On Wednesday July 12th, I prepared his transition space.
Our cat Seemore had miraculously made it home from the ER after his third heart failure episode.
These experiences were ugly and excruciating. His lungs would fill with fluid on a moment’s notice and I’d find him gasping for air, most often around 2am, and we’d rush him to the ER.
For four weeks, modern medicine saved him.
The front desk staff would yell STAT when we came through the door, immediately place him in an oxygen chamber, pump his little body full of diuretics to pull the fluid away from his lungs, and he’d fully recover.
The doctors would send us away in amazement, like, I can’t believe he survived that. At the same time they did their best to prepare us for what was ahead.
His resilience and recovery gave me hope and invited me to think it wasn’t quite Seemore’s departure time. He would miraculously bounce back to his loving, energetic, sweet silly self and we were gifted another day, and another day.
I truly embraced the present moment, the thing I struggle with the most, as I knew our window of time together was closing.
We enjoyed every freaking moment together those few weeks; hundreds of photos, flower farm walks, hugs, kisses, snuggles, treats, laughs.
I was bullish that we’d be able to manage it for a little while, 6 months or a maybe a year, giving him (and us) a little more time together. I promised Seemore I wouldn't give up on him since he still appeared to be fighting, but I also promised him I would listen for signs when he was ready.
And then on Wednesday July 12th, the same day we brought him home from his third ER visit and another heart failure episode, something was different.
He started to give me clear signals throughout the day that he wasn’t well.
He hid under our truck bed outside which he’s never done. It was overgrown with weeds and spiderwebs, hot with no airflow, and he crawled to the back and just looked at me. It was like I wasn’t listening even though I promised him I would.
I called for Chad, we jumped in our truck and drove to the his regular vet, Kendra.
I knew I had to be courageous and not make this about me. I asked Kendra if she could come to our house and help him transition that day, I didn’t feel it was fair to drag this out any longer, and I honestly wasn't sure he'd make it through another night. He was communicating with me and I promised him I would listen.
I believe Seemore worked hard to recover just enough so he could come back to the farm and we could all be together on his last day.
Kendra graciously agreed to come by after work, and with heavy hearts we drove home and began to prepare his space.
I pulled a large circular rug to the center of the room and set three cushions around for the humans.
I set one of his favorite blankets directly in the center.
Shortly thereafter, I watched him walk into the center space on his blanket and lay down.
I was in awe and disbelief.
He looked so at peace.
He rested while I went to the flower farm and began cutting his transition bouquet.
Typical behavior for Seemore would be to follow me outside anytime I stepped out that door. He was my shadow, my constant companion, but he stayed. This in and of itself was another clear sign to me.
For four hours he stayed in that spot, all afternoon, as I created a beautiful space all around him.
A circle filled with love, nature, comfort and healing, all of the properties he has gifted us the past 10 years.
I wouldn’t say he was ‘ready,’ I don’t know if we’re ever truly ready. I’d say it more acceptance, and it was fucking painful.
The evening unfolded as expected. I try to block that part from my mind and focus on the fact that he's no longer suffering or in pain.
I'm grateful he was able to make it back home to us, and he is now resting peacefully in the flower field.
I've had a lot of cats in my life and I've loved them all, but Seemore was one of a kind, otherworldly, my little earth angel. I don't know what I would have done without him holding all my tears this past year, and I think that's what I'm most afraid of going forward.
A few days later we realized that Seemore passed exactly one year from Chad’s lung cancer diagnosis.
I believe he held on just long enough to get Chad and I to a good place, to do his healing work and then give us the nudge to say, ok, my job is done here, you two got this!
A big message in a furry little bottle.
I plan to share more stories of Seemore. I hope this helps anyone going through their own grief and loss, and normalizes how incredible tough and painful losing a pet can be.
Seemore helped us sow, seed, plant, water, nurture the gardens and flower field.
He was a big contributor to the sanctuary and the space we have been working to build the past three years.
He will forever live on in the flowers, so if you get the chance to come pick flowers here for yourself, please know you'll be taking a piece of Seemore's spirit and unconditional love home with you.