Perhaps the reason why I took a picture of Henry as he lay dead in my lap was because I couldn't believe it really happened and perhaps I thought that the reality would sink in if I looked back on this picture several times later to make me realize that he was indeed gone.
Fifteen years of unconditional love was snuffed from my life in a matter of minutes and the pain has been unbearable ever since!
The scenario was that I made a 1:00 appointment on Friday to find out why he was so listless and unwilling to snuggle with me before I went to bed the night before.
On the last morning of Henry's life it was alarming to watch Henry lay motionless instead of pester Daisy while she stood in his space but I still hoped for the best. I was hopeful that all the vet needed to do was increase his dosage of hyperthyroid medicine or run a few tests and then he'd be fine.
Besides having been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism two years ago he had a heart murmur at birth and it was suspected that he had kidney issues and I believe that all of those health issues caused his body to shut down and I also believe he chose to die on my lap and in the car where he most loved to be rather than on the exam table.
If you've been following my posts for awhile you would know that ever since he was a kitten he loved car rides such as this one which was taken in October but I was unprepared that this ride would be his last but I refused to believe that the signs were there.
As we prepared to leave the house he faced the back of the carrier rather than peek inquisitively out of the "window". Also, as I walked him towards the car he had a different protest meow than ever before and once in the car he didn't "ask" to get out of the carrier but I opened the door anyway. He then walked across my lap and used my arm as a "ladder" so he could look out the window and he was successful and even pressed the passenger side window "button" and as it rolled down he collapsed so I hoisted him up but then he made another odd meow and that was the last sound I would ever hear but I didn't realize it at the time. Right after that I put my hand on his side and he appeared to not be breathing and then he grew cold and but I didn't want to believe he passed away even then.
As soon as I parked in the vet parking lot I nonsensically called the vet while in tears to ask someone to come out to check his pulse and to get help bringing him inside. I don't understand why I didn't think I could carry him into the building even to this day. Within seconds a vet came out with a stethoscope and told me he wasn't breathing. Of course, I was in hysterics and she carried him to the exam room where I had to make arrangements.
While I stood by him at the exam table the vet imprinted his paw on the clay and was told to bake the clay for 15 minutes but I have yet to find the energy to do it.
When I finally had the wherewithal to drive to Pet Passages, a pet after-care service located in Lee, New Hampshire, I asked the funeral director to snip some of Henry's fur so I could have a keepsake.
Henry will be forever in my heart!
I am finally writing about this because it is very therapeutic and because I know that you, dear readers, would be able to relate to my loss.
In the next few days I will write several remembrance posts so that you can better how much Henry meant to me and I will also post about my experience at the funeral home. In a few days I will be picking up his urn and ashes.
There is such a deep void in my life as well as in Buster and Daisy's life that cannot be filled.
May he rest in peace.