Life and loss don’t stop just because one has cancer. In fact, they are sharp reminders that the world continues to spin in a manic pace as mine feels stifled and static in dealing with cancer treatments. Our sweetest cat in the world, Senjedt, died yesterday morning after living with kidney disease for the past year. It was a shocking week of watching her decline from slowed eating to limited drinking, and finally to not being able to walk at all. On the first day that she stopped purring, we knew it was time. After having a final romp outside, we spent the night loving her. Irene held her all morning, until the very last minute, and then we drove to the vet, where she was slipped medication that stopped her breathing. It was so peaceful and loving, and also surprisingly quiet. Why doesn’t a crashing sound happen when someone you love so much dies? How can you walk out into the world and see people going about their days when your own world feels so ripped apart? But it’s what happens. A good reminder to be compassionate to those dazed and confused souls in front of us in the shopping isle- who knows what burdens they may be carrying?
Senjedt was born to an alley cat mama who continually dropped litters in a Capitol Hill basement. Most of Senjedt’s siblings died, and she was the only little one to test negative for what the vet called “feline AIDS”. So Irene and her partner at the time, Gol, took in the little calico colored kitten with the crooked tail. She quickly became the loving and committed partner of the beautiful gray romeo of a cat Wilbur, who after 17 years of his own journey in the world, died this past spring. So, now, our “yin and yang” creature cats are gone, and the house is that much emptier.