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This is going to be a difficult post to write. Last Thursday, November 3rd, Rae had a seizure. I feel terribly guilty, for I was on the phone with my sister, distracted, and heard the noise under my desk but didn't look. A cat messing around, I suspected. I finally did look, and found Rae in the throes of a grand mall seizure. I got off the phone, stunned, unable to help her. You can't stop a seizure, you can't do shit except try to comfort. I did, but knew it was useless. I didn't know if she even knew I was there.

I held her and walked around the living room, talking to her as the seizure finally let go. But she was dazed, limp, unable to stand. I set her on a towel on my kitchen floor where i could watch her, pet her and wonder what the fuck I was going to do. My sister called back and I told what happened, and that I reread online what I learned about FIP. It can go to the brain and cause seizures.

Bravely I said I'd give Rae whatever time she needed and sat with her. After about an hour, she came out of it and I gave her some food. Then she curled up on a pillow and went to sleep. So did I.

Unknown to me, she had more seizures during the night. I found her in my office the next morning and at first I thought she was dead. She wasn't, but she wasn't well either. I didn't know what to do. More seizures. Euthanasia. At the vet or in my home? What? What was the best course? What do I do?

I got a hold of Dr. Fransik and she said we both knew what needed to happen. Rae shouldn't suffer any longer and, no, there was no hope for her. I knew now what I needed to do. I wrapped her in a towel and drove to the vet with Rae in my lap. I said my good byes to her, crying as I drove. I pray she heard me, but she was so out of it I don't know.

Dr. Fransik's staff were so kind. I've euthanized animals before but never received such warm compassion from the veterinarian's people as I did last Friday. Hugs, kind words, a candle at the front desk lit to ask other customers for their respect that I was there to send my cat into forever. I held Rae in my arms as Dr. Fransik eased Rae into God's embrace. I'd like to believe she waiting for me across that barrier, across the Rainbow Bridge. Maybe she's warming my mother's lap as they wait for me, side by side with my brother and all the other dogs, cats and horses who have passed on before me.

All I know is that I miss her. I miss watching for her out the window, waiting for her to come home so I could go to bed. I can still see her - a neon cat running up the steps, sitting on the porch in the light of my light, waiting for me to open the door and let her in. I miss her jumping on the counter as I walk into the kitchen, meowing for her special food and arching her back - knowing she was special.

Rae was special. She was worth every trip out into the late night, calling her name. Worth staggering out into the cold, the heat - praying that God bring her home to me. Worth leaning out my kitchen window to spot the orange, black and white form taking a bath on the front deck. Worth the panicked trips out into the pastures, fearing she'd been killed and praying she wasn't.

She died in my arms. Not some predator's jaws.

And for that I am eternally grateful.

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