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Chet is passing

Chester is making his transition.   For months now I’ve counseled clients with dying pets and now I get to practice what I preach.

The countdown began 6 days ago.  The first two days he purred like mad and wanted to be held.  I hauled him around the house, accomplishing what I could with one hand while he rumbled happily in my ear.  If I sat he came and climbed onto my lap.

At one point he told me he would stay for a week and then he would pass.

A couple days later we came upon the two cats lying together on a heating pad on the window ledge.  Normally they fight over it but this time they were shoulder to shoulder with cheeks pressed together, rumps hanging off either end.  “Look, Mama!” my daughter cried, “they make a heart!”   The cats were content.

Soon Chester began to throw up everything he ate and to stumble when he walked.   We’ve tried an appetite stimulant and anti-nausea drugs.  He’s just not interested in eating.  Still, until today he’s been cheerful.

This morning I left the house for a little while.  When I came home Chet was lying on the end of the bed upstairs.  Maggie was on the floor at the foot of the bed, leaning against the wall and looking up at him.  When I approached the bed she started, looked at me then struggled to her feet.  “WOW!!” she yelled and swaggered off, crabby and irritable.  She’d been looking after him while I was away.

Everyone says good-bye in their own way and we’re doing it in ours.  I spend hours sitting on the bed with Chet lying on my legs, purring.  We reminisce about our 16 years together.  I cry and tell him all the things I love about him and how much he’ll be missed.  My husband reminds him that he’s leaving on a grand adventure and we’ll be here, cheering him on.

Maggie lurks around the edges.  She benefits from the tuna, raw chicken and baby food that Chester refuses.  Every once in awhile I pass her and inexplicably I think, can’t hardly wait ’til he’s gone. I stop and look at her; she narrows her eyes and looks away.   She’s waiting to take her place as the one and only cat.

I tell my clients, let your pet be in charge of his transition.  So when Dr. Stacey told me she had an opening at 11:00 on Friday to help Chester go, I told him that we had an appointment that we could cancel when the time came.  But after that, if we needed help we’d be waiting until Monday.  I also told him he might want to pass on his own.

He’s been at the same place for days.  Then this afternoon his breathing changed.  He’s begun to turn away from us.  Tomorrow will be 7 days; what will happen?














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