He didn't seem to be in pain, so we moved him to the utility room, and it looked like he was doing okay, only using the litter box, and we were able to love on him and hold him Tuesday night, although we didn't risk him sleeping with us.
Wednesday morning, though, when I went to let him out, give him his meds and love on him some before I started my day, I knew. He was in pain and when he went to pee, he screamed--not a low mewl of discomfort, but a loud, shocked noise. I moved him to my bathroom where he would have more room and Mabel could be with him, and made the phone call to Rick and to the vet. The vet said there was nothing more to do-it was an inflammatory disease. We scheduled the appointment for four, so that I could get the kids after school and they could say goodbye.
Reluctantly, I left Frankie to go to an appointment, and when I returned a couple hours later, he was bleeding, leaving a trail of blood across the bathroom floor as he looked for any place that would give him comfort. There was none. He convulsed at times, and it was heartbreaking to see him suffer. I made another round of calls, and my mom set about getting the kids from their schools and Meals on Wheels. I got the appointment moved up an hour, as I couldn't bear to sit beside my Frankie and watch him suffer.
He curled next to me for awhile, his back feet resting against my hand, and when the pain racked through him, he would push against my hand, his body stretching in outrage.
Pain making him curl in on himself.
The kids home, I broke the news to them, and they gathered near him, talking to him.
Bobby was able to hold him briefly.
Rosie and I hugging him before putting him
down and sitting by him while we waited.
Rick, Bobby, and I were with Frankie, petting him and loving on him, as the vet injected him. Frankie went to sleep, his body loosening in relief, and he passed peacefully.
From a couple weeks ago,
when we thought things were going to be okay.
Frankie was as fine a cat as there has ever been. He was my baby, and my heart aches to be without him, but I know what we did for him was the right thing. It would have been worse to sit there helpless and watch him suffer until he died on his own.
If there's a heaven, the girls and I picture him with Ibit and Cookie and Scooter, the three other pets we said goodbye to in the last seven months. In the middle of tears today, we pretended they were playing poker together, then pictured them playing twister and other games.
We are not fine. Not even okay. But we are learning, each of us in our own way, what it means to say goodbye time after time to loved ones. And I will go to sleep tonight, in my mind's eye picturing Frankie lying on my chest, one of his paws resting on my cheek, and I will find comfort in knowing he is not hurting anymore. We will be okay. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but we will.
Once upon a time--Ibit and Frankie.
Frankie breaking into the house.
Seriously wanting to be our cat.
Telling the chicken, "No."
Frank making himself at home in 2006.
It's going to take mighty big shoes to fill the role Frankie played in our lives.