know they are at your side.
    Hugs and love my friend…

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