Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Scotty: The Die is Cast

Dear friends, you have walked with me over the last few days, and I am humbled by your kindness. It seems only fair to tell what is about to happen.

As I write this, I wonder how much more I can cry. I’m writing this here, but I expect I won’t spend much time online. I have spent this evening with Scotty. This is an odd thing I observe: I expected Scotty to nap. But he does not. He scarcely closes his eyes. I wonder: Is it the same as for me? I don’t want to close my eyes for a moment on our remaining moments.

This time tomorrow, Scotty will be in the presence of Godde, his soul knowing what is still hidden from me. He will pass from this life to the life of the soul.

An event happened this morning that told me “It is time.” I need to let Scotty go.

And so I made two calls. First, I called my priest to see about her schedule tomorrow. Then I called my vet and got on her schedule.

Here is what will happen: There’s a meeting I must attend at work tomorrow morning. Then I will come home at lunch-time and spend more quiet time with Scotty. At 3:45 [Central US Time], Scotty and I will be at church, where we will meet with our priest for prayers. … Thank you, 8th Sacrament, for making a suggestion that led me to that good decision. … Then we will come home and about 4:30, the vet whom Scotty and I call “Aunt Alice” – our beloved vet who brought Scotty back from near death in 2006 – will arrive at our home. She will administer the injections that will send Scotty’s body into death and his soul into the arms of Godde.

Alice and I had a good talk this evening. She, too, is grieving Scotty’s impending death.

Thanks to the prayers and liturgies I found, and those you sent me, I have no doubt that she will join me in prayer at that time.

I made the decision to ask Alice to come here to my home for two reasons. First, I know that Scotty finds vet visits stressful. More importantly, I believe the other two cats need to be present, need to know what is happening.

That is especially important, I think, for Mocha, who is Scotty’s dearest friend. She adores him, and I believe she needs to know what is happening to him tomorrow evening. It wouldn’t be fair just to take him away. She needs to be here with us, to see it, to sense it.

Let me tell you a couple of stories about Scotty and Mocha.

Back in 2008, when Alice and I put Shug to sleep, Scotty was there with us. He and Shug had been fast friends. He groomed her after the injection and after her death.

When Scotty and I were left alone, I didn’t plan to get a 2nd cat … but fate had another plan. A few weeks later, I had Scotty at the vet’s for boarding over a weekend. When I got there, the staff told me about Mocha, a young cat, and that she and Scotty had bonded. Mocha was a 6-month-old foundling, in need of a home. Scotty was “old man” by then. They took me back into the kennel area, and put Mocha into Scotty’s cage. Mocha immediately started grooming Scotty, then curled up tight against him. I could see that they were a good match. Mocha came home with us. And she has always been that way with Scotty. She adores him.

I’ve told you that Scotty has become very unsteady on his feet. He has adopted the bathmat as his favorite place lately. This evening, after the cats had eaten, Scotty wandered back to that bathmat. Mocha ran ahead of him, and lay down on the rug. Scotty tottered onto it, and was trying to do that “circling in preparation for lying down” that cats do. But he’s too weak. He just fell down – his torso directly upon Mocha’s head. And Mocha didn’t move a whisker. She just let him lie upon her. … Of course, this was one of very many moments that sent me to tears. What dear friends they are!

I went to do a couple more chores around the house … getting ready for tomorrow. When I went back into the bathroom, they were still on the bathmat, but with Mocha lying with Scotty, grooming him, and generally loving on him. I clipped this photo.


Click to embiggen.

I hope these stories will help you understand why I say I feel Mocha must be present tomorrow, when Scotty departs this life.

Scotty’s been by my side on the sofa as I have written this. We are intentionally together more fervently, more intentionally than we generally are. He refuses to close his eyes, as I refuse to have him out of my sight. Perhaps he, too, knows what’s going to happen tomorrow.

Dear friends, I know that many of you have sent words of prayer and support on the blog or via e-mail. I have read them and wept over many of them. But I just can’t reply individually tonight. Tonight, it’s just time for Scotty and me. I hope you understand.

I'm going to gather Scotty up into my arms and take him to bed with me. One more time. I want to feel him lying with me one last time. I think you all get that.

This time tomorrow, I won't have him with me. He'll be with Godde. I know it, but it's still so hard to accept.

So ... I'm going into "radio silence" for a while. I give thanks for the prayers I know you all are sending. I am blessed by your friendship.

As I write this, Mocha has hopped up on to the sofa, and she's grooming Scotty again. "Having loved her own ... " These kitties break my heart.

48 Comments:

Blogger Wormwood's Doxy said...

(((Lisa)))

(((Scotty)))

(((Mocha)))

9/21/2010 10:00 PM  
Blogger Caminante said...

