… a thought making crooked all that is straight.

Not so strong

It’s my birthday this week and it is also a week of death: the first anniversary of my spiritual father’s death and tomorrow I am having my pet put down. As I pen these words she lies dying. Earlier on I lay next to her and imagined that my energy surrounded her. I hoped she would sleep and pass then, but alas death is not so eager to be urged on.

I am suffering death fatigue. Every couple of years I face the death of my pets. Former friends have yelled at me to get a pet that lives longer. But ultimately the life of an animal is not about my convenience. So I am custodian and guardian and friend throughout their lives. I do my best to stave off illness and yes, even death. But ultimately they must die and it’s my responsibility to carry them across that threshold.

Unlike a larger animal, such as a cat or dog, where it takes moments, death by injection for a rat can take half an hour to work. I have sat year after year with my own Kabbas (holy rat of the earthly incarnation of Durga, Karni-Mata), in my arms, tears streaming down my face, singing them their favourite songs, as I wait for their final breath … twitch … and death rattle.

I invariably do this on my own, except for the attentive support of my beautiful vet. She truly understands because she has seen me in those moments. Raw, yet strong. But I must admit that I don’t feel strong tonight.

©StarofSeshat 2017

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8 responses

  1. Di

    Oh, Sweetheart. I am so sorry. Sending you all loads of love’n’Catches at this time. Sorry I’ve not replied to your e-mail. xxx

    July 9, 2017 at 3:29 pm

  2. Hildegarde

    Dear Star, you of all beings know that death is just a transition, certainly if it is about your spiritual father. In this life (I’m 64 now) I’ve had countless cats (not all at the same time HA HA) and three dogs. All of them died or in case of the cats just disappeared. Luckily I had the grace of assisting some of them when leaving their body. Some passings were not so easy but we gave them the love we could give. We were not lucky with our rats: heart attack, tumor, etc…. At this time I am burning a candle for you and your dear Kabbas. Perhaps he comes back to you… he may appear in your dreams. A loving birthday to you dear Star of Seshat. OM OM OM

    July 9, 2017 at 9:13 pm

  3. Martijn van der Zon

    Death as a challenge.

    The confrontation with death, whether it happens far away or at close range, stirs up our emotions. Even more so when your birthday is just a few days away and mine just a few days ago.

    Sentient beings enter their next cycle of life with just one guarantee: that this cycle too must come to an end. The overwhelming evidence of this given eventually helps humans to accept this on a mental level. The emotional aspects however, are much more challenging.

    Emotions usually flare up suddenly, but may persist for much longer than their sudden occurrence would suggest. It is good to feel them, to taste them, to encounter their true and deepest nature before we let go of them. By the same token we must feel them and taste them and encounter their true and deepest nature, lest we can let go of them eventually. Emotions have their own cyclical nature.

    The way you share your stories about the lives and deaths of your precious rats is inspiring, and I thank you for your openness and authenticity.

    In these days of sorrow, dear Star, I wish you the realization that you are going through this ride accompanied by some far away and very close friends, who wish to celebrate your joys and your sorrows in unbreakable connection with you.

    July 10, 2017 at 11:16 am

  4. Thanks for the cwtches, Di. And no problem about the email. Hope you are doing okay x

    July 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

  5. Thank you, Hildegarde. You make such thoughtful comments and I look forward always to seeing you.
    Yes, the problem with fancy (pet) rats is that they live 2 to 3 times longer than wild rats, due to selective breeding in the 1970s. The price for an artificially extended life is that genetic weaknesses and tumours are very common. I have kept rats for 15 years now and have never had a rat die naturally from old age, I have always had to take that decision to end their pain due to some dreadful illness. But the love they give during their lives is worth the pain of separation. Yes, I do believe all my rats are still around me. Amongst some friends I am know as the “Rat Witch”. 😉

    July 11, 2017 at 10:11 am

  6. Dearest Martijn, I was very moved when I read your words this morning on waking. You are attuned to where I am at, which is a place of feeling the emotions to their fullest and not running away from them.
    Thank you for the reassurance of your company not only in personally troubled times, but during these larger days of tragedy around the world. As sensitive souls we cannot help but feel it. And because we feel it, we can empathise and show true compassion for others when they are suffering. Thank you, dear friend. ❤

    July 11, 2017 at 10:14 am

  7. Hildegarde

    Can I send you a photo?

    July 14, 2017 at 9:13 pm

  8. Yes! I will email you so you have my address 🙂

    July 15, 2017 at 1:42 pm

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