This has been a long year of goodbyes. Of aloha ‘oe, over and over and over.
Last year, I said aloha ‘oe to my mom. Her death was unexpected, and my siblings and I reeled from the shock of it. I wrote about our trip down to California and back, but didn’t really talk about how painful a time it was until I posted about it here. I am still trying to recover from her death, trying to sort out all my feelings. These days it seems my tears have found their way to my eyes.
It wasn’t too long after, that one morning I found my beloved pōpoki, Xannie (Xanax), in a coma, lying on the floor. I rushed her to the vet who said she couldn’t be saved. Weeping, sobbing, I agreed to let him put her to sleep, and I said aloha ‘oe to the queen of the house, who ruled us with an iron paw, demanding her food be served to her when she wanted it with no delays allowed. Xannie was sixteen years old, and yet I wasn’t prepared for her sudden death. She’d been ours since I’d gotten her from my friend, Linda, under whose house Xannie had been born.
In December we had a two-week long snow and ice storm that kept us trapped in our house under three feet of white. The sheep, goat, and llamas stayed huddled in the barn; they had plenty to eat and lots of water, so they were okay. So we thought. A neighbor down near our pasture gate was helping us feed them because Nolemana couldn’t get down the driveway.
When we were first able to get down the driveway, I noticed that Como Se, one of our llamas, was staying cushed (lying down) and not getting up. That was not like him at all. So we called the vet out who gave him a powerful shot of an anti-inflammatory medication, hoping that would do the trick. But it was to no avail, and Como Se stayed down, which is very bad for a llama.
We called the vet back out, who said that apparently Como Se had slipped and fallen on the treacherous ice, and had somehow caused irreparable damage to his hindquarters. There was no hope. My tears flowed yet again as we put our beloved llama to sleep.
Last Saturday I went to the vet’s to pick up a refill of thyroid medication for Makanani. But before they could do that, they needed to draw blood to check her thyroid level in order to determine what dosage to give her. I knew that Makanani’s kidneys weren’t doing well, but she’d been chipper and doing better since she’d been on the meds.
The vet tech told me that Makanani was slightly dehydrated and she wanted to consult with the vet before sending us home. Okay, I thought, that won’t be a problem.
Unfortunately, it was. They wanted to send me home with fluids to give subcutaneously. “It’s easy”, they said. But the fluids wouldn’t cure her. They’d just keep her alive for me. And that wasn’t fair to this cat who loved only me.
I knew Makanani well. I’d had her for sixteen and a half years. Very skittish by nature (though very bonded to me), Makanani would’ve run away from me and hid after the first time, and I didn’t want her to live the rest of her days like that. So there, totally unexpectedly, I made the decision to have her put to sleep. Giving her fluids would have made her life miserable, and I just couldn’t put her through it. All I could think of was, But I just came in here for meds!! Yet sudddenly, Makanani was gone too.
She and Xannie were best friends and after Xannie died, she would wander through the house crying for her with loud, sad cries. I think of how now they’re together again, but my nights are filled with sad dreams of all I have lost in just a short year and my eyes keep leaking unexpectedly.
Aloha ‘oe Mama-san:
Aloha ‘oe, Como Se (behind Rayado):
Aloha ‘oe, Xannie (on the left) and Makanani.
Ho da wai maka….