I had a scare with my 20year old cat, Gepetto, a few weeks ago; She had been deaf for many years, but now she suddenly seemed to have turned blind, was walking into things and generally showed erratic and strange behaviour. I immediately thought it was a brain tumour, and I was getting ready to call the vet to let her go. As it was a Saturday, this call got delayed and I had an agonising weekend considering whether I needed to euthanise her or whether she would die by herself. This was especially difficult as Gepetto had been such a smart and independent cat all her life (she moved twice across the ocean with no difficulties at all). I really did not want to make decisions for her if she wanted an independent death. At the same time, I was very stressed, as I was about to travel a week later, and I certainly would not have wanted to leave this problem with the cat sitter.
Below are some experiences (both with traditional Western medicine, homeopathy and spiritual/shamanic work) – which may help others.
Note: Gepetto is back to almost ‘normal’ now: it turned out that high blood pressure had slightly damaged her eyes, but as she is now on blood pressure medicine, the damage could be reversed, and she is back to seeing quite well.
What the vet said: A lot… but here is the summary: As long as they are eating, not soiling themselves, and doing 2-3 things they enjoyed before (such as sun-bathing on their favourite bench), it is usually too early to put them down.
Homeopathy: If you notice your pet is dying but would rather have her/him die at their own speed than putting them down: Try to give Ars Alb homeopathic remedy. This does certainly not kill the pet, but if it is time for them to go, it will support them letting go at their own speed.
Personal work: To enable the pet to let go and pass over to the next phase of his/her life peacefully and with joy, it is important to give a lot of love, but not to start grieving too early while the pet is still around. A friend who is an animal healer told me to take the stance of “the mother who is waving good-bye at the airport, when her son boards a plane to take a job on the other side of the world”. What the son needs is a joyful, hopeful farewell – not to be burdened with the grief of his mother.
For me this was very difficult, as the loss of my feline friend of 20 years also triggered lots of emotions about my own adventures, decisions, and experiences of the last 20 years. I missed some earlier aspects of my life, and I re-lived some difficult aspects. To deal with this, I would go and hide away in my bedroom, having a good cry, but when the cat was around, I just transmitted love and hope, and maybe a weeny bit of sadness, but not too much of it.
I also started to do some spiritual and energy work on myself, to build up the strength to be at Gepetto’s side until the very end, if she would have to be put down.
Spiritual/shamanic work to decide what to do:
Many of you who know how to journey in shamanic ways – or have some other ways of getting advice from spiritual helpers – will probably use these methods to gain some clarity on whether it is time and how to support the pet. Here are a few experiences:
Healing work for the dying pet
Even if the pet is dying, it still may appreciate some healing (Reiki, shamanic soul retrieval, shamanic extraction etc). It is lovely for the pet to pass over in a healed and spiritually strong state. The intention of this work is not to cure, but to heal to enable a great and wonderful transition.
It is legal in the UK to bury a small pet (not a horse) in your own garden. Think about this a bit, and whether you would like to keep the body of the pet for a short time and organise a wake for it for its friends to come and say good bye. I will write another blog about this.
All photos are from my journeys in the UK and abroad (besides the totem pole and medicine basket). They are here to celebrate the beauty of creation and remind us of our own strength and beauty.
The art work is provided by some of my talented friends (see captions on pictures).
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