Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, October 30, 2020

A perfect death for Twinky, and I was there

Twinky died, and I was honored to be holding her in her final moments. This is what I wrote about her on her arrival in July:

We took on another elder into the elder cat suite and she is a dear. She is 18 and I'm told to consider this a hospice case. Twinky was living her whole life with a couple, who grew older, but they had taken her to the vet right up to about 6 months from her arrival here. I can't go into detail, but there was some real drama and trauma in those last 6 months or more in her household with her people. The husband died, and the woman had to go into a facility.

It is believed she has stomach or intestine cancer which has been causing diarrhea, and she is on a steroid. I have not witnessed any, so let's hope. But no matter, we will take care of her. She is very lady like to get her pill so that is good. I spoke to her on arrival and told her I knew there had been traumatic events in the house. Who knows what parts of those events she witnessed. But I wanted to acknowledge them.
I knew it was coming a day ago. She had been sleeping more than normal, and when she got up to see me that morning, she fell to her side. But she was in no distress with breathing or actions. She was so tiny. At first, I was thinking, "Really? Another one, can we just go a month?"
But then of course, I moved on from that thought. You don't take elder-very elder-cats from the shelter with health issues thinking they will some how go on. But I also realized, I was able to give her exactly what I had intended to give her-a place to open up enough to feel the love and safety, and to release when her body gave out. It is why we do what we do, or I do. The idea of her in the shelter, with more sounds and louder activity, possibly in  a crate in the end due to her condition, it is our intent to get them out of there so they can die in a more homelike setting [the shelter people are hard working, caring, animal lovers, don't get me wrong, but they too love that we can help with these seniors that really aren't adoptable for most people].

When I held her and sang to here here, she was pretty much transcending, you see how her eyes are like glass, and I touched them-a sure sign her body is shutting down. I was so glad I was there. It was quiet and peaceful and who was lurking above me on the upper shelf? Walter. Perhaps he is taking up the work of our beloved nurse, Noritsu.

So on we go.