TW: animal death (passed in sleep).
My grandparents rescued a cat about 7 years ago, and she apparently already had the name Marnie (my mother and I tended more towards Mar-mar). Marnie was somewhere between 2 – 3 years old when she was rescued; I honestly suck at keeping track of pet ownership, but my grandparents are sure she was 10 going on 11. She was a pudgy cat who looked an awful lot like what Japanese Bobtails look like, but her tail hadn’t ever been bobbed (it was just kinda shorter than you were expecting).
I don’t remember what health issues she had in the beginning, but my grandparents certainly never forgot needing to force feed her medicine for several weeks. Other than being overweight, Marnie seemed to be getting along alright for the majority of her life (my grandparents kinda put out a large bowl of dry food on a weekly basis, which is easier for the humans providing food and obviously not the best method of helping a cat lose weight). We weren’t living with Marnie 24/7, so it was a hill we weren’t going to try to die on while convincing my grandparents to give smaller daily portions.
About a year ago (sometime in the first half of 2016), Marnie started to lose weight without my grandparents changing how they feed her. At some point, they took her to the vet and found out that she had feline herpes. This was during my last undergrad semester, so I’m honestly not sure if she exhibited any other symptoms prior to losing weight. When I finished my summer with Tantrum, I came home to a much skinnier cat and other symptoms were noticeable (or at least connected to the feline herpes – congestion, discharge from the nose, sneezing attacks).
Feline herpes virus isn’t something that can be cured and everything will go away forever. Marnie didn’t react well to the medicine initially given to help head off possible secondary infections (she would throw it back up), so it was kind of a wait and see on how things progressed. Other than some nose discharge, occasional sneezing, and not gaining weight despite still eating like before, she didn’t seem to have signs of a serious secondary infection, so my grandparents just kinda kept on with mostly the same routine as before.
This past Saturday (7.8.17) my mother and I got a call that my grandparents buried Marnie. My mother, sister, and I visit my grandparents for lunch on Sundays, and they drop by during the week to our place (the consistent is dinner on Fridays). Apparently, she’d been eating less early in the week and uncharacteristically going off by herself to sleep (a sign my family has had experience with elderly pets doing when they’re getting close to passing). Other than an offhand comment that they needed to get home early on Friday because Marnie might’ve died on them, they didn’t really give a warning that Marnie had taken this downward turn (the comment fit in enough with some of their humor that it wasn’t like a gigantic red flag). During the day on Saturday, Marnie curled up on a small rug in a bathroom and passed in her sleep. We hope she went peacefully, and that’s the best we can do after the fact (*).
I personally haven’t done anything in the past from a spiritual / energy pov when a pet has passed on, in part because I’m not really needed to help with the crossing over or anything (bit too spirit worker-y for what I’m wired for). However, this time I got the memo that Psychopomp would be waiting where Marnie was buried for a purposeful transfer. It’s more of an exception thing and only got clearance because Marnie was a family pet.
Today (7.9, Sunday), we went out for Sunday lunch like any other week. I walked out in the backyard near the garden where Marnie was buried and, well, imagined the transfer. I remembered how Marnie felt when she headbutted your leg and how it felt to pick her up, and then I imagined Psychopomp stepping out from the shadowed undergrowth of the nearby woods and literally handing Marnie to It. I offered up some of the treats that I gave our cat tonight to Marnie as a little energy boost for the newly departed, and that was it.
Rest in peace, Mar-mar.
(*) I keep getting sidetracked by the recent issue of fleas. Like, my mother and I figured it out in less than 5 minutes on a Sunday visit on 6.18, and my grandmother was like ‘yeah, we knew’ yet they hadn’t done anything yet. We’re not entirely sure just how long she might’ve had fleas then, but within the next week, they’d gotten a flea collar (my attempt at vinegar might’ve guilted them into it). By the time we got into July, Marnie didn’t have visible signs of fleas, but my mother, sister, and I can’t look at that and know that Marnie definitely, 100% passed peacefully. There could’ve been something else going on that no one knew about.