Friday, December 14, 2012

"Slip-Sliding Away . . ."

Psalm 31:10
My life is consumed by anguish and my years are groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.

All these six long months, we watch our cat, Jordan, closely.  At her last check-up, the veterinarian warns her kidneys are probably failing.  Still, we hope for a miracle.  Pray for her each day.

For a blessed time, Jordan eats and drinks normally.  She begs for more helpings expectantly when she smells the alluring aroma of chicken or turkey roasting in the oven.  More reliable than an alarm, her meows continue to rouse us from sleep each morning.

She purrs contentedly whenever we stroke her back or scratch her chin.  Stands at the door on sunshiny days, begging to be let out so as to bask in the warmth.  Everything seems stable.  Hopeful . . .

We watch.  We wait.

We pray . . .

But, in these last two weeks, we can't help but see.  Jordan's strength fails because of her affliction.  She sleeps almost all day and through the night.  She rises for breakfast, but after a few hapless bites, retreats to her favorite spot: our son, Giovanni's, warm, inviting water bed.

Jordan's bones begin to weaken at an alarming rate.  She hobbles with wavering steps.  Stands, swaying uncertainly.  Falters when heading for her litter pan.

Her once slinky, silent, stalking stride, the one which ever betrayed her feral parentage, is slip-sliding away . . .

Danny's face betrays his consternation.  "Martha, you need to take Jordan to the vet tomorrow.  It may not be good news, but it's time for us to see if there is a shred of hope.  We have to face the reality it it's Jordan's time to go."

Tears well.  I know Danny speaks the truth, but it is one I don't want to admit even though all the evidence is right before my swimming eyes.  Sobs arise.  Grief consumes me.

My kitty baby/child/companion is dying . . .

Eighteen years.  Together.  Through innumerable joys and unspeakable hell.

Together . . . .

If I have to tell Jordan, "Good-bye", will she know how much I love her?  How much God loves her?  Is this the end of her earthly life?  Can she possibly, hope beyond hope, have one more life left in her reservoir of nine?

When Jordan and I  arrive for our 2:00 appointment at the vets, both doctors are demanded in an emergency surgery and can't see us.  The medical assistants assure me that they will keep a close eye on my little one if I choose to leave her until one of the doctors can attend to her.  They are kind and convincing.  So, I leave Jordan there.

I return home.  I wait.  I check e-mail.  Respond.  I wait and pace.  I check my blog, answer comments, and I pace.  I visit Facebook, I comment, I close, and I pace.  I call Danny.  No answer.  Leave a message.  Again, I pace . . .

It's over three hours of  waiting.  Not able to contain myself any longer, I call the vet.  When the doctor comes to the phone, she apologizes profusely about the crazy, busy day they've had, but, yes, she has just finished examining Jordan.

As  sensitively as possible, the doctor breaks the expected news.  "Jordan's kidneys are failing rapidly, Mrs. Orlando, and she has lost a significant amount of weight.  She's down to only a little over five pounds.  There is no cure for her condition."

I choke back the tears . . .

"I'll be right there.  I have to tell Jordan "good-bye . . ."

~

I'll always remember holding, stroking, and cuddling my precious Jordan for the last time on this earth.  I tell her how much I love her.  Assure her that she is about to go to a place where there will be no pain, no sickness, no trials, no tribulations.  The place where joys will never end.  The place where she will be at peace forever.

And, with that, I allow, with grieving heart, my darling Jordan to fly away home . . .

Will you join me in prayer?
Heavenly Father, we are so thankful that You love and care for all of Your creation and are mindful of the lives of each creature.  Comfort all those who mourn the loss of a pet.  Bless them in their grief.  Surround them with Your incomparable love.  Amen.





22 comments:

  1. God bless you Marth. I thank you for this warm, sad testimony and may the Lord of Heaven comfort you in this moment of grief.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Bernie! Yes, we are missing our little one, but know she is at peace.
      Blessings always!

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    2. Bless you! You're such a kind soul and may the Shalom of Yeshua bless you today, sister!! Amen

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  2. Losing a much loved pet is never easy. Praying for you and your family!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Jay, and thank you for your prayers. Just knowing someone is praying gives great comfort to us.
      Blessings to you!

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  3. Martha, you took my breath away. I went through this with my dog Bandit, when I was alone. This dog followed me everywhere. He was my protector. He always knew when something was wrong and would cling to me. He would stand between me and others he didn't know and softly grow. The time came and he let me know. When we were at the vet I couldn't bare to be there to watch him move from one world to the other. So we said our goodbyes. With what strength he had, he put both his paws around my neck as if he was hugging me. I talked, he listened, and then got down and went to the door to wait- as if to say you can go now. It took the vet half an hour to calm me down. I have wonderful memories of him. Of our multiple pets, out of them we now have a 12 year old lab and an almost 18 year old cat. It is hard to let go but also the unselfish thing to do. I feel your pain and sobbed when I read this. It is such a blessing to have such beloved pets though! Thank you!

