I'm not sure when I last wrote a blog post on here, so I'm sorry if things are a bit hit and miss with what makes sense...
The cat cabin has been increasingly quiet the past two months since Pumpkin died and followed Beany to rainbow bridge... but Chewie just couldn't fully settle or feel happy when we struggled longer and longer to find new fur-family members for her... It may sound silly or insane to anyone who isn't at one with nature and speaks to their fur-clad family...... but Chewie really was like one of us... it's been her, Johnny and me for over a decade bringing new scared and hurting special needs cats into our cabin, our hearts and our entire lives revolving around their care...... At every step Chewchie has helped us make decisions, comforted us, told us off when we are being dumb/blind/silly and pointed us towards things that NEEDED to be done even in cases where the WHY wasn't even a thought in anyones minds for some time to come and suddenly "!HEY! - this is weird, it wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't already sorted that thing out months back.... "
I'm trying really hard to pointedly stay on track with this blog post but I'm kind of lost in over 11 years of memories right now. Only 4 hours ago at 2pm we were out in the garden preparing her eternal sleeping place and laying her to rest (alongside Pumpkin, Beany, Wolfie and one of my brothers cats from years passed) and we were both overwhelmed with "funnies" that Chewie would have said like "ouch - dad thats my headdddd" as a bit of dirt rolled into the hole quicker than meant... (that way like you could always know what Gromit was trying to say to Wallace despite his character having ZERO lines.... lol) and we both just had an oddly calm feeling like she was talking to us even as we covered her.... guiding us where to lay her flowers and even blackbirds clamly hopped up beside us (literally... 20cm away) to peer into the dirt for tasty wormies etc). It was ironically the best afternoon we've spent in the front garden... as if it were her way of saying "I can't celebrate my birthday with you in the cabin so you can spend it with me out here".. It was only as we got up and realised we'd finished... that we both suddenlybecame glum again - and I silently muttered "how do we leave you out here ... and just go back indoors?" ((thank god John didn't hear it...)) **sighs sorrowfully**
She died incredibly peacefully in my arms...in the cabin yesterday by the way. She had been wrapped in her favourite blanket despite the warm weather yesterday and staring up at me (held like a baby). She tried her absolute hardest to hold on until her 16th birthday and she missed it by just 6 hours :(. A promise was made that we would be brave for her as she'd been brave for so many years. Johnny fell asleep for a little while, as did Eggy while me and Chewie talked (she at one point looked at though she had drifted off but was still breathing then I noticed that she was using her eye to communicate, twitch for yes, pupil dilate, scrunchy face for comforting finger brush across my face please mamma.... we stayed like it for over two hours and she kept putting her paws to my face / cheek / neck to wipe my tears. At one point I couldn't stop crying and I remember thinking "oh god I'm going to panic her if I don't stop it" but I just couldn't - then as I had my eyes closed something soft brushed my chin and my lips - she'd used her energy to shuffle her shoulders upwards (like rolling over in bed you use your elbows etc to move) and pushed herself up to face me... we stared at eachother, I kind of snotty-laughed in her face and she did her little eye twinkle scrunchy face..... then laid down and again we talked for a few minutes.
Around 5.54 Johnny woke up, I can't tell whether he woke up and then she saw him - or she woke him up TO see him...... but the rains suddenly pattered down gently on the cabin roof, I shallowed-breathed and gasped thinking in half awe and half disbelief that "no it couldn't possibly really happen? Could it..?".
[*A notion of "I've until the rain ends"... one of Chewie's favourite Dr Who episodes where Billy Shipton dies - the thought had suddenly popped into my head while talking to Chewie the day before when it had rained and I'd stared at her, giggled and said "not today my fruit"... it wasn't that day. But it did happen!]
As soon as the rains began it was like she was going in to a pre-rehersed action. Positioning herself up on her elbow leaning completely into my chest like a baby, tucking her tail and hind legs in to "ready herself"... she even began using training calm breathing techniques we'd used over the years with Eggy - she looked dreamily around the cabin as if she were taking memory snapshots to share with the others when she got to rainbow bridge.. Then the rains slowed but hadn't quite stopped - she took a few shallow breaths, motioned for Daddy (Johnny) to lean in so she could see his face... her tongue curled a little as her breathing got shorter.. She clasped my hand, Johnny flopped against my side and rubbed her fur gently then a few moments later she calmly turned her head, looked up at me again and took one last long breath in - out... she did "the running" [** all the babies that have passed naturally here do a kind of struggle canter - it's best described as them seeing everyone they've been waiting to reconnect with suddenly appear before them the opposite end of a field and they eagerly canter to be nose-rubbed, kissed, hugged and greeted by those who've gone before....]
Moments after that I'd said to Johnny - I think she... she's gone... (in between sobs I was trying to control for Chewies sake as well as Johnny and poor Eggy who'd been sat beside us the entire afternoon) but then I could feel her heart still ever so slowly beating and I rocked her gently back and forth in her blanket... she breathed a couple of tiny gurgling out-breaths and her head drooped towards me. The slight disbelief of "was that her fur moving" etc kicked in for a few moments but she'd gone. It wasn't until a few moments later we realised that we'd both noticed the rains had stopped. We'd each looked at the clock at 6.03 when Chewie stopped breathing. And each had noted that the rain stopped at that time...... My heart hurts.. I think I need to stop here for now :(
Please don't forget to share, donate or shop as we still have Eggy to care for even if stupid local rescues and groups think "We aren't suitable" for offering a home to cats?!! ((Don't get me started on that)).
We have a Patreon account now for the cats - it was supposed to help Beany, Pum, Chewie and Eggy but.. nobody signed up .. and now we have to have a long long think about the cause :'(.