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Bitmap. my shelter kitty, asleep in her favorite spot

Rescued from the euthanasia table at the last minute, Bitmap was about 12 weeks old when she came into my life as the best Christmas present ever. Affectionate and happy (and a fantastic mooch) she showed a lot of love to everyone over her lifetime.

But every living thing must decline and pass with time, and my baby was no different; suffering from weight problems and kidney disease her joints weakened and stiffened, her bowel control became non-existent, she struggled to walk and even eat but still would purr for me whenever I brushed her wonderfully soft fur. When she developed an infection I had to take her to the emergency vet for several days; they worked valiantly to help her kidneys heal and to reduce her pain enough that I could bring her home, but she could not recover enough to walk or eat enough to stay with me. After one night and half a day at home with me spending as much time with her (spoiling her rotten) as possible, she suffered some sort of seizure and I had to say my goodbyes.

It is never easy to take a beloved companion to the place where she will breathe her last. I had always hoped that she would pass peacefully in her sleep but I couldn’t bear to see her suffer; I could tell that she felt miserable even though she didn’t want to leave any more than I wanted her to leave. The drive back to the emergency vet was short; she awakened long enough to look at me with awareness. The staff prepared her and I held her, stroked her fur, and told her how much I loved her as she was given the drugs that stilled her heart and freed her soul.

Bitmap now rests under my redbud tree in my front yard; I buried her with her favorite toy, which she used to carry around in her mouth while meowing her furry head off (she had claimed it as her own when I had intended it for a friend of mine). I still grieve for her, or perhaps I grieve for the companionship I miss.

The body decays, fertilizing the earth and becoming food for others so they might live.

OM Tryambakam yaja mahe sugandhim pushti vardhanam
Urdhva rukhamiva bandhanam
Mrityor mukshiya mamritat
OM Shanti, shanti, shantihi

May 2010
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