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Bonsai Sable

It all happened so quickly.

Bonsai Sable was a perfect gentelman companion with an acute sense of humor and handsome, distinctive markings. He was a Seal Point Birman with deep sapphire-colored eyes; I called him my "Seal Point Fur-Man".

From kitten hood, I demonstrated to him the value of good music by sporting his collar with an engraved red heart inscribed with the words: "I Love The Beatles"!

He loved to walk on a leash, take rides in the car and ride in the shopping cart at the pet superstores as I picked up the "necessities" for him. While there, he also loved to lounge around on the cat furniture, as I looked on.

Although not a "lap cat", his presence was ubiquitious around the house. Just when I thought he'd gone off to sleep, he'd swish his sable-colored tail around my leg and a tingling-sensation would course through my veins.

I loved to pet his "perky points" (ears) since they were as soft as a gentleman's velvet hat. He wore a silky, ivory-colored fur coat paired with four white shoes -- in fashion, white goes with everything doesn't it?

Four long days ago after an afternoon of fun with a friend, I found him, at home, struggling to get up and meet me at the door as I'd grown accustomed to. Upon closer inspection, I could see why he didn't meet me as he so obviously wanted to do; his back legs were completely paralyzed and he physically couldn't do it. Instinctively, I knew it was serious and the outcome would probably be worse than I could imagine. But for now, I couldn't let my mind go there because my job was to concentrate on getting him medical help immediately.

I rushed him to his regular vet but they weren't equipped to handle an acute emergency such as this, so they sent me to the Emergency Clinic thirty minutes away. On the way to the ER, Bonsai vocalized anxiety, distress and pain as I helplessly drove through five o'clock traffic on the freeway; all I could think of is "are we there yet?".

Finally, I handed Bonsai who was wrapped in a towel, over to the expertise of people I'd never met in my life. For a short time, I held out hope that something could be done. But, as the vet called me back to Exam Room Number Four, I began to hear, with disbelief, the medical explanation of what fate had befallen my handsome, well-dressed man -- deep saddle thrombus due to cardiomyopathy. The damage had been massive and permanant. What did it all mean?

He'd never been sick a day in his seven-and-a-half years; how could he have had a heart attack? I just couldn't understand it.

My heart raced as I continued to intently listen to her recomendation. "Euthanasia is the most humane and loving answer", she said. "Are you sure?", I heard myself question. It was like I was in the body of another person watching this happen to somebody else. All I wanted to do was see Bonsai and take him home. I was wishing this had just been a bad dream and I would wake up and everything would be fine.

When they brought him back in to the room to see me for the first time after the ordeal, he was in such distress that I couldn't bear to see it. I had to ask them to remove him from the room and give me some time to think. I called my husband to tell him the bad news. "Yes", he said, "I need to come there to see him, too."

As I waited over an hour for my husband to arrive, I tried to process the obvious questions; what had just happened and had I done enough? I didn't want to live with guilt or regret so I reasoned that it would be the best thing for Bonsai to let him go. The only problem was that I was worried about how my husband would react when he heard the bad news. For now, it was just a waiting game. As I waited, I couldn't help but wonder how many others had received bad news of their pet's demise in this same room.

Upon arrival, my husband was promptly escorted to Exam Room Number Four where I was blurry-eyed and waiting for him. All we could do was cry in each other's arms and moan with deep groaning that couldn't be uttered.

It certainly was not a decision I took lightly but I knew I couldn't linger and prolong the inevitable. I just couldn't verbally say goodbye. The reason I couldn't do that was because I had told him how much I loved him during his life; he knew without a doubt the depth with which I loved him. Saying goodbye just wasn't in my verbal vocabulary; our love was just understood each time I kissed him.

I did give him his customary kiss on the nose, though. I put my finger under his chin and lifted his face toward mine and rubbed his nose to mine and said, "I Love You". Then I quickly exited Exam Room Number Four for the last time, in tears.

My husband wanted to be there with Bonsai as he went peacefully on. He had done a good job of finishing the "Goodbye" that I couldn't perform.

  South Carolina, United States
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Memorial Added 09/25/2011
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