The first night, with just the two of us in the house, I cradled Tatianna in my arms, carried her up to my bedroom, and put her in bed with me. I think at that moment she understood how much I needed her and how much she needed me. ... That started a lifelong routine of her sleeping with me. We developed an extraordinary closeness in a short period of time, and that connection formed a foundation for us to help one another through the many twists and turns of our lives together.
I slipped into the depths of despair. ... Sleep became an escape and refuge for me. Tatianna, once again, found a way to help me by simply being wherever I was. And if that meant spending twelve or more hours a day in the bedroom with me, then that was what she did. Sometimes, she snuggled close to me and rested in the crook of my legs. Sometimes, she stretched across my feet. Other times, she slept in my arms. Even if she lay on the rug in my office area at the far end of the bedroom suite, her mere physical presence in the same room calmed and soothed me.
Without uttering a word, Tatianna spoke to my soul with her sparkling, penetrating blue eyes. She was clearly journeying with me—wherever we went and for as long as it took. She gave me the gift of hope, and without hope, I could not have endured my days. She was with me as I reclaimed my strength and passion for life. The light of Tatianna’s soul had forever captured my heart. And it was with heartfelt gratitude that I offered up a prayer of thanksgiving for this marvelous feline companion.
We went upstairs to the room where Tatianna had been hospitalized since Monday. Dr. Wright put her on the surgery table and removed the catheter for the IV. What happened next is an image indelibly etched in my mind and treasured in my heart. When the doctor finished the procedure, Tatianna rose up on her own accord and jumped into my arms. I embraced her. It felt so good to hold her close and feel the warmth of her fur. Gazing into her glistening blue eyes, I understood that the almost five-day separation had been just as excruciating for Tattie as it had for me. It was a blessed moment.
Our ritual became a sacred moment, providing hope and a positive energy flow. It strengthened our bond to one another as well as our connection to God. By watching how Tatianna approached the daily needle sticking, I marveled at her quiet acceptance of the procedure coupled with her undaunted bravery. I told her constantly what a brave kitty she was to endure this day in and day out. It was as if she sensed that this was God’s way of helping her to prevail in leading a quality life each day for as long as possible.
God beautifies the seasons, creates fluttering butterflies, paints magnificent sunsets, flings stars into the universe, and never ceases to provide strength and hope in the midst of life and death. Upon reflection, I believe God granted Tatianna, Katarina, and me this stretch of time to savor the preciousness of our kinship, to learn new, life-altering lessons, and to say good-bye to one another. I knew there would never ever be another relationship quite like the one that the three of us shared.
Our bond has not been broken—it is continuous. ... Our relationship has evolved to another dimension. I understand how much a part of my heart and soul you are. You have made a profound impact on my life. Our fifteen-and-one-half year journey together did not end on April 14; it has simply and dramatically changed. It is true that our physical journey has ended, because you are now a spiritual being. However, you are still at my side—here to help me, guide me, and love me unconditionally. You are still here to teach me more of life’s lessons.