Morpheus died today.
Even though I knew it was coming, and coming fast, it still hit me like a ton of bricks. I have had a migraine for hours, from crying. I think it was because I was trying so hard to keep him alive, and it feels like I failed. Like I failed him. And I feel awful.
It all started last night. For a couple of days now, we have noticed that he hasn't been using the litterbox as much, and he wasn't moving around as much. He pretty much stayed under our bed, until I dragged him out to eat and for his twice daily injections. I started putting a bowl of water under the bed, so that he wouldn't dehydrate, because I was worried about that. He perked up a bit and started eating a bit more, and started roaming a bit at night, once the house was quiet and the kids were in bed.
Then last night, Geoff went out for a walk, and Sawyer and I were laying on my bed, watching a video before bedtime. Sebastian was already asleep. All of a sudden, we heard a god-awful yowl come from under the bed. Sawyer jumped and looked scared. It was really loud and really awful sounding. I scurried off the end of the bed, and pulled the bed skirt up to look for him, just as he dragged himself out. And I mean, literally dragged. It didn't look like he could move his back legs at all. He kept on yowling, and pulling himself along with his front feet. What I didn't know at the time, but I suspect now, was that he had just had a seizure. He crawled his way straight into the corner, like he didn't know where he was going. His head dropped to the carpet and he just laid there. I thought he had just died in front of me.
I bent down, and tentatively touched his back. I could see that he was breathing. I scooped him up in my arms and ran for the bathroom. I threw a towel down in the tub and placed him in there. By now, he was coming around, and starting to look at me. I ran the cold water and filled a cup that we have there, for washing the kids' hair. I tapped my fingers in it, and started putting drops of water around his mouth, hoping to get him to drink. His head was moving on his neck in a very strange way, very robotic and jerky. After a few minutes, he seemed to clear up a bit, and started to drink. He meowed at me, this time, a very normal meow. I was crying and dripping all over him.
I heard Geoff come in the front door, and Sawyer ran down to meet him to tell him something was wrong with Morphie. He came up and I told him what happened. Morph seemed more relaxed now, so I left the water by his head, turned off the light and left him to rest.
Thus began a long night of worry. About an hour later, when I went in to check on him, I again thought he was dead. I could see his side moving, so shallow, but he was completely non-responsive. I thought then (silly me) that the end was coming soon. Geoff had said his goodbyes, so I did too. I told him that I was sorry I didn't do better by him. I was sorry I couldn't make him better. I said I hoped he had enjoyed living with us, and being in our family. I told him that I would miss him, and that we would all remember him. I told him everything was ok, and he could rest and go to sleep.
But still, that crazy cat held on. At one point, I heard strange noises coming from the bathroom. I thought he was trying to climb out of the tub. I rushed in and got to experience his seizure. It was horrible. At the end, he was completely dazed and non responsive again. It seemed to drain every ounce of energy out of him. I sat with him after for a long time, cleaning the foam off his face (it was flecked with red) and stroking his back. And again, after a while, he came out of his daze, started to look around, and actually see me. He cried again, which broke my heart. I fed him more water, and even tried to tempt him with cat treats and food. He did little more than sniff it.
He seized at least 3 more times. I was there for all but the last one. After the last one, at about 2am, I had found him off the towel, laying in an awkward position. I straightened his towel, picked him up and placed him back in his soft warm spot. I stayed and talked and petted and cried. Eventually, I went to bed and to sleep.
As soon as I woke up this morning, my first thought was "Please, let him be dead." I know that sounds awful, but my real hope was that he had just gone to sleep in the night and passed away. I didn't want it to stretch out and be horrible for him.
When I went to check, he was in pretty much the exact same spot that I had laid him in last night. I knew he hadn't had anymore seizures, but I also knew he was almost done. Again, I spent some time with him, and then went to look up the hours of operation for the Humane Society. I knew we had to help him move on. He wasn't doing it on his own, and it wasn't right for him to suffer any more.
We had to wait an hour or so for the H.S to open up. I used the time to check on him a couple more times and to start to talk to the kids about what was happening. Neither of them really followed the conversation very well.
Finally, 11am rolled around. I called the H.S., and asked the kid that answered the phone if they could help. I cried through the whole conversation, so I am surprised he understood me. But he did and he was surprisingly empathetic with me.
I went to tell Geoff, who was outside with the kids about the price and that they were expecting us. He looked at me and said "Can you take him?" I shook my head. I could barely get through the conversation, I couldn't take him. I had done everything I could for this cat for the last 4 months, I couldn't be there for the end. Geoff nodded and got up.
I got the cat carrier and took it to the bathroom. My plan was to scoop Morph up, towel and all, and put him in. But the towel was not nice by now, so, for the last time, I picked up my Morphie. I put him in the carrier, and petted him. I sobbed and sobbed, because it was horrible and awful and sucked. We carried him to the kitchen, then called the kids in to say goodbye.
Sawyer took one look at me, and the carrier on the counter and got a worried look on her face. She wanted to pet him, so we lifted it down and let her. She was gentle and sweet, and said her goodbyes. She cried when she saw me cry. She asked where he was going, and when he was coming back, even though she knew the answer. She said she missed him, and she wanted her kitty. It was heartbreaking and horrible. Even Sebastian gave him some pats and said he was sorry he was sick.
Geoff left. I took the kids outside, still leaking. Sawyer would jump on the trampoline, and then all of a sudden she would sit down and burst into tears and say that she missed her kitty. It didn't make anything easier for me.
Eventually, Geoff came home. It was all over. The Humane Society takes care of cremation and everything, so I don't have anything to bury. I can't bury him with his brothers. In a way it's a relief, I was dreading digging the grave. In another, it breaks my heart.
So, I have spent a quiet day at home. We are picking up all the remnants of him, left all over the house. We have been cleaning up the smells and mess he left behind.
I have a framed picture of each of my lost kitties on the fireplace. Tomorrow, I will put his picture up there. Today, I am just too tired and too sad.
Bye, Morphie. Miss you.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never forget you.".