Lisa, your note breaks my heart, for you... Scotty has the look of a dear, dear cat... I have not had to make the decision you have made; my cats all made it for me. But you are preserving his dignity. I don't have words though I am soooo glad your priest will spend time with you. Were I out there, I would, too.

Know that there are those of out here who understand the depth of loss that comes with the death of a beloved feline or canine. We can't be physically with you but spiritually we will be.

Tomorrow at the noon HE I will remember you. I will also mention to Sally, an 88 year-old woman who understands cats that I have a friend who is saying goodbye to her beloved feline. She is a good pray-er and she will remember you both.

May there be human arms to hold you as you go through this.

Lots of prayers from me and purrs from the four. Lee

9/21/2010 10:05 PM  
Blogger skittles said...

**hugs**

**hugs**

**hugs**

Let our prayers rise like incense...

with sighs & cries too deep for words...

9/21/2010 10:17 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

An unearthly peace do I bid you and Scotty this night...I will remember tomorrow and be with you in spirit.

9/21/2010 10:18 PM  
Blogger Jane R said...

Love and hugs and sad accompaniment from me and +Maya.

Caminante and Doxy said things much better than I could. I am thinking of you and Scotty and Mocha...

9/21/2010 10:21 PM  
Blogger James said...

My dear Sister Lisa;
At 3.45 tomorrow I shall be in church making a visit with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. You and Scotty shall be there with me. That is all I can do for you both.

Scotty, God's blessings on your new adventure. Thank you for being such a good friend to Lisa.

9/21/2010 10:21 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

The words are gone. Only silence. Your pain is mine, I bear it with you, but cannot take it from you.

I love you, Lisa.

9/21/2010 10:29 PM  
Blogger Dennis said...

I cried and cried when I read this. Oh gosh I am so sorry and will be thinking about all three of you tonight and tomorrow.

9/21/2010 10:37 PM  
OpenID eighthsacrament said...

Take all the time you need with your beloved. I think I may have done one helpful thing on accident, so I'll not try to tempt fate, but may fuzzy and skinned arms alike be there to comfort you.

9/21/2010 11:11 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Lisa, I'm just coming in to this conversation and can feel your pain all the way across the country. I know the pain of losing beloved companions ... and will hold all of you in prayers tomorrow ... you, Scotty and Mocha.
Lauren

9/21/2010 11:20 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

I am grateful for your prayers, but please stop. Quit sending me prayers for tomorrow. Scotty died. I am devastated.

Shortly after I posted this note, he went into spasms and hyperventilation. I called my vet, and she came quickly. While waiting for the vet to arrive, I held Scotty to my chest and said all the prayers that you all have sent me. I prayed like I've never prayed before. I did my best to sing peace to him.

And now I don't get to have that "one last night" cuddling Scotty that I had craved. He is gone.

I thought I could do this in an orderly way, with prayers. I thought I had one more day with him. But no.

9/21/2010 11:40 PM  
Blogger IT said...

{{{{Lisa}}}}

{{{{Scotty}}}}

It was his time. He stayed as long as he could. He left, knowing only love. We should all be so lucky.

Take care of yourself, dear friend. We have them for far too short a time--but long enough to learn what they alone can teach us.

9/21/2010 11:55 PM  
Blogger JCF said...

{{{{{{{Lisa}}}}}}}

Scotty's with his Higher Power now (and w/ Shug). He purrrrays for us.

I pray you feel the Balm of Gilead (and the tactile warmth of Mocha)

9/22/2010 12:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

OK. You all recognize you are making me sob, right? As if I haven't sobbed enough?

But IT, I think you're right. I think he stayed as long as he could. The suddenness of his collapse suggests that to me.

And, yes, all he has known with me was love. And in the time I spent tonight-- between his crash and the vet's arrival -- I redoubled that love, offering nothing but love and the very fine prayers you all have shared with me.

Much as I miss him, I told him this evening: I am jealous, for he's waking in the arms of Godde, and I still have only a distant understanding of Godde's love.

I get all that. And yet ....
GAWD! I miss my Scotty!

9/22/2010 12:10 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

No words. Just tears.

9/22/2010 12:23 AM  
Blogger Kirkepiscatoid said...

You hang in there. I am glad I got to know Scotty, even from a distance. You know you have my prayers.

9/22/2010 1:27 AM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

Weeping with you, Lisa.

9/22/2010 1:30 AM  
Blogger Fran said...

Oh Lisa, I am so sorry for your loss. There really are no words. I send you my prayers.

9/22/2010 4:06 AM  
Blogger Lindy said...

I am sorry for this huge loss. If I had any words of comfort I'd say them, but I know they wouldn't be enough.

Peace,

Lindy

9/22/2010 6:05 AM  
Blogger Lindy said...

I am sorry for this huge loss. If I had any words of comfort I'd say them, but I know they wouldn't be enough.

