The morning of Monday, May 21 brought new concerns. My husband awoke to find a number of blood drips on our living
Blood samples and chest x-rays were taken along with a physical examination from which the vet determined the brow over his left eye was pronounced. His chest x-rays were clear, which was a positive sign, though she mentioned that the lump could either a simple infection or something more insidious such as a cancerous tumor. We went over the options available to us ... head x-rays, which would require anesthesia, costly CAT scans, which would again require anesthesia, or a two week antibiotic treatment. We were reluctant to put him under anesthesia as he was now considered a senior cat and during the physical examination the vet discovered that he had a heart murmur, so we opted for the antibiotic treatment. If his health didn't improve, if the bump did not decrease with the antibiotic then it was the vet's professional opinion that our Alchemy had a tumor and the only treatment for that due to the position was radiation.
We took Alchemy and the prescription home optimistic that this would help him get better. Once home my husband and I jumped online and sought out holistic treatments for cancer. We were going to put all our energy into healing our beloved fur baby. We found a wonderful site that offered supplements to aid in the boosting of the feline immune system and ordered the treatment. It arrived a few days later and we began the protocol while administering the antibiotic. We were relieved when Alchemy's health began improving. He no longer sneezed and it seemed that he was much more active. We were overjoyed.
My apprehension reappeared on Tuesday, June 12, around the time the prescription ended. His appetite seemed to diminish and the amount of food he was consuming decreased significantly, though he was still drinking. We did all we could to entice him to eat; I offered him foods that I would only normally give as occasional treats, but he was uninterested. He slept more than usual and no longer came upstairs to wake us up in the morning or to curl up on my son's desk chair for his afternoon nap. As the days passed I became even more concerned. I encouraged all family members to spend time with him and I would seek out opportunities to cuddle with him on the sofa and lay my hands on him giving him Reiki. To my horror the bump above his eye felt as if it had gotten bigger and it took only a few days for the pupil in that eye to stop reacting to the light normally. His health was clearly failing quickly. We had a family meeting and all agreed that allowing our beloved fur baby to suffer through starvation was unbearable so I called the vet and through my sobs scheduled an appointment to have him euthanized later that day. It was a day filled with sorrow. Our appointment was at 12:30 pm and when we arrived with Alchemy they were prepared and sensitive to our feelings. The technician explained what would be done and what we would experience. They answered all our questions with compassion and sensitivity. The actual procedure went extremely fast; literally it took only a second.
Just before the vet administered the sedative my beloved Alchemy licked my hand twice ... as if to comfort me, "It's okay, Mom. You can let me go now."
There are days when I feel confident with our choice. It was clear his quality of life was very poor during those last few weeks. I could see his silent suffering and I feel as if we had waited longer it would have been a purely selfish act because we just didn't want to let him go, but then I have days where I second guess our decision and I wonder if we did the "right" thing when we euthanized him. Should I have allowed him to die on his own? Was it selfish to end his life when I deemed appropriate instead of allowing him to die when it was more natural? I don't know what the "right" answer is and probably never will.
And then I just miss him ... I feel this aching void in my life now. It's his place, the place where his soft furry body occupied. When I come downstairs each morning I expect to find him on the sofa sleeping, his little head popping up when he hears me and when he isn't there I go looking for him as I usually did, but I can't find him. He no longer greets me with his loud meow and follows me into the bathroom or kitchen looking for food or treats or cuddles. We don't have that morning time alone before everyone else in the house wakes up ... because he isn't here to share those moments with me. He's asleep in the ground ... buried at my parents' home in their backyard. It hurts when I miss him this much.
He was a lion today
King of the house, my adored.
Relaxing was paramount on the overstuffed sofa.
The sun warmed his body.
Nothing went unnoticed. His yellow eyes
Tracked movement across the room.
The virgin widow sought my counsel that day.
Emptiness lived beneath her black dress.
She kept weeping depressive tears.
She was a lost soul.
I will not rid myself of him:
Dedicated, Resilient, and powerful,
Beloved Alchemy, this witch’s familiar.
A warm sunbeam’s enough for him.
Magick is his nature.
Summon him by name, he will come.
I am bound to this familiar spirit.
We work within a magick circle.
Black furred face of wisdom.
We’re dedicated to the Craft.
We cast in the night.
Beneath the light of the moon.
Alchemy’s on the altar.
The Ancient Ones guard the portals this night,
We keep vigil till dawn,
Among Yew and Elder,
Daughter of Danu,