the final stages of inevitability: kittylumbia’s last moments on earth

i woke up today, feeling extremely heavy; this weight of doubt, guilt, acceptance have all combined. i sprung right up, wondering if i’m doing the right thing. i sat up wondering if she is okay with all of this- how much pain is she in? i look over and see her, and a wave of sadness takes over. the muppet song ‘saying goodbye’ plays repeatedly in my head, and i begin to cry.

right before the alarm goes off i have a dream. i was in what appeared to be a basement/laundry room environment, with ants running near me, performing their colony duties. they were moving back and forth near a tree (which was the connection between the room and the outside). suddenly i see a drop of what is clearly cat poop by my feet. it looked like it came from a kitten though. before i could look down again, the ants have pulled it away, over by this tree. i look over to the tree, and there are very tiny kittens and cats, resting. they were all the same tiny size (of a cat paw), no matter their age. the mama cats were protecting the kittens, who were in a state of rest. one of the kittens was getting ready to fall into the ‘present’ the ants brought over, and i lightly screamed, ‘NO!’, when the mother ran to move the kittens. the ants started going crazy, and a fight was getting ready to break out, right as the alarm went off.

the day has been filled with procrastination… i know in my heart this is the best thing to do, but my head keeps asking if it is. it’s very clear lumbia’s health has deteriorated, to the point where she’d regularly stopped eating much. at 12 years old, she weighed five pounds. she stops to eat for a few moments, then goes back in her space to curl up. she had stopped grooming herself essentially, and her energy’s just extremely low. her eyes no longer have the same life in them. i would look over to see if she was still breathing.

the closer we got to that moment of inevitability, i began to waver between nausea, butterflies, weakness and tears. that ride/walk to the veterinarian’s was one of the longest we ever had. i wanted to prolong those last moments with her. when we got there i didn’t even announce myself; i just sat down, took her out of the carrier and comforted her. there was a dog who came in around the same time, and his loud bark scared her. i have never seen her so calm at the vet before. she usually darts out of the carrier and out of my arms. like many other cats she disliked the fact that vet experience was out of her ‘comfort zone’. this was a huge sign to me, that she was telling me this was the end. she was just tired.

the receptionist finally asked if i had an appointment; i told her i did, and my name. she just walked towards me, grabbed the carrier and we walked to a part of the clinic i had never been to before, while i carried lumbia. her silence implied that she felt sorry for the both of us. it was very clear to lumbia that something big was going to happen, because the room we entered looked entirely different than the ones we normally go to when she’s gotten a check-up.  the room, despite being slightly bigger than the majority of the rooms, looked and felt ominous, fort obvious reasons.  i sit down, and lumbia proceeds to give me a big, long hug; with lots of nose kisses.  i can only figure this is her way of saying goodbye.  the nurse/assistant comes in and we deal with all the finances/logistics/signatures so i won’t have to do it before i leave.  after a few more minutes with her, the assistant takes lumbia to get an IV attached to her front right leg.

he brings her back, and makes a lighthearted joke.  he’s been making them consistently since the day before, when i brought her in to get weighed, and to make the final appointment.  i don’t envy his position, where one needs to keep it light in order to not go crazy… surrounded by sickness and transition.  he asks me if, in her final moments, i would like her on my lap, or on the table.  i opted for her to be on my lap.

the doctor comes in after what seems like forever, with two needles.  she walks in as i have tears streaming down my face.  she has a sorrowful look on hers.  i don’t envy her job either.  she comments on how lumby looks tired.  the first needle goes into the IV that is bandaged to her arm; she moves slightly as a natural reaction, but barely.  she became so weak that she wasn’t even responding to needles.  i could tell that she stopped breathing before the full contents of the needle entered her body.  the doctor then put a needle with saline solution in the IV.  it happened extremely quickly, and she left quietly.  she did not have a seizure; no fluids or solids left her body.

it was approximately 4:35 pm.

the doctor moved her right front leg and her tail, so that her whole body ended up facing my right side.  it looked as if she was just taking a nap.  the leg that was still bandaged was covering her right eye; both of which were still slightly open, glossed over.  i cried throughout this experience, but when she placed the stethoscope over lumby’s heart and declared that she was gone, i wailed.  it does not matter how much you’re aware of the inevitable; when reality sets in, you’re still affected.  i spent about 15 more minutes with her after she left, just crying and trying to make sense of how unreal this experience is, despite having experienced it before (back in 2004 with holly, who had pulmonary carcinoma).  as she lay there lifeless, it was a lot easier to see how much lumby wasted away.  lumby’s looks were deceptive, because she was a burmese kitty.  her build was really stocky, even when she was wasting away.  you could feel her ribs, you could feel her breastbone.  i ended up feeling what felt like a lump in her belly, which led me to think even more that she was suffering from cancer.  nine months ago, it was discovered she had kidney failure; however, one is able to usually stabilize (if not cure) said kidney failure.  her health deteriorated to a point where she lost half her body weight.  she stopped eating at regular rates.  she began to vomit regularly.

