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.