By Anne Valrose

     My beautiful eighteen year old tabby cat Matilda began to suffer from kidney failure. It was so sad to see her in discomfort, wasting away before our eyes. We had nursed her along for many months and she seemed to rebound over and over, but this last time I could tell that she wasn't going to come back to us. I worried about leaving her all day while I was at work and I knew that she was beginning to feel my stress and discomfort. I created a sacred circle of pillows on the floor of my study which was Matilda's favorite room. I lit candles and played soft music. I gave Matilda Anaflora transition flower essences formula and would take a few drops myself when I gave them to her. For three days Matilda and I sat in the circle together. I prayed and meditated for three days asking for guidance. On the third day something shifted and I felt Matilda say to me "Its to let me to go now. I have completed what I came to do and I know you will be fine."

     The next day I called a special friend to be with me. We arranged for the veterinarian who had treated Matilda for many years to come to the house to assist Matilda in her death transition that evening. My friend and I and sat in the circle with Matilda most of that day reminiscing over her beautiful, long life. At the appointed time the veterinarian came. It was all so sacred. The vet was very respectful. She knelt on the floor in the circle with us and we all sat silently together. Then when we all felt it was right, with tears in our eyes (all three of us) Matilda was gently given an injection that allowed her to slip away from her physical form.

     As difficult as it was it all felt so right. We placed a white Tibetan offering scarf over Matilda's body and sprinkled the scarf with rose petals. We sat together until bed time. The next day we prepared a grave for her in the back yard in her favorite place in the rock garden. That evening almost exactly twenty four hours after she died we laid her body to rest on a bed of pine needles. We covered her body with the white offering scarf, the rose petals and the remaining bottle of flower essences. On top of these I placed a photo of myself. My friend placed some lilac sprigs near the photo and we both covered the grave gently with earth. We planted Forget-Me-Nots in a circle around the grave. I found myself unable to say anything but "Thank you, Matilda for sharing your life with me." I know that she could hear me say those words and I felt her receive them and thank me in return.

     It has been three months now and I take great comfort in looking out my kitchen window and seeing a circle of Forget-Me-Nots in full bloom. We have since added other flowers and a statue of St. Francis the patron saint of animals. The pillows that formed the sacred circle in my study have been returned to their places on the couch, but I sit in that spot for a few moments each evening and wish Matilda well. Her presence in that room is almost tangible at times. Once or twice I would swear I could smell her sweet fur near my face. She has often come in my dreams looking young and revitalized and I know that she is well. She will always remain alive in my heart.

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