At 5:45 am this morning I woke up to find my dear cat buddy Gulmarg was not breathing. It was barely 30 minutes after he looked at me with those peaceful, calm eyes of his and meowed his old loud 'Meow' - not the rough, laboured meow we had been hearing since we got back from our vacation to find him in a state of acute distress.
He had kidney stones and since all the vets were away during Diwali, we could not get him help on time and he suffered urine retention for almost two days with severe infection. While I was following all this long distance, the dear lady who was in charge of Gulmarg and Bageera back home was running helter skelter trying to find help. She found help, he was relieved of his distress after two days of what must have been absolute torture, but could not find the energy in him to start eating and drinking as he should have. He seemed to be getting better the doctor said so, the blood test a day before we arrived said so, the lady who was caring for him said so... yet when we arrived Sunday night, he seemed in distress, depressed and weak - not at all the Gulmarg we had left behind 2 weeks before. He was on saline and we were sure he would get better. I didn't leave his side for more than a couple of hours to get some food and milk for him.
Last night I was lying by his side, one hand on his paws and one on his head. Every hour he would meow, look at me briefly and then stare into space. This happenned atleast about 5-6 times during the night. The last time was at 5:15 am. He looked up at me meowed, put a paw on my hand and rest his head. I was convinced he was feeling better and slept for the next 30 minutes. I don't know what woke me up, whether he made a sound or he moved, but I woke up and he was not breathing anymore. We rushed to the vet's house and on the way he passed urine, that he was struggling with since days. Relief from his distress. His half open eyes gave us hope, may be we could still do something, may be we could save our little buddy who we had not yet gotten enough of (not that any number of years is ever enough). He was with us for barely 20 months. Yet this seperation is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. This overwhelming grief like its going to choke me. He was only 2 years old, the vet says she thought he was young enough and resilient enough to survive this - all the good signs were there, but it seems he was waiting for us, to give us the privelege of a few more moments together and the chance to care for him and hold his paws during his last hours.
Gulmarg my dear,
I know that when I stop feeling like I am withering away, I will be left only with beautiful memories of our times together - of the bats and pigeons you caught and ate, of all the moths and lizards you chased, of the many balls and fur mice that were torn apart for your pleasure, of you running around, jumping tables and doing somersaults with your brother Bageera, of your calm peaceful eyes and your loud purring in pleasure, of the way you licked our hands and legs and nibbled on our fingers and toes in affection, of how you surrendered to our caresses on your back, purring loudly, of all your attempts to sneak into our blanket when you slept with us and your loud persistent meowing at out bedroom door when you wanted to come sleep with us.
Gulmarg, I love you my dear buddy, from the tip of your ears to your sandpapery paws. You gave me a joy that was uncomparable, you gave me companionship, love and affection. You stood/slept by me when I was struggling with the PhD with your tail on my keyboard. You slept by me when I was struggling with migraines your purring comforting me. Knowing you, loving you and caring for you was a privilege my little buddy. Thank you for being you - the generous, loving affectionate, loud kitten that you were. Thank you for accepting us and loving us the way you did. You changed us and our lives. You will forever live in our memories my lil buddy. I love you.
I am suffering and I know grief has its own course and all I have to do is breathe in and breathe out and be. But it seems like the most difficult thing to do right now. All I can see is visions of my lil buddy in distress and then bidding him goodbye forever. Gulmarg was an amazing unique kitten and no other will be able to replace this void he has created, I will just have to learn to live with it.