there really never are words for this, are there?
we are heartbroken. today we made the decision to say goodbye to our beautiful, gregarious cat, ella.
she honored us with sixteen years, which sounds like a lot but i selfishly would have taken more.
ella had struggled with a myriad of health issues in the last three years, some of which made us fear it was the end. somehow, each of those times, she endured and kept her same tenacious and entitled personality. she continued to open the kitchen cabinets and sleep on the bags of rice. she always looked you in the eye and held the stare, often speaking pointedly as though you understood what she was saying. she would still sleep in the bed at night, preferably under the blankets. she would find any available lap in the house, regardless of whether it belonged to a "cat person", always preferring your left side (which will remain one of life's great mysteries).
then three days ago she stopped eating. she was lethargic. she would not sleep in the bed and did not follow her pattern of clockwork daily habits. we chocked it up to the heat and humidity. then we realized that we were ignoring what was really going on, took a hard swallow and chose to give ella dignity.
what an exquisitely painful decision to end the life of a creature, a companion, that spent their entire life with you and what a great blessing these creatures choose to share their lives with us.