Remember in the Lion King when the baboon holds up the little lion cub for all the other animals to see? The Zebra’s, elephants, monkeys, and birds go nuts and the song, “The Cycle of Life” blares in the background? Remember that?
Well one little animal’s cycle of life is coming to an end. My cat, Punkin. I guess it’s time. She’s around sixteen. But does that make it any easier to accept? Nope. About two months ago, Punkin went blind. Just out-of-the-blue. Strange. Never heard of cat going blind. People told me it was cataracts. Honest? Never heard of a cat getting cataracts either.
Her lack of sight didn’t seem to bother her, however. She still found her way around. Some times she’d get turned around and cry out for help. But don’t all of us from time-to-time get confused, turned around, and need a guide to show us the way? Sometimes she’d wander through the house. But all who wander aren’t necessarily lost. So while I hated the situation and wondered if it confused her as much as me, we dealt with it.
A week ago all this changed. She quit eating. Slept all day in her rocker. Had no energy. No desire to get up. A picture of the Lion King popped into my head along with The Cycle of Life song. Punkin is getting ready to cross. While I’m spiritual and believe without a doubt in eternal life and know 100% sure, she will be waiting for me, it doesn’t ease the grief of losing her. Just when I decide to put her down, she gets up, drinks, and goes to the box. I told her she must tell me what to do so I considered this a sign. “Don’t rush things, mom.”
This morning she got up, stuck her head in the food dish, and ate just a nibble. But this is a great improvement. Do I think she is going to rebound? No. But each of us has the right to determine when we leave this life for another. She is telling me this clear as day. So, I wait. Cherish the time we have left. Wash her face. Brush her. Sing to her. Hold her tight and whisper in her ear how much I love her and always will. Assure her my brother, Wes is waiting on the other side and will take care of her until I get there. After all, isn’t it better to cross at home, safe and warm, curled in her favorite chair, peaceful in her sleep opposed to a cold, strange vet’s office? You bet.
We should all be that fortunate.
And so the cycle of life goes around and around. But sometimes it just plain sucks.