Sabine passed away at home in my arms less than three hours ago, with Sly holding her paw. She was exactly two months shy of her fifth birthday.
I sang her lullabies, and silly songs that I always made up to sing to her whenever I held her. She called out for me, and I held my baby, rocking her, petting her, and telling her how much we loved her, and not to be scared, that we’d meet again one day, and that I’d love her forever.
These past seven days have been some of the worst I have ever experienced, and yet, they have also been some of the best, because I got to spend them with my Sabine.
Sabine slept most of the day. After giving her IV fluids and some medication, I tried all sorts of combos and ways to get her to eat. When she wouldn’t even drink water, I knew that her time was close. I discontinued any further medication, and just focused on keeping her as comfortable as I could, never leaving her side.
For the majority of the day, Sabine slept in the bed I made her in the bathroom. Sometime in the afternoon, I dozed off, and awoke to Sabine lying next to me. We cuddled some more, and then I put her in my lap and we watched some TV on my laptop, like old times.
Later in the evening, Sabine got up and walked to our bedroom and, after sleeping some on our bed, she crawled into a shelf in our end table. I got her dog bed that she always used to sleep beside me, and put it near her. She would take turns sleeping in the bed, and sleeping in the shelf. Jenn came over to say hello to Sabine, and Sabine meowed at her. We pet and coddled her, and spoke to her. Whenever we said Sabine’s name, she still responded to us,–wagging her tail, opening her eyes, or squawking—just like our sweet baby always did.
I dozed in and out of sleep, only to be awoken by Sabine mewing. It didn’t sound like she was in pain, it was just a single meow like she was scared and wanted to know where I was. Each time, I would wake up and hold her paw, or her tail, or stroke her and tell her Mommy and Daddy loved her and that we were right beside her and would never leave her. She would relax once I spoke to her, and stroked her head, then she would return to sleep.
In her final hour, Sabine stumbled around the room trying to find a comfortable place to rest. She finally settled on a corner of the room near my clothes. At this point, she started having minor twitches, that progressed into what looked like tiny strokes. At the end of one of her twitches, she cried out and woke up Sly. I told Sly that it looked like it was time, and I picked her up in my arms and cradled her. Sly and I both comforted her, told her we loved her, told her to sleep, sang to her, and finally she had what looked like a massive seizure. It only lasted 30 seconds, after which, I knew she was mentally gone. She slipped into a coma and about 10 minutes later, she stopped breathing completely. We closed her eyes, gave her lots of kisses, and placed her in her dog bed beside our bed, so she could sleep with us one last time.
I can’t sleep now, and haven’t been able to sleep or eat normally for the past seven days since Sabine was diagnosed. Watching Sabine die was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had to endure, right up there with watching my dad die. Sabine was my baby, my little girl, and seeing her so young and so helpless just made my heart break into a zillion pieces. I never thought of her as just a ‘cat,” she was so much more to me than that. So many times I wished that it could be me going through this instead of her. I just wanted to make it better for her. So many times I contemplated if I had made the right decision to not have her euthanized, so that I didn’t have to watch her slowly deteriorate.
In the end, I think, or at least I hope, I did what she would have wanted. We had a lot of great and special and unforgettable moments the last couple of days since she’s been at home. Knowing how much she loved just being with us, I couldn’t imagine the thought of her dying in an unfamiliar hospital surrounded by people who didn’t know or love her. I think she would have wanted it this way, or at least I hope so. I hope that I did right by my brave little girl.
We are going to the crematorium in a couple hours. We’ll have her cremated in her dog bed, with her favorite princess pillow that she always carried around in her mouth, and left outside our door as a “present.” I feel empty more than anything right now. I can’t begin to comprehend that my little girl is actually gone.
Sleep in peace my little sweet baby. Mommy and Daddy love you.