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Monday, September 08, 2014

Farewell to Freya

Her name was Freya, and she left on Friday, Freya's day, to go on to a new life on another plane.

She was diagnosed in May with mammary cancer. In recent weeks her lump softened and shrank, so that the vet thought perhaps it was benign after all. But a few days ago it was suddenly back, and it was large and hard.

She had shown little sign of being ill apart from the tumour, and she was still agile, affectionate, communicative — the most communicative of cats, this one — and had a good appetite. You'd never, at any time, have taken her for the 16 years old which she was. But this week it began to be apparent that she was not entirely comfortable any more, not entirely happy. She slept most of the time, didn't go outside much, and when she did she came back in soon. Her breathing was sometimes audible.

Her ritual was always to wait until I went to bed at night, then arrive on the bed — knowing the exact moment even if she had been outside — and snuggle up for a cuddle, purring. Eventually she would move away and I'd turn over, and we'd go to sleep. The last few days she still did that, but was quicker to move away, and the purr was not so loud. Again, it seemed as if it was hard for her to be comfortable, even under my Reiki hands.

She could have lasted longer, but I didn't want to wait until she was even more uncomfortable. There were just a few days of decline — but I've seen decline before; I know how fast it can be. I knew on Thursday that her time had come, and phoned the vet, but couldn't get in until Friday. By the time of her appointment, I had confirmed my inner knowing via Reiki and Tarot. And when the vet examined her, she confirmed it too. The cancer had spread to Freya's lungs. 

I stayed with her. It was a remarkably quick and peaceful death. I was strong while I had to be, but afterwards collapsed in tears. The vet's nurse gave me a can of Malibu and Cola. I'd never had it before. I bought more on the way home, and tim tams and cashew nuts. Comfort foods. 

My household has shrunk to a very small family now. Just me and my black panther, Freya's brother Levi. As siblings, they loved each other but also had spats. They played together and rested together, and there was sometimes jealousy. Now it's just him and me. He has all my attention at last; but he is already missing his sister. 

'The first two years are the worst,' I was told about widowhood. They were not fun, that's for sure! Freya was my in-house support during that time. There were many supportive friends, but sooner or later I had to come inside and shut the door. Then she was there to help. She grieved for Andrew too, but she also made sure to give me what comfort she could. She was very good at it! (Poor old Levi, always a sensitive soul, was extremely attached to Andrew, and went through terrible grief for many months. I had to look after him, not the other way around.) Now the two year milestone has been reached. The 3rd of September was the second anniversary of Andrew's death. Freya went two days later, on the 5th, her work done.

Freya was my familiar. If I was doing energy work, she would quietly come and add her energy. Sometimes she knew about it ahead of time, and would be waiting ready.  Levi is more my guardian. Although sensitive and clingy, he can be fierce in the face of any threat.

He is clingy now, following me about like the dog I believe him to have been in his last life. And he is subdued; he looks lost. It's a bleak little household we have now, the two of us. Andrew took a lot of warmth and colour when he left. Freya, with her purposeful personality, has taken more.

Levi is a cat who hates change. I'll have to keep everything as close as possible to what he's used to while he adjusts. I'm going to start putting Rescue Remedy in his food for a while; should have thought of it more promptly. Spats they may have had, but she has been his companion all his life. Their telepathic bond was strong. Each would come and tell me if the other needed something.

Perhaps he knew this time was coming soon. He used to sleep elsewhere at night, and come onto the bed first thing in the morning for his cuddle. Just lately he's been spending his nights on the bed with Freya and me. It has become his place too. I'm glad he will keep me company now.

My little girl looked so beautiful when she went to sleep for the last time. As the vet took her away afterwards, the last thing I saw was the white ring around the tip of her tail. She was a faery cat, all tortoiseshell but for that white ring which marked her, I thought, as faery. All her life, right up to and including the last week, she would sometimes race around the house, executing occasional leaps, as if playing chasey with something invisible. I thought she was having fun with her faery friends.

The vet gave me a package with things that might help — a sweet poem, a bit of her fur, a paw print in gold paint, and two small candles. I chose the purple candle to light for her, to accompany the (Pagan) Prayer for the Dead which I say when someone I care about crosses over.  She too is a soul, a beloved soul. I did what I could to help her journey.

I know she is better off where she is than if she had stayed here any longer. I know that Friday was the day she had to go; that it would have been wrong to keep her even a day or two more. 

I told Andrew, on the way to the vet, 'You better be there to meet her!' and I'm sure he would be. 

But I'm doing a lot of crying now.


  1. Very beautiful. Sorry to hear about Freya's death. She sounds like one of those cats that can not speak English yet give us such wise and compassionate counsel. From Julie

    1. Thank you. Yes, she was just like that!

  2. Blessings on her journey, Rosemary. And thank you for writing about it. My Miracle Kitty is 20 and we are taking it day by day. Your post helps me to prepare. My heart is with you. Hugs.

    1. Dear Susan, your understanding never fails! My heart is with you too and Miracle Kitty.

  3. So sorry to hear about your loss, Rosemary. k.

  4. So sorry to hear of your Freya's having to go Rosemary...odd as it sounds, glad you are able to cry; figure you should do as much as you want. I'm sure Andrew will be there to greet her. Love to both you and Levi.

    1. No, my dear, doesn't sound odd. Tears are healing.

  5. I just wrote a long comment and when I went to post my computer kicked out and it was lost. Aaaargh!

    I had a cat that looked striking similar to Freya, and she also lived to quite an old age. I had to hold back the tears while reading your post. I understand how you are feeling.

    Loss is hard, whether it be a person or beloved pet. I wish you are Levi peace in the coming days/weeks while you adjust to this new arrangement.

    And by all means, cry it out if it helps.

    1. Thanks, dear Linda. Sticking to the same routines as much as possible has helped Levi adjust; and also me being his companion in some ways that Freya was, e.g. he wouldn't venture outside at first, though he loves the outdoors, until I went and sat with him as she use to. Now he is happy enough to go out on his own. Taking care of him helps me, and the fact that he is very affectionate. She used to be the spokesperson most of the time; he has realised that he now has to talk to me himself.