Sadly, our seven-year-old Bengal named Tesla died today. A week and a half ago, he seemed to rally a bit with the CBD oil, but then he took a turn for the worse. All the tests were inconclusive – maybe kidney, maybe malabsorption syndrome, maybe a cytokine storm.
We spent over a thousand dollars – trying Prednisone and pancreatic enzymes, but his time was up. We sent him over the rainbow bridge to cat heaven.
He was an unusual cat, as all cats are. We called him The Cheetah. He was a good eater and a good traveller. He loved going to the cabin. We used to joke that we bought it for him.
We will process the grief by playing our three hour Sad Songs iTunes mix and just sit together and cry our eyes out, feeling like the loss will kill us. But it won’t because loss is a part of life, and eventually we will recover and move on with the happy memories of being blessed with the opportunity to love a beautiful cat.
In the meantime, we will shower love and attention on our remaining cat Gwaihir the Egyptian Mau.
All of you who have loved and lost will understand.
That was the title of a blog post I wrote for Tuesday July 14, 2020. We had an in-home euthanasia appointment booked for our very sick Bengal cat (who we have always referred to as the cheetah.)
But I cancelled it. I happened to phone an independent pet food store that I shop at for an unrelated enquiry. I told her about poor Telsa, and she asked me if we had tried CBD oil. We had not, but I did have some on hand, so we decided to try it a few days before the ‘cat goes to heaven’ appointment.
Amazingly, after months of diarrhea, the cat had a normal bowel movement. And then the next day, he seemed better again. He was quite zonked out – I think the CBD we gave him has THC.
So we decided to give the cat at least a week on the CBD oil before we rescheduled the appointment. I bought a few different versions that do not have THC.
He is still with us, although he is still quite skinny and not what you would call a robust cat. But he is eating, and grooming, and using the litter box, and he can climb the stairs.
I weigh him once a week to check his progress. I don’t think he is out of the woods, and if his weight declines, it will clearly be a bad sign. But if the CBD oil can give him a few weeks or months of life with us, it is worth it. We do love the cheetah.
I had a wonderful friend who died a few years ago from cancer. She was only in her forties, and it was really awful, and I miss her a lot.
But I’m thinking about it now and I have a dilemma.
Do I keep my clothes that are now too small, as a cancer wardrobe, or do I donate them? Because of stress eating from the Covid LIErus, I have gained weight. If I get a wasting disease, I will need something that fits, and all of these clothes are really nice – a Burberry skirt bought at a Buffalo outlet mall, and several other things that might come in handy if I lose forty pounds from cells that go haywire. Like many others in her situation, my friend lost a lot of weight when her cells went crazy and attacked her immune system.
I was with her for 10 minutes, in the palliative care unit, 12 hours before she died. Weirdly, it was the same room her dad was in a few years earlier when he died. I have a book written by palliative nurses who say that you should pay attention to the final things that a dying person says. My friend said “Is there going to be a party”, and “I’m sorry”. Maybe she was apologizing for something she felt guilt about and perhaps she was anticipating a reunion in heaven since she was a Bible believing Christian.
We will never know.
Hospital beds should be double, so you can lie with the dying and touch them with your whole body. Let them drape their arm across your chest and rest their head on your shoulder. It would make passing from this life so much kinder.
I have joined the Collapseatarians like Daniel A. Drumright because unlike the rest of the world, I know you can’t have infinite growth in a finite universe.
Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last says “If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.”
And the writer Anne Lamott said, “Yet no matter how much we recycle, believe in our Priuses, and abide by our local laws, we see that our beauty is being destroyed, crushed by greed and cruel stupidity.”
We are a long way from Eden. Mankind has truly gone mad.
Instead of leaving all of your plunder to greedy or well off relatives, consider giving some to charity.
Why give all your money to people who already have enough? There are charities for everything, and they need your money. Religious Organizations; Wildlife Care Centres; Music Programs for Underpriviledged Kids; Libraries; Missions for the Blind; The Owl Foundation; The Bruce Trail; Jane Goodall Institute; Friends of the Earth; Cultural Organizations; Mennonite Relief Agencies. The list is endless. Or give money to plant trees in parks or provide benches – you can even put your name on it for posterity.
And if you have a sizeable estate, remember to include the assets as part of your giving plan. Most people only consider the 10% of an estate that is in cash when they divvy it up. So if they want to give 10% to something near and dear to their heart, it ends up being 10% of 10%. Think of how much better it would be to help out by giving 10% of the full 100%.
So, for example, if you have two children, consider making a charity your “third child.” By the time you are dead, everybody will probably have all the stuff they need. But for people who help the helpless, the needs are endless.
Decades ago, I went to a concert by myself to see the avant-garde performance artist Laurie Anderson. It was quite unusual, and one thing I remember to this day is when she said: “When my father died it was like a library had burned to the ground.”
It is really quite a heartfelt description of a scholarly, well-read, interesting man. And it got me thinking about how we would be described.
When my friend Toshi died young, it was like the death of an otter – the playfulness, sense of fun, energy and happiness disappeared forever beneath the waves.
Write a sentence, a simile really, about yourself, imagining someone you love saying it about you. Then stash it in your estate planning file, to be included in your eulogy, so others will know this lovely special thing about you.
Or, if you don’t want to wait, write a heartfelt sentence describing someone you love and tell them now.
Amazing Grace is a nice hymn, but it’s a bit overdone.
Funerals need an injection of creativity to reflect the life of the deceased. Start with updating the music.
Chose music the person actually liked and listened to. How about a strathspey as they wheel the casket out. Perfect for a highland dancer. Man of the Hour by Pearl Jam. Nimrod by Elgar. In My Life sung by Judy Collins. Into The West by Annie Lennox. There are thousands of great choices. At one funeral, they had a beautiful collage of pictures on two giant screens, while Across The Universe by The Beatles played. Fantastic.
Obviously, Highway To Hell by AC/DC wouldn’t be appropriate for everyone, but there really is no excuse for having anodyne music at any funeral.
Denial is not something my brain does well. My old soul nature makes me see too much and feel too deep. I often feel the pain of the world.
There are the logical and illogical outworking of different religions. An illogical outworking of Christianity would be murdering abortion doctors. If the Sri Lanka bombings were committed by a fringe sect of Islam, is it an illogical outworking of the faith? I can’t tell.
The world is changing very fast. Hundreds of churches in France have been vandalized in this year alone. I find it very confusing because people like Steven Pinker say the world is getting better, and conspiracy analysts like Mike Adams say everything is rigged. It’s getting difficult to keep one foot in the world of shopping and doing fun things, and the other foot in the world that seems to be dying.
I sometimes envy the ‘think happy thoughts’ crowd and their perfect days.
I can’t think straight. I’m constantly feeling like I will burst into tears. I do burst into tears. I’m in shock. It feels like the world is ending.
The Horror. The Horror.
UPDATE: All is not lost. The firefighters were able to prevent the worst from happening. Millions have been pledged for the rebuilding. The nightmare of yesterday is the bad dream of today. The world, if not rejoicing, can at least relax.