this is going to be a dark one with maybe a few funnies tucked in around the edges. abandon ship if you're not up for it.
shortly after she went to kitty heaven, we got another cat, named onyx & she was my furbaby. she was the one who i snuggled with & adored while i was going through infertility crap for a couple years. she was gentle & friendly and she liked to be nurtured by a needy, wanna-be-mom, or so i told myself.
one night, chris & i were hanging out, taking turns playing on the computer & playing with our little onyx before retiring for the evening. we were in a really good mood, lots of laughing & a general sense of wholeness and contentment. we had just crawled into bed & were still giggling when we heard a noise from the other room. i thought it was probably the kitty knocking something off the dresser. it wasn't a big noise, more of a little thump. but chris, being manly, stood up, thumped himself on the chest & declared, caveman style, "i am MAN! i investigate noises in the night! OOG!" i clapped appreciatively and bounced around a bit because that's what cavewomen are supposed to do when their man saves them from scary noises.
he was only gone for a few seconds before he yelled, "oh no! come here, quick!" all fun and games vanished in those five little words. i dove out of bed & into the guest room where he was crouching down. he was leaning over the cat, who was lying on the floor, motionless. the noise we'd heard was onyx falling off the window sill. she was dead. with no warning, she went from frisking about the house with us one minute to dead on the floor the next.
we were beside ourselves trying to figure out what we should do. we'd never had a pet die in our house before and neither one of us really wanted to touch her. we held a mirror up to her nose to check for breath. we called 911 to see if they'd direct us to a number for an all night animal hospital (they did. don't mock me. it felt like an emergency to me.) because we were too spastic to find it in a phone book. we debated giving her mouth to mouth, but by then, it had been at least 10-15 min & surely it was too late, plus, ew. frenching our dead pet somehow seemed like too much even to us at that point.
we finally decided that our poor kitty baby was really gone and we needed to figure out the next step. um... i couldn't bear the thought of her being in the house all night. i knew i wouldn't be able to sleep knowing there was a dead family member in the laundry room who might possibly have gone grossly stiff & have her legs straight up in the air when i awoke the next morning. she needed to go away. immediately.
but it was 2am. and it was raining. and it was cold outside. but she needed to be out of our house. i knew that sometimes coyotes ran through our neighborhood at night because i could hear them howling on occassion, so we couldn't just put her outside. the thought of waking up to find bits & pieces of her carcass spread around the yard complete with teeth marks and blood spatters was too much for us, so we decided that we'd bury her. but again, it was the middle of a dark, cold, rainy night.
we bundled ourselves up in dark clothes. we put our kitty baby into her favorite bed & then double bagged her into garbage sacks in hopes that the critters wouldn't smell her & dig her back up. we went out to a big empty field that was behind our house & through some brambles and brush. it was one of those fields that was used for growing hay, so we knew she wouldn't get dug up by a farmer plowing his field in the spring.
it was kind of horrible with some hilarity thrown in at the same time. we took turns digging in the hard ground until we felt that we'd made a hole big enough and deep enough to fit the cat & her bedding comfortably. we felt like some kind of treacherous body hiders as if we were committing a crime, because who else would be out at 2am burying a body? a car drove by at one point & slowed down a bit, so we hit the dirt & lay still until they passed because we didn't want someone calling the police to report suspicious individuals digging in a field in the rain. we didn't want to have to dig her back up later to prove that we really were just burying a cat & not a trash bag filled with human remains. or pirate booty.
it took much longer than we would have liked & we were soaked by the time we stumbled back home. we showered til the hot water ran out to wash away the dirt & cold & sadness that we seemed to be covered in. we sobbed in each others arms because we'd just lost our second beloved baby. the whole thing was too overwhelming. i think i wept for the human babies i couldn't conceive as much as the furry babies i couldn't seem to keep alive. it was a night that will forever stand out in my mind as one of my biggest losses emotionally and one of those growing up moments that we never like, but we all go through sooner or later.
goodbye, onyx. we still love you.