Peace,

Lindy

9/22/2010 6:06 AM  
Blogger jerseyjo said...

Love and prayers to you, Scotty, and Mocha. Our thoughts are with you all.

-- from Flame and jerseyjo

9/22/2010 6:48 AM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh Lisa, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for the last night you and Scotty didn't share. The picture of Scotty and Mocha broke my heart. I pray you find comfort in the certainty that Scotty left surrounded by great love.

Farewell, Scotty.

My prayers for you and Mocha continue, dear Lisa.

9/22/2010 9:03 AM  
Blogger James said...

Lisa, if you think we are going to stop sending you prayers NOW, you're crazy (well you are an Episcopalian). I won't take Scotty with me this afternoon, but you will be there with me as I make a holy hour for you.

Blessed Scotty, pray for us.

9/22/2010 9:12 AM  
Blogger James said...

Lisa, I agree with IT; Scotty stayed as long as he could.

There is a sermon in this, and it will take you some time to process it, but there is a wonderful resurrection sermon waiting for you to write.

9/22/2010 9:16 AM  
Blogger Leonardo Ricardo said...

¨Scotty stayed as long as he could¨...he didn´t go very far away, he loves you and knows that you and Mocha love him too.

I´ll light a votive candle right now for Scotty and all who love him...there is a Virgin Mary of Gudalupe amongst the flowers in the garden to share my thoughts and prayers with.

Peace be with you

9/22/2010 10:16 AM  
Blogger Hilary said...

Prayers and comforting thoughts from me to Lisa. I know how hard this is.

9/22/2010 10:22 AM  
Blogger BooCat said...

Lisa, Your post has left me in tears. I am praying for peace for you, Mocha and Scotty.

9/22/2010 10:28 AM  
Blogger Bex said...

Scotty has gone into Love. Forever. He'll meet you at the Bridge.

9/22/2010 11:05 AM  
Blogger Bex said...

Scotty has gone into Love. He'll meet you at the Bridge.

9/22/2010 11:06 AM  
Blogger Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

The cost of love is pain. God bless you and your dear companions.

9/22/2010 12:43 PM  
Blogger motheramelia said...

I shed tears as well and I will be praying with you this afternoon. Such a good decision to let Mocha be there. When one of my daughter's two dogs was put down at home, the other was there and walked alongside him after he was dead, to the van. They understand far more that we know.

God's peace surround you and Scotty (and Mocha).

9/22/2010 1:11 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

As I write this, you are waiting for Aunt Alice to come so that Scotty can begin to make the journey back to the One who created him.

I am praying fiercely for you and Scotta and Moca.

Peace, peace, deep and abiding peace.

9/22/2010 1:27 PM  
Blogger Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Prayers for you and Scotty, dearest Lisa!

9/22/2010 2:10 PM  
Blogger Göran Koch-Swahne said...

And Prayers for Mocha, too...

9/22/2010 2:12 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Lisa, many tears over Scotty, and you, and Mocha. I do know how hard this is, having lost my two cats within four month of each other (while I was overseas on Sudan, no less). And to quote others, sorry, but the prayers WILL continue.
Blessings and love,
Lauren

9/22/2010 3:32 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Prayers!

I do not say do not weep, not all tears are evil. J. R. R. Tolkien

So true.

FWIW
jimB

9/22/2010 4:09 PM  
Blogger JCF said...

Just checkin' to see how you're doin', {{{{Lisa}}}}

Still holding you in prayer (AS IF we would stop, Lisa. C'mon, you know us Piskies. We NEVER do as we're told! ;-/)

***

As fate would have it, yesterday I attended an Open House at my local (Sacramento) Volunteer Center. All sorts of non-profits were there, inc. "Happy Tails", a cat shelter. They, in turn, had "Zosie" there (a cute Tortie), ready to adopt.

There's a whole lotta kitties in need of "Forever Homes" . . . WHEN you're ready.

9/22/2010 5:17 PM  
Blogger Caminante said...

I was at the vet's today at the time I thought you would be with your vet and told them about you, not knowing that Scotty had already taken matters into his paws and made the decision himself last night. I am sorry you could not have the prayers you envisioned but I hope you could find the ones you needed. When I get to church tonight for choir, I will light a candle for Scotty, Mocha and you.

9/22/2010 5:31 PM  
Blogger susankay said...

Just crying

9/22/2010 7:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Alas. So sad. Prayers for Scotty, for Lisa and for Mocha.

9/22/2010 8:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

My dear friends, you have sent so many notes, so much love and support … I am powerless to respond to all your notes. I read them, but I am trying hard not to “lose it.” In general, I am feeling a sense of peace. Scotty made the decision for me, and we had a good final evening together. However, some of your notes … and my own mental cinema … occasionally make me burst into tears. While I believe Scotty is in the arms of Godde … I am occasionally struck by how much I miss him. Nothing new about that, I know.

