“Papa Eddie is FIP. She will have to be put to rest as she is in deep pain for the last two weeks and has no chance of survival beyond a few painful days.”
I was stunned, heart broken, depressed, dejected, angry, sad, all in that one moment that followed. Death is real and it comes unannounced. But not to our loved ones and not to one who has not even seen five months in this world.
“Bete, calm down and stop crying”, somehow the first words came out from my choked mouth. But I had to find some way of hope. After all you do not allow death to creep in just like that. “What is FIP? Maybe a second opinion that you were mentioning may help. May be there is a way out”, I was hoping that my words were not as desperate as they sounded.
“FIP is like a virus which slowly kills the immune system and also lets fluid build-up inside the body which leaks all over. It makes body weak and they stop eating and have deep pain in even moving from one place to another. Basically it is like the last stage of cancer for them. I can get the fluid tested from California but the Doctor says that there is no hope and it is FIP.” It must have taken her more than a minute to say all this over her painful sobs.
Pain goes from one heart to another at supersonic speed. Especially if is for a loved one. My daughter was sobbing in Ohio while seeing Eddie in deep pain and here in Toronto, I could not control the tide from my eyes, as the heart found that was the only way to reduce deep throbbing inside.
I had stopped believing in the most innovative creation of mankind, the creator whom they call God. God is where reason stopped and belief started for humans. God is what they have used to live and even fight and kill for. God is their father, mother, friend, philosopher and guardian while taking care of them in good and bad times.
But how can such a God be so harsh? How can he take young, nascent lives which are yet to blossom so cruelly while at the same time giving healthy lives to dictators, demons in human form and even old bodies living a vegetable life, biding their time for years without any reason? How can some be born in poor families, be born lame, blind, deaf, autistic or with tens of other ills while others enjoy normal lives being born in privileged family?
And don’t explain this by quoting the karma theory propagated by some religions. I too am a father and a father can never be a judge who will punish his children by giving them pain or by torturing them in disease filled bodies. No a father or a mother loves their children irrespective of their follies and will not go after them in after life. That level of cruelty cannot exist in a parent.
“You take that second opinion and get the fluid tested and I am rushing to you right now and we will fight this together and save our Eddie. You stay strong and I will be in Ohio by tonight.” I left the meeting that I was attending and rushed home to gather things and to take my wife along as I knew that this pain must be leaving its wounds in her heart too.
Yes Eddie was my daughter’s kitten who she had adopted a few months back along with another kitten she had found on the street, Charlie. Yes, I know that some of you cannot understand the pain a person can have for such children. After all we call them pets -dogs and cats and rabbits and birds and we cannot have similar feelings for them as humans.
But for a person like me who has the privilege of such children gracing our lives, it is different. I have my daughter’s adopted son, a black cat called Ira living with me and he has been my soulmate from the very day he came into my life. He loves me and my family unconditionally and showers so much love on us that we can never pay back. He has lifted me from gloom, from depression, from anxiety, umpteen times. When in the night he comes and puts his head on my arm and rests gently expecting me to cuddle him up with my arms and then upon my doing so, wags his tail and sleeps soundly; I actually enjoy some of the most joyous moments of my life. Ira is not like my child but my son, the most loved soul for all of us in our family.
And Eddie, I had met only once before in person but not a day passed when we would not see her joyous jumps in video chats with our daughter. She was Eddie the electric current who could not rest at one place and needed to be in continuous motion while playing and sharing her love with my daughter. When my daughter would reach back from office, Eddie had to climb on her shoulder and then rest there and head butt her to show her love or just stay and purr to loudly shout- I love you and you are mine. Forever!
And to see my child in so much pain, motionless and quiet on reaching Ohio, was one of the worst moments of my life. Eddie saw us and I took her in my arms and caressed her and within minutes we knew that we were family and that she was mine and I was here to stay with her and free her of this pain.
We tried everything. We took opinions from other vets and when we felt that there could be way out in Toronto if her fluid results came negative, we all rushed to Toronto after two days along with Eddie. After all she was our child and we were fighting to save her life.
Then came that dark moment for us when the Doctors looked at the fluid report and said that there was no other way out and that Eddie would have to be put to rest as she is in deep pain and will otherwise only live through a few painful days.
I learnt one thing clearly during those few days and moments that I spent with Eddie. Love has a lot of power. While Eddie was in pain that we could see in her gloomy eyes, yet when she was in our arms there was a sense of calmness and happiness in her which could be felt. And despite her state, she would continuously show her love to us by purring from time to time while touching us or just staring at us with those compassionate eyes.
And here I was in the hospital along with my daughter and wife to euthanize her with a dose of an injection which would first drug her followed by the second one which would end her journey in this world. No it was not possible. It cannot be but it was happening. We were sitting in that room while the Doctor was doing the medical preparation. Eddie started moving in the room looking at us her with her deep compassionate eyes. As if she was saying it is OK and that she loves us and she understands. And that we will meet again and she will wait for that day of reunion.
The Doctor came and asked me to hold Eddie in my hands as she started the process. I sat like a stone. I could not move an inch. I could not even move my hand. And then the dam burst. I was crying and crying uncontrollably. I was supposed to support my daughter and my wife at this time who themselves were in tears and here I was the weakest of them all. Why a young child like Eddie and why not me who was at the end of his life’s journey and had no further reason to live? I could not do it. I could not let Eddie go. I never will.
It was up to my brave daughter to be there with Eddie in her last moment and give her all the love that she needed. A mother has the courage, strength and love to be with the child even in such difficult times and convey to her that their love is strong and this one life is just a moment in the aeon and that we will meet again. Eddie was gone with her eyes wide open, smilingly looking at her mother, in her mother’s loving arms.
The world stopped for me and for all three of us. They were brave and showed tremendous courage and love. I was weak and totally shattered.
Something broke inside me that day. I have seen deaths in life and my father died holding my hand a few years back. But they were lives well lived and at the end of their journeys and I understood that the soul had to go to form a newer life form. But Eddie my child was so young. What made the created creator of humans give her such a deformed body?
I know now that it is all science. God is just an acknowledgment of that the science cannot explain as yet. However our bodies, this air, this space, earth, it is all Chemistry and Physics and Biology and mixture of that. What is of importance is the soul that enters the body and defines its existence and enables us to relate to each other. And then flows from one body to another to find its soulmates.
Eddie is gone. And I have not bid her good bye. I never will. As we will have a Rendezvous soon enough in another life form. True soulmates never leave. They just take a detour to meet again.
Dasvidaniya Eddie! We love you, forever.
Posted in Times of India on 1st Feb 2020. Link below-