I was woken at 3am on Wednesday morning by a noise. I rushed downstairs to find the cat from the local pub lying stretched out on my kitchen floor. He was dying and was clearly in agony.
I sat with him, talking to him and stroking him for three hours until he finally let go.
I’m not writing this blog to chastise the owners for not taking him to a vet sooner than they did, or to condemn the vet that saw him last Saturday and, despite his bloated stomach and heart-rending emaciated state, gave him steroid and antibiotic injections and told the owner to bring him back next week. Poor Cefa should have been put out of his misery at least two months ago; if he’d been my cat, he would have been. Whatever was wrong with him, he died of starvation despite eating voraciously. Such awful agony that I witnessed that night is avoidable; there’s no comfort for the owners in leaving an animal to die like that.
But really, that’s not why I’m writing this. The reason is that I saw something quite amazing that night and still can’t quite believe I saw it. I’d been sitting on the floor beside him for three hours and during all that time I kept thinking he had died, but whenever I spoke to him he responded with a pitiful noise to let me know he was still alive. At 5.40am I decided to make myself a drink. I was standing by the kettle, Cefa was on the floor just to my right, when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like a creamy white thin mist rise up from his head. I turned to see what it was – but it had gone, or at least I couldn't see it any more. I bent down to check him. His eyes were still bright, though expressionless. I stroked his chin; he let out a deep sigh. I thought he was still alive but a few seconds later his pupils dilated and his eyes became black and lifeless. He had finally given up.
What was it I saw? Could it have been that thing we call a soul/energy body/spirit? I think it was.
If grief is a measure of the love we feel for a soul that’s taken from us; then I loved you very much Cefa – I just wish I had/could have done more to help you.