I feel very wrung out today. There is, of course, the trauma of burying the cat yesterday on top of having to bury the other cat just a month ago. There was also the dredging up of any bad feelings that might have existed regarding the other cat’s death. His decline in health was so sudden that I still feel a great deal of guilt in missing the signs, even though we couldn’t have afforded to remedy them even if we had noticed. It’s just hindsight kicking me in the ass. I bet if I researched grief, it’s something everyone does.
There were also bad feelings surrounding Mama’s death that didn’t fully bother me until today. YinYang’s death was handled so gracefully by the vet’s office. Death is a messy business, and what is in typically comes out, shall we say. They were nice enough to take him away and get him cleaned up before I took him home. That didn’t happen yesterday. Once Mama had passed, the doctor had to run off to tend to a dog that was having seizures, and they were short staffed due to people calling in sick so the vet tech that was assisting didn’t have any help. And she really needed it because she had only been there a couple of months and wasn’t very experienced, particularly not in that kind of situation. She just kind of stood there awkwardly while we tried to bundle our cat into the carrier. She didn’t offer to clean her up, and no one took her pawprints (they took YinYang’s pawprints in clay and sent them to us a couple of weeks later, which we very touched by). We felt hurried and uncared for and wondered if it was because we hadn’t been in and out of the clinic in the days before her death, spending hundreds of dollars the way we had been with YinYang. After a sad letter to the vet, we were very apologetically assured that was not the case and the circumstances were explained to us.
I feel better after their kind response to my letter, but it was an unpleasant contrast to our prior experience with the other cat. I know that from a physical standpoint, the mess is insignificant. It is merely part of the cycle of life and death. And I have many ways of remembering Mama other than having her pawprints. I just wish that we had not been left with those bad feelings, particularly with something like this. I also know that I would feel terrible no matter what. I will take that knowledge along with the vet’s sincere apologies and move forward, but I am still very tired in the soul today.