Little Amelia passed away this morning. While she was still eager to eat, and interact with her environment, I held out some hope that she would get better. But last night, she turned a corner, and not a good one. She didn't eat her bedtime meal. This morning, she refused breakfast, even though I gave her some of the most tempting, smelly food ever. And I noticed that her eyes were cloudy. They'd never been cloudy before.
It turns out that she had severe intussusception. Jeff stayed with her through her final moments, and held her as she went to sleep for the last time, then came home and buried her in the yard with Romeo and Guido.
I started bracing myself for this on Saturday. Yes, I still had hope, but I also had a feeling in my gut that things weren't going to turn out well. Not this time. She was just so frail, and got that way so quickly. Her eyes, while bright and curious, were sunken and crusted. I just wanted to cry every time I saw her.
So I started carrying her around with me. It might sound silly, but I wanted her to see things before she died. To experience as much wonder in her short time as was possible. So I carried her on my chest as I went about my business. I let her play my new video game with me. She sat on my lap while I checked my internet sites. We went outside and sat on the front lawn, in the sun and the breeze. I wanted this to be a gift to her. And I like to humor myself into thinking that she saw it as a gift, as she tilted her tiny face sunward and let the breeze ruffle through her fur. She closed her eyes, and started a gentle purr. THIS, this is the image that I will always have of my little Amelia Earhart.
I did not get a picture of that image, because I was too busy wiping away my tears, so the one below will have to suffice.
At the end of the day, she crawled up my chest, and curled herself into a little ball under my chin, purring and kneading my skin with her tiny paws. And I watched television, gently stroking her fur and willing her to magically get better.
There isn't really much to say about it beyond that. Sometimes, even when all of the people involved do all of the right things, and there's love, and light, and care... sometimes all of that is not enough. Lives are lost. Hearts are broken.
And the rest of us carry on, because that is what the living do.