I have put off writing this blog for several months. I found quite a few excuses as to why I couldn’t or didn’t write about it. It’s not the right time, I am too busy, or I’ll do it next month. Yep…I was procrastinating; I knew it, and yet even now, I am finding excuses, so I am going to just dive right in.
I think at one time or another we have all been guilty of having tunnel vision and not noticing what is happening right in front of us. We get tunnel vision, focusing on the end goal or result and we don’t allow anything else to get in the way. Can you relate?
In early April of this year, my husband Chris and I decided to downsize from our 4-bedroom family home into something smaller and more manageable. To do this, we needed to purge our “stuff”; go through everything we had, furniture, clothes, books, all the boxes we packed away in the basement and never unpacked 16 years ago when we moved into the house etc. It was a huge undertaking with a limited window to get it done. At times, it felt overwhelming, but we were focused, we had a goal date that it had to be done and pushed on. We lived and breathed sorting, purging, and packing boxes to move to a temporary storage unit. We had tunnel vision.
In March, I noticed that Monty was losing much of his fur, wasn’t eating as much, and was losing weight. Perhaps he needed to go to the Vet and get a checkup? Every time I thought about this and said it out loud, over the next couple of days and weeks, I heard a very emphatic “No!” My intuition told me something just wasn’t right with Monty, but I listened to what he told me, and I carried on.
Fast forward a month, one morning I am sitting in my office, and I overhear Chris on the phone with the Vet. After he hung up, he told me Monty wasn’t looking well; he was hiding under the dining room table and panting. Chris had made an appointment with the Vet in the early afternoon but was told if Monty got any worse, to head to emergency right away. I was half paying attention and mumbled “okay” and carried on.
An hour later, I heard Chris running around the house yelling something about how we must go now; where’s the carrier, where’s the carrier? He had my full attention. I headed down the stairs to find Monty quietly sitting in the cat carrier, panting. Normally he would be fighting to get out, biting the bars and meowing loudly. Something was terribly wrong.
As Monty and I waited for Chris to put his coat and his shoes on and load him in the car, I put my hand close the door. Monty laid his head in my hand and sighed. I told him everything was going to be okay and I would see him soon. He looked directly at me, and I knew then that I wouldn’t see him again.
We had an appointment with the house stagger, so I wasn’t able go with Chris. He rushed Monty to the emergency animal hospital, where they took him right away. Ten minutes later, Chris called me. Upon arriving at the animal hospital, Monty went into heart failure. They were able to bring him back, but he was in rough shape, and the prognosis wasn’t good. We made the difficult decision to put an end to his suffering and pain. With Chris in person and me on FaceTime, Monty quietly slipped away. We were devastated.
How did I miss this? How did I not know that something was terribly wrong with Monty? I am an animal communicator and provide animal reiki! The stagging appointment didn’t seem as important anymore. I rushed through it only half listening, my eyes watery and red from crying, beating myself up for not noticing and not acting sooner.
I made my way to the animal hospital, where I was able to hold Monty. I sat in the “special” room, rocking back and forth, stroking his paws and telling him how sorry I was. I must have been rocking and crying for a good 20 minutes. I knew at some point they would take him away from me, that I had to let him go.
I laid him on the couch beside me. I continued to stroke him and remember how he came to be with us. Monty was a rescue, it was thought that his mother died when he was very young, leaving him alone. The rescue took him in, and he was fostered until Chris, and I adopted him. Monty was the same age as Rylee, and we hoped that they would become friends. That of course didn’t quite work out, they tolerated each other. Monty was the more dominant one, chasing Rylee around the house and terrorizing him. He was never very affectionate. His way of showing love was biting you.
As I sat there waiting, I heard Monty say, “Thank you for choosing me, for providing me with a home filled with love and security. I lived like a king in the short time I was with you. I had a warm soft bed, food, love, brushed as much as I wanted, and I could lie around all day sleeping in the sun. What a life! I wouldn’t have changed anything and there wasn’t anything you could have done differently. Oh, and I still don’t like the vet, so I bit her.” Just as I was crying and laughing, the vet tech came in and Monty taken off the couch. As the vet tech open the door to leave, I heard Monty say “See ya!”
I had rushed out so quickly that I didn’t tell Maddie and Rylee about Monty. When I got home, I found the two of them cuddling on the chair together…something they had never done that I had seen before. I told them that Monty was gone. They both held onto each other a little longer, then both jumped off the chair and walked away.
Animals, like humans, grieve. They grieve the loss of their owners and their friends. Over the next couple of weeks, both Maddie and Rylee were quieter than usual; they didn’t eat as much, and they slept a lot. Chris and I reminisced about Monty, sharing stories and pictures with both Maddie and Rylee sitting close by.
It has been 4 months since Monty left, Maddie is back chasing Rylee around the house and Rylee is pretending that he doesn’t want to be chased; secretly, he does.
Animals worm their way into your heart, leaving a hole, an empty space when they are gone. My eyes water when I think about Coco, but not as much. I smile more now when I think of her. I haven’t gotten to that point for Monty yet, but time has a way of healing things.
I will leave you with this; Animals love us unconditionally for the short period of time that we have them. Make every day count. When it is time to let them go, be there and let them know they were loved and cherished.
Monty: Until we see each other again…
With Gratitude and Reiki Blessings,