my friend.

my companion.

my love face…  is gone.
i keep replaying these moments in my life, to make some sort of sense of it all.
david was so kind to dig a hole.  we surrounded the box lumby was placed in, said our kind words, and thanked lumbia.  i took the shovel and was the first to put dirt over her.  it felt like i was burying my child, or best friend.
i am at the point where i cannot slow down, or i will break down.  i am really tired, but i don’t want to go to bed.  for hours, i have still seen her silhouette, brushing past the chair i am sitting in.  when taking a shower, i heard her voice.  her transition is still fresh, so connecting with something or someone close to earth makes sense.
my hope is that she knows she was loved.

a self-diagnosis of love…

the winter months are approaching; as it gets darker out earlier, i do my best to prepare myself mentally.  it could be anything from taking extra vitamin d, to intentionally eating healthier.  one thing that makes me warm-hearted is spending time with my dear cat friend, lumbia.  when i curl up to rest she’s right there to curl up as well.  she’s an older cat (10, soon to be 11) and though she’s still quite active she loves to live a basic life- eating/drinking, resting and going to the ‘bathroom’.  it’s a lot like when we humans get older.

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lumbia and i met when she was 2 years old; she came into my life after i ended a very toxic relationship.  the more we spent time together over the years i recognized that she is extremely sensitive to the energy around her.  she’s really friendly to most humans; however there have been a couple of people she avoided.  she is very talkative with specific tones when she is in need of something.  she’s also sensitive or allergic to certain things (like fleas), and will throw up when she has an allergic reaction.

she is extremely sensitive to the energy i carry.  whenever i’ve been depressed she takes that on.  it actually makes me sadder, because i didn’t want to make her sad.  whenever i am happy she’s receptive to that as well.  whenever i leave she gives this look of ‘you’re leaving AGAIN??!!’ and goes back in a little ball to rest; when i come home she gives me a very vocal greeting, and walks up to me.

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a lot of humans just look at cats or dogs (or birds, snakes, mice, etc.) as a ‘pet’ and may not necessarily consider their emotions to match our own, especially if they have been around for a long time.  and of course, they choose us.  if we treat them with love and respect, they will be dedicated to us.

it’s a lot like us humans.

as a human i am constantly learning about myself and the world around me daily.  the older i get, the more i find myself sensitive to energy in general.  there have been these feelings though, these sensations i’ve had ever since i was a child; and i had no idea how to articulate these feelings.  i though i had always been alone in these feelings, and it was not until recently where i learned it had a name.


autonomous sensory meridian response.  anyone who experiences ASMR would know exactly what i mean when i speak about it- it’s that pleasurable tingling in the head (and sometimes shoulders/ arms/ears, fingers/etc.), when you see someone in the midst of a task, or speaking, or writing.  there’s not a lot of research on it (as it’s a more recent phenomenon (in terms of its name)), but people have been experiencing this for years.  it’s nice to know i’m not alone in this feeling- there are others i personally know who experience this as well.  it’s also interesting to know that not everyone experiences this.

i wonder if it’s a defence mechanism which developed for people who were under stress as children- such as abusive households- and these specific things which trigger the ASMR are reminders of a ‘safe space’.  is it directly related to the chakras?  is it related at all to a mild OCD?  do people who have this have a high sensitivity to the energy around them? is it genetic?

i found out today that my sister also experiences this; however i know that not all siblings share this same quality.

in many ways it feels like this special club; these codes which have yet to be discovered are known only by those who experience them.  percentages are not known, and there continues to be surveys and films around the subject, to know more about why and how people feel what they do.

it’s also one of the first ever ‘diagnosable’ episodes not shrouded in negativity; since it is related to the pleasure center being triggered, there is a curiosity without ridicule or malice about it.

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watching people create things gives me the sensation; it is not necessarily something i can conjure up myself by will or force.  for instance, the earrings you see in the above photos…  as much as i focus on (and love) making jewelry, cooking, writing, etc., it has to be others doing it in order for me to be triggered.  this is definitely a journey i enjoy being a part of.  and yes, i do wonder if cats experience something similar.

as lumbia curls up and rests, i wonder what dreams she has, as her ears twitch; are they good or bad?  does she know she is loved, and does she love others, in the way cats somehow do, in their own language?  rest away little one, for it’s always a new day for you to explore.

just like for us humans.