I usually mark off the 24 hours encompassing Sabbath (from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) to a break from blogging. Today is different.
When I went to bed last night, I checked on Twinkle one last time. She was still in her canvas “hideaway” and so still I thought she might not be in the land of the living. When I got her attention, though, her ears pricked up and she looked at me quizzically.
Lying in bed, I pled with the Lord to either make her better or let her go. I couldn’t sleep. I’d try to get comfortable but it was impossible. I got up and soaked in the tub for how long, I don’t know. When I went back to bed, I was able to nod off.
As with the mornings in recent memory, when I woke, I wondered if Twinkle was still alive. I didn’t hear her stirring but that wasn’t unusual, either. I thought I heard her meow but I couldn’t be sure. I came out to the living room. She wasn’t on her chair. I checked the hideaway. Not there, either. She’d gotten in the habit of going underneath Mother’s sewing machine but nothing. I could see the Bubbler area from the living room but it was empty, too.
Dreading the thought of having to hunt her, I went on into the kitchen to take my thyroid med and there she was, stretched out in front of the refrigerator. Her mouth was open and her eyes closed. There was no sign of life. I called out “Twinkle!” and touched her but nothing. She was gone.
Going to her chair, I got the orange t-shirt she’d rested on for so many hours and wrapped her. It couldn’t have been long since she breathed her last because rigor mortis hadn’t set in. I got a cardboard box and curled her up so she would fit. Taping it shut, I took it out to the well house where I knew no animals could get in to disturb it. The floor was wet where Twinkle had been lying. I cleaned it with disinfectant cleaner when I got back inside.
I texted Cuz and asked her to contact my CIL to come help me bury her. Then I emailed the family members of her passing and put it on Facebook with this picture.
Many friends have expressed their condolences on Facebook. My sisters, DS1 and my DIL emailed. My roommate from academy called and offered to come sit with me but I turned her down. The house will have to be cleared of all cat hair and other debris before anyone comes in here. It was sweet of her to offer. My DIL changed her profile picture to this one:
I’ve spent a lot of time clearing out “Twinkle” belongings. The litter box is out of the bathroom. The Bubbler is unplugged and the heating pad turned off. I put the rest of the opened can of food out for the Catz. There’s a collection of food and litter that will be returned for refunds.
Early in the day, it became clear that I wouldn’t be up to going to town. Cuz had called and offered to have my CIL bring me whatever I needed but I still thought I’d be able to make it. I broke down and texted her and she texted back “no problem”. A little after noon, he showed up at the door with bananas and cough medicine. I told him where Twinkle’s body was and I thought he said he’d tell me when he was ready to do the interment.
When he knocked on the door again, it was to tell me the deed was done. I’d planned to have a bit of a funeral, say a few words, whatever. Definitely not sing. I don’t think I could manage that today even if the circumstances were different. He gave me the location of the site and I thanked him.
I went out later to look and found this:
As my last Twinkle purchase, I’ve ordered a little marker for her grave. It should be here early next week.
I’ll probably be finding Twinkle-related things for quite some time. There will be toys she played with, toys she ignored. Balls behind and underneath furniture. The least welcome will be the nuggets she started leaving here and there when she quit using her cat box faithfully. That’s why my bedroom door has been kept closed for weeks. Now that I’m in the habit of closing it, it may take some time before I learn to leave it open.
When I’m not busy, I start thinking. I’ve cried more today than I have for years. Along with the feelings of grief are those of relief that she’s no longer suffering even though she never showed signs of being in distress.
This will be the first night in many years my bedtime routine hasn’t included Twinkle in some capacity. It’s going to be strange.
Rest in peace, Twinkle. You will be missed.