Here is an update about my little hospice kitty, Pookie. In it are lessons of why it’s important to strengthen our inner guidance and listen to that wee voice which is our Highest Self. In retrospect, I realize that I would have missed one of my life’s most rewarding moments had I not done so…
As many of you know, last August I felt a need to take a break from the shelter environment after seven years due to compassion fatigue and a feeling of futileness. In September, I officially resigned. I explored other opportunities and followed a recommendation by a former fellow shelter volunteer to a cat sanctuary dedicated to providing shelter and loving care for older felines made homeless due to the terminal illness, incapacitation or death of their owners.
Unbeknownst to me, in August they took in a cat whose owner had died and ended up at a local shelter. Pookie lost a potential adoption when her blood work revealed she was in end-stage renal failure, so Hearts That Purr came to the rescue and took her in to provide hospice care for what little time she had left.
Visiting one or twice a week, I ventured from room to room, visiting all the kitties, including Pookie, spending a little time with each. Some were more reserved while others enjoyed the attention. One day in early December, I happened to sit on the couch in the main room and Pookie climbed up to say hello, sat in my lap, looked at me with her beautiful green eyes, said her unique “Maa!” (more like a bark), and promptly fell into a deep relaxed sleep. She was usually rather restless, often caused by the kidney disease. I was so honored that she chose me for this little ceremony, that I sat like a frozen statue for about two hours!
This became our usual ritual, and I found myself visiting five days a week to sit with this sweet little girl. She was so engaging and vocal, and would greet me eagerly by joining me on the couch for our special time together every time she saw me. Needless to say, our bond became deeper over the ensuing months, as we would sit in quiet meditation with her on my lap or next to me curled up in my arm.
As I previously posted, Pookie gave me a safe space in which to open up my heart and heal. At times, I would envision a man lying in a bed with breathing tubes. I also noticed that whenever I coughed, Pookie would look up even from a deep sleep with a concerned look and bark her “Maa” in an inquisitive manner, as if to say “Are you okay?”
A few weeks ago, I began seeing slight changes that indicated she was starting to decline. I told someone there that I felt there was someone waiting for her. Earlier this week, we discussed whether it was time, as we feared her going alone and afraid rather than in a peaceful manner. As I prayed and meditated on the situation, I was impressed that there was peace, love and light around the decision. I also sensed that the man who had died, whose name I couldn’t quite capture but knew it had three letters, has not been at peace because of his concern for Pookie and he was waiting for her.
I told this to the other caregivers and we agreed that it was time to let her go peacefully. She passed while I was holding her, surrounded by those of us who loved her for these past eleven months, much longer than we ever anticipated!
The following posts fill out Pookie’s story in more detail, filling in the blanks. I was comforted to learn that my impressions were confirmed and that this most deserving little kitty was going home to someone who really had loved her.
I feel privileged that I played a big part in her story! I believe we were fated to meet and heal each other’s hearts. I’m so happy I “listened” to my wee voice which serendipitously guided me to her and this organization at the very same time she arrived, where we could quietly pass our days together. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this wonderfully loving experience!
Hearts That Purr Feline Guardians, Tucson, AZ:
“Yesterday, with great sadness, we said good-bye to Pookie. Almost a year ago, we rescued her from PACC. She wound up there after her owner died and the friend who promised to care for her, didn’t. At PACC, it was discovered that Pookie had renal failure and she was scheduled to be euthanized. We took her in, knowing it was for hospice care, but we never dreamed she’d be with us for almost a year!…’
“Pookie had such a will to live and everyone loved her. She was not shy and alway…s had something to say, but over the past few weeks we knew her little body was fading and the time to set her spirit free was getting near. It’s always hard for everyone here to come to love a kitty and then have to say good-bye, but our volunteers have the biggest and strongest hearts. We want to especially express our gratitude for all the love and time dedicated to Pookie by our volunteer, Lorrie. We have no doubt that her love for Pookie helped this chatty, little calico have a good life far longer than anyone ever imagined. When it was time, Pookie passed peacefully in the arms of her devoted friend, Lorrie.’
“We’re sure Pookie’s dad, who loved her very much before he died, was patiently waiting for her on the other side, and that thought will always make us smile. Good-bye Pookie! You will always be a part of our Hearts That Purr family!”
Here is the link to their Website where you can read about the importance of planning for the ongoing care of our beloved pets should we no longer be able to do so…https://www.heartsthatpurr.org/
Posted on FB by daughter of friend after HTP adopted Pookie:
“First of all thank you for taking Pookie. She lived with my mother for awhile after her owner Lou begged us to foster her before he died of stage four lung cancer. Lou was an older gentleman and a veteran whose adult children moved away so his only company was Pookie. She is very male oriented and loves to sit on peoples’ laps and watch TV. She is super talkative and sassy….She would do fine with a smoker since Lou smoked heavily and I’m pretty sure the cat is nicotine addicted…She likes chasing lasers and was an indoor only cat. She is a good hunter and loves catching bugs and rodents that might wiggle their way into the house though. She will tell her human when it is time for bed and insistently herd them to the bedroom for snuggles…She is so sweet and sassy, she was lucky you saw her.”
Posted by the same person in response to the above FB post by HTP:
“I am sure Pookie has been reunited with her old owner Lou. Lou’s last wish before passing of lung cancer was that Pookie be given the chance at life that he was going to lose. He didn’t want to see her put down simply because he wasn’t healthy enough to live. Lou had asked his co-manager at work to look after Pookie, Lou was long divorced, estranged from his children, and had no friends except for this sassy little calico and the people he worked with. I spent some time fostering Pookie with my family after things didn’t go as planned for her, she loved to use our dog as a pillow. Unfortunately I moved and had to say goodbye to this sweet girl in favor of leaving her with her snuggle buddy for the time being and before my mother had to give up fostering her due to personal medical issues, I never thought she would wind up at PACC and am so thankful that Hearts that Purr gave Pookie a beautiful ending to a very sad story.”