It's been a week since the Beach household lost our beloved kitty, Muffin of over 16 years. And the heartache has not faded nor do I think it will anytime soon.
Muffin was originally a birthday present for my daughter's 5th birthday .She was born in a barn to a local farmer and the day we went to look at her we instantly knew she was the kitty for us. Her first night here I awoke in the middle of the night to her chewing on my ear. I said Muffin, what is the matter? Do you miss your mama? I snuggled her in and petted under her chin and within a few minutes she was sound asleep and snoring. She was loved beyond measure and loved to hunt , play and although not a big snuggler like our male cat , Crackers, she loved to be near us. She pretty much followed us around everywhere. I fondly remember her under the computer desk or under my feet when I sewed. I even had an old robe I threw under the sewing machine spot that became hers. She loved Christmas and would sleep in the fiberfill "snow" under the tree where I placed my ceramic village.
Like most cats I am sure , she grew into a routine. After dinner as we sat in the living room she would join us , hop on the back of the couch and lie there near our heads. All of a sudden you would feel a gentle tap tap on your head and it was her asking for a little petting. After the years passed she acquired an arthritic leg , loss of her hearing , the onset of what the doctor thought was diabetes and it was hard for her to groom herself. We tended to her a bit more because of all this, brushing her more, helping her up onto the bed at night and in her latest months because of her deafness I accompanied her when I let her outside.
The weekend before last, we arrived home after spending time near our daughter's college and I knew something was not right. I brought her up from the cellar where she sometimes liked to go in her later years and she couldn't walk without flopping over. She hadn't eaten much since we had been gone the two days . She instantly clawed the cellar door and wanted to go back down. That night she couldn't even make it to her litter box .
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was pick her up the next morning and place her in the carrier to bring her to the vet's. I knew in my heart this was her time. I walked her around the house one last time and she cried all the way down even though I talked to her . She fought the sedative trying to get off the table and although I was distraught I looked into her eyes and told her we all loved her and that she would soon be pain free. She all of a sudden looked at me and sighed a deep long sigh. Within a few seconds of the second shot she was gone. She just looked like she was peacefully sleeping in her carrier. We buried her in a lovely spot on our property that I can see from our dining room window and kitchen door under some oaks and next to an old stone wall with a view of the field she romped in as a youngster catching mice . She is next to our beloved Crackers . I hung a small wind chime in one of the smaller oaks and the tinkling yet still sad is therapeutic. That night I lit my electric candles in the windows facing her grave site so she knew we were there if she needed us.They are still lit. I visit her grave and sit on the grass and talk to her . It's hard. 16 plus years is a long time to have a shadow and not miss her. She was an integral member of our family. She is gone now to a pain free place but will forever be in our hearts. RIP dear Muffin. We love you.