Another Paw Angel Is Born -> Rand 2002-2020
Another week of 2020, and the changes go on.
Of course COVID-19 continues to dominate the news and our lives. We’re under further restrictions here in France both on movement and how long we’re going to be under lock-down (our quarantine has been extended to April 15th). And sadly on the other side of the pond, infection rates have accelerated. The US now has the largest number of reported cases in the world* and it doesn’t look like the numbers will be slowing down anytime soon.
It’s all happened so fast, far too fast….
In our little corner of the world everything has changed dramatically too. Our sweet Rand joined her sister in paw heaven mere days after my last blog post, far faster than I had imagined or prepared myself for. But our little girl simply could no more and we had to let her go. Today’s blog post, part prose and part ode, is all for her.
*Pre-Post Note/ My dear blog readers, I know I keep hammering on about this but if you’re traveling & haven’t yet found a place to hunker down & ride COVID-19 out, I urge you to do so now. At the rate case numbers are growing, mass restrictions and lock-downs are inevitable, so find somewhere you can be comfortable, safe & stationary for the coming months. IMO this will end up being a longer ride.
A Paw Angel In Life
What can you say when another of your babies passes away?
Rand was not the extrovert her sister was. She was a timid girl, a sweet and soft little thing that few people got to know. She loved the wide-open SW desert, just like her mom, and would happily hike with her family in the winter sands. But she hated strangers and crowds and would hide whenever people were around.
She was also a reluctant traveler, preferring days at rest cuddled in deep sleep with her sister, rather than hours on the road. A true homebody in every sense of the word.
Yet she was always there, my soft heart, a deep and tranquil piece of my soul for over 18 years. She was as much a part of me as her sister, the introvert and extrovert reflected, two paw angels watching over us in life.
She Followed Her Sister In Everything
I have no wild adventures to tell of Rand simply because she wasn’t that kind of cat.
She followed her sister in everything like a shadow, both in sickness and in health, but she preferred the background rather than the light, letting her sister do all the crazy adventures while she held back. Yet her softness, like many souls of that nature, also held enormous strength. She rarely showed signs of illness, and would hide her symptoms until they were quite far along, like her kidney disease.
These past months she must have held it together so very tight for it all to fall apart so very quickly. I think perhaps she waited for Taggart to pass first before she let herself show, and then she held on for me as long as she could, before finally letting go.
She was that kind of cat.
We Had A Good Final Day
Rand had a rally day just like her sister did, a last day to share the light.
It was last Sunday, and it was a beautiful Spring day. She ate really well that morning, her energy levels higher than they had been all week, and we both sat outside for an hour or more enjoying the buzzing insects, colorful tulips and warm sun. I photographed her and shared a pic on the blog, a rare event in that Rand never really liked being in front of the camera. For some reason however, she indulged me that day, posing and accepting my attentions without complaint.
They were the last shots I would ever take of her outside.
That afternoon she slept deeply in her favorite spot in the closet, her head tucked in tight amongst the clothes, hidden away from the world the way she always liked it. I thought perhaps she had turned around, and we would have a little more precious time together. But alas it was not meant to be.
She Passed With Grace
Again, just like her sister, that final rally day was her last.
The following morning her energy had drained completely, like a waterfall run dry. She was no longer eating, or breathing well and her legs had gone. Her candle was extinguishing fast and it was clear she had no will to carry on. So that afternoon, with profound grief and heavy hearts we took her in.
Thankfully the vet made accommodations, and Rand, graceful and considerate until the end took care of the rest.
After the vet gave her the anesthetic, she allowed us to take her outside and hold her in our arms together, while she fell asleep. As we sat there under the oak tree, the wind softly blowing, her paws against my arm, her soft belly under my fingertips, she took her last breaths and passed away all on her own. My gorgeous, savvy little girl had heard my whispers and allowed us all to be together at the end. For that I am eternally grateful.
So Now Life Goes On, Again ANew
It’s hard to explain what it feels like to be without cats after 18 years together. It’s a void in your heart that you carry with you, a tightness in your chest that won’t quite go away.
I still expect to see them in the house, and sometimes I imagine that I almost do. But I also know they are gone. It’s a reality that you understand in your mind, but can’t quite grasp in your soul.
But I’m also happy, and profoundly grateful. I’m happy that we were able to give both our cats a good retirement home. A place they could relax in peace and green with their family, until the very end. And I’m grateful we could be with them, and care for them until they decided to go. I could not hope for more, for their lives or my own.
Take care of each other, my babies. One day, I will see you again.