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    1. Oh, yes, pets are such a blessing, Kimly! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of Bandit - brought tears to my eyes . . . And, with the ages of your current pets, it seems like you may have to go through this again sooner than you would like. :(
      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a heart-felt comment.
      Blessings always!

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  4. My heart goes out to you and yours. We went through this last year. Brutal. Family is family, even our fury friends Hugs from San Francisco.

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    1. So sorry for your loss, Brenda . . . I've shed many tears this week while having to be brave for a book signing. I think God was really clear - Jordan is a first priority. Our furry friends are so often our best.
      Thanks for stopping by, my friend!
      Blessings!

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  5. My sweet Martha, I am so sorry for your loss. I think many of us have experienced this; I have, several times. It is never easy. I grew up with a little white dog, an American Eskimo named Lobo. He was my faithful companion my whole childhood and well into my 20s. He lived to the grand old age of 24, and when he began to falter, and several times, attempted to do what animals do by going off alone to die, I wasn't ready to let go. I tracked him down and took him to the vet three times, nursing him back to steadily declining health. When the day came that I couldn't, in good conscience, keep him here, it was the most painful moment I had lived of that nature. I did as you did with your Jordan. I held my boy while the vet gave him that final injection, and made sure he felt nothing but love in his last moments. That was in 1991 and to this day, I miss that little dog so much.

    I am sending you heartfelt prayer, love, healing energy & Light to lift you up and to offer peace in the coming days.

    Much love to you,

    Dawnie

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    1. Oh, sweet Dawn, thank you for sharing this precious story here. My eyes were welling and my admiration for the strength of your faith just went overboard. I so wanted to be with Jordan at the final moments, but my tears overwhelmed me. The doctor assured me that either she or one of the assistants would be right there with my kitty the whole time, patting her and giving her that reassurance. It hurts me that I couldn't do this, but there was also that part in me which just wanted to remember how she was when alive. Oh, the priceless images!
      Thank you so much for your prayers and your love, dear friend!

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  6. Touching.... I can really feel the pain through your words. I know someone who has recently lost his pet and his only lament was his helplessness. Poor thing they cannot even express their pain to us which makes us feel more bad....take care.

    Sending prayers and best wishes to your family!

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    1. Thank you, Me, for your comforting, kind words here, and for your prayers. It helps so much knowing someone is praying for you . . . Yes, this week has been a difficult one and it will certainly take some time for our hearts to heal.
      Blessings to you!

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  7. I've had pets my entire life, Martha. It's always challenging when we must say good bye. Tigger, the last cat I had to give back to the world was likely the most challenging for me. I moved from my family home to a condo closer to town. I wrote a blog post in response to something you wrote as a matter of fact:
    http://cjpwisdomandlife.com/2012/07/18/unexpected-friendships/

    in that post I said:
    Seeing that Tigger was an outdoor cat her whole life (twenty years worth) it wouldn’t have been right for me to make her an indoor cat; and the highway is just through the woods where I moved to. I’ll always believe that Tigger became sick because the ONLY person that cared for her was no longer there for. She was heartbroken.

    Have no fear, Martha, Jordan is running over The Rainbow Bridge:
    http://www.petloss.com/rainbowbridge.htm
    --
    Chris

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    1. Thank you for stopping by today, Chris, and for your kind sympathies. Yes, I do recall your post about your beloved Tigger. It is so difficult to say goodbye, but we know our lives were made richer, fuller, and blessed by having wonderful pets to love and have them love us in return.
      Blessings, my friend!

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  8. So sorry to hear about your loss Martha. Sounds like JOrdan was a precious cat companion who brought you much happiness and love. There's a special place waiting in heaven for her. Treasure her many memories. My thoughts are with you.

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Vishnu, and for your kind words. Yes, I will treasure her always and know she is safe with God until it is my turn to join her . . .
      Thanks for the positive thoughts.
      Blessings to you!

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  9. What an incredibly beautiful tribute to your companion. I know this pain, but there is a joy in knowing you did the best thing for her.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Arwen, and welcome!
      Yes, it is a painful experience for any of us who have had pets, but there does come that day when their suffering must end. I know I did the right thing, but I still miss Jordan so much . . .
      Blessings to you!

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  10. Dear Martha,

    Holding you in my heart. I remember when my son, Joey's, cat died many years ago and it was a very difficult transition to see him go from seeming robust health to frailty in such a short time. Thank heavens for you faith to see you through this difficult time. love, love, love to you! XOXOXOX

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  11. I'm so sorry to hear about Jordan. I have never comforted anyone over their loss of pet, although I have seen my little nieces cry over their bunny rabbits and ducklings...

    I pray with you and I pray for you. I know that like people, the pets that we've had cannot be replaced by something else like it...your experiences with him will always be cherished.

    Lots of love to you always.

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    1. Thanks so much for your sympathies, Melissa.
      Now that Christmas Day has passed and Danny is back at work, I'm finding the house too quiet and lonely without Jordan. I suppose it will just take time for me to stop missing my kitty so much. I trust God will heal . . .
      Blessings, my dear!

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