9/22/2010 8:03 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thank you, IT. I am touched by your observation that “He stayed as long as he could.” I think you are correct.
Yes, I am sometimes miserable in my human relationships. But I think you are correct that Scotty knew only love. And – for sure! – he knew only love last night as I held him and prayed with him.
You are so right: We have them for too short a time.

JCF, I hadn’t thought of that – that Scotty’s soul is now with the soul of Shug, whom he loved so very, very much. Thank you for this comforting realization.
Of course, now the question is “What in the world will Mocha do without her beloved Scotty?”

For those of you who offered quite, taciturn responses: I understand! God knows, when you all have suffered these losses, I felt at a complete loss for words. So I am just glad you are thinking of me and Scotty. When the bottom line comes, there is little we can say.

Yes, Grandmère, Mocha adored Scotty right to the end. How she wriggled around, trying to comfort and care for him. Yes, I am sure that Scotty left surrounded by love. Even our vet, making the injections here at home in the late night, was on the verge of tears. It was all love.

9/22/2010 8:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

James, you’re right. When I said the prayers should stop, I was being stupid and in despair. I am comforted that you took Scotty and me to prayers today. I repent of my despair last night.
You wrote: “There is a sermon in this, and it will take you some time to process it, but there is a wonderful resurrection sermon waiting for you to write.” I hope you are correct and that I will someday find that sermon.

Deep thanks, Leonardo. I drew comfort today, knowing you would be lighting a candle so very far away.
Isn’t this blogosphere thing weird and wonderful? I am grateful for the friendship of so many of you, though I haven’t met you.

Oh, Tobias! “The cost of love is pain.” My soul groans with the truth of that statement.

Yes, MotherAmelia. I think they know. My vet even made that point. Mocha made herself scarce while Alice was administering the injections. After, Alice suggested I find Mocha and bring her to Scotty. When I did, she sniffed and licked just a bit. Alice said something like: “She didn’t need to see his body. She already sensed his soul departing.”

You know what? My vet has more pastoral sensitivity and presence than a lot of ordained people I have known. I found myself seeing her as a sort of priest. Her honor and respect for life and death was truly holy.

Thank you, Elizabeth. I hope you have now seen that Scotty departed already … too soon. Too soon.
But yes, I believe firmly that Scotty returned to Source of all Being.

9/22/2010 8:05 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Oh, Lauren! I cannot conceive the grief of losing animal companions – and two of them! – while you had to be away! … Actually, that’s part of what made me schedule an appointment for today. I knew I was going to be away this weekend at diocesan stuff, and I couldn’t bear the idea of Scotty dying alone. As fate would have it, Scotty didn’t get the memo and decided to depart on his own schedule.
I am touched by the challenging comment that you, James, and some others have offered – that the prayers will continue. My theological self understand that God is not bound by chronological time. So, yes, please keep them coming.
You keep praying. I’ll keep weeping. And perhaps we’ll meet somewhere in the middle.

JCF @ 9/22/2010 4:09 PM --
Thanks for checking in. Mostly, I’m doing ok.
And definitely grateful all your Episcopalians who continue to pray.
I think I don’t want to adopt again for quite a while.
You make me think: Perhaps I should intentionally share photos of my other two cats with you all. They are dears. … But I worry that, without Scotty, “the center cannot hold.”

Thank you, Caminante.
And thank you for the charming phrase – that Scotty “had already taken matters into his paws.” I’ll have to remember that one.
Yes, I wish he had waited. I wish he had let us go to church, where he could receive prayers and blessings from my priest.
I suppose he just could not hold on any longer.

9/22/2010 8:06 PM  
Blogger IT said...

Oh, Lisa. Hug your remaining kitties. Things will change, of course, in how they are and how they are with you. But remember they've had a loss too, especially Mocha. Still, the center has shifted, not collapsed. All of you will grieve together.

This post and thread made both me and BP cry. And we gave special loves to Bubba in memory of his fellow orange cat.

Tobias is right.

9/22/2010 9:41 PM  
Blogger whiteycat said...

Lisa, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Having been away for a week I am trying to catch up on the blogger news. I apologize for being late to respond. Cats are such special creatures who show us unconditional love. I think they give us a wonderful preview of heaven.

May God fill you with love and peace at this difficult time. Prayers from me and my four felines.

9/23/2010 10:07 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Doubt it not, IT. The two remaining cats are getting much love. Especially Mocha, who seems to be suffering most from Scotty's death. She's seeming much more needy than usual. Yes, hold your Bubba tight.

9/23/2010 10:31 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Not to worry, Whitecat. I often fall behind on my blog-reading. I'm just grateful for your note.

9/23/2010 10:32 PM  

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