Tuesday, November 11, 2008

bak bak and leafty under a tree

sounds like a title for a children's book. appropriate because for these two special friends, their story lives on. somewhere.

yes, Bak Bak has passed on and has since joined Leafty under the shade of a tree.

since his passing, our thoughts and feelings in the family waver from heartache at one moment and relief in another. we can’t believe he is gone but at the same time, it can be nothing but a timely flight from a body that refused to function a long time ago.

also, it leaves us not any more convicted for or against euthanasia. Bak Bak was a special case for whom the virus attacked the nerves such that he lost feeling in his leg and body. he continued to be same old Bak Bak from the waist up, wanting to be stroked, to be cuddled, to be loved.

the vet recommended that we put him down once he stopped eating but we couldn’t do it. even as he wasted away, he was still same old Bak Bak from the waist up. and then he drifted off into a coma and we thought it would be right to let him just pass away in his own time.

but it dragged. on and on for days as his body shrunk more and more. and doubt began to seep in. is he in pain? is he in a nightmarish septic delirium? is he at peace? who really knows?

on the last day, he woke up and he meowed for us. that was a shock. was he crying in pain? or was he trying for the last time to be same old Bak Bak, wanting to be stroked, to be cuddled, to be loved? but it dawned on us, most of all, he wanted to live.

he drifted back into a coma and was finally taken. we are at peace. he fought his fight in exactly the time it takes to say goodbye. as I write this, the tears are streaming but they are not sad tears. because we can smile at the legend he leaves behind. the same legend that precedes him where he is going.

but what kind of decision would we make for the next cat? we don’t know. the question of dying cannot be that easily solved. and in some odd way, we take comfort in that.


Anonymous said...

The last meow from him was probably his thank you and goodbye for a last kiss and hug. Your words brought back memories for me....

Sweet Bak Bak....

Take care all


Mary said...

i think Bak Bak meowed to say his Good Bye, and i think you did right by not choosing euthanasia. Be at peace little special one.

Anonymous said...

Bak Bak is now free from suffering.
Our condolence to all in the animal family.

Chaos & Cat

KXBC said...

I hope you are doing better now.

I ponder at your sentence "he drifted back into a coma and was finally taken. we are at peace."

Given a choice, I will choose to ease him out of his misery. Simply because I will want him not to suffer anymore, especially if he is in pain (though no one really knows for sure if he is indeed suffering).

TO me, euthanasia is not about me being at peace. It will be for him. For him to be at peace. I will continue to suffer from losing him. But that's all right as long as he is at peace.

But then there is no right answer. No one can ever say if that has been the best decision made. In this case, time won't tell.

animalfamily said...

yeah sadly, no one will really know what is the best decision. the question that we struggled with was, would you recommend the same for a human? should we apply a different standard for animals? if so, why?

ultimately, the decision to or not to take away an earthly consciousness ahead of its time is closely tied to what we believe in. i have heard about the karmic view, the christian view... maybe one day i will sort my thoughts out enough to blog about it... for the moment, i can only say that i don't know and that Bak Bak where he is understands the love and intentions of all that cared and prayed for him.

Fiona Kathleen Hogan said...

I'm glad Bak Bak woke up to say goodbye. I'm so sorry for your loss; and so soon after leafty too!

KXBC said...

I would support the same decision for a human. Quality of life at that point in time is more important than quantity of life. What's the point of living (if you can call that living) if you are stuck to your bed totally bedridden on a life support system without which you will surely die, and with no chance of recovery in the next decade?

In the current debate about euthanasia, I am 2 hands up supporting it. Religious issues do not cloud my mind as I do not believe in religion.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, this is a shock to me... I'd just read this as I'd been away.

My condolences! I will miss their antics, especially Leafty the extraordinary rabbit.

Take care, animal family.

Everycat said...

I believe that the ability to help an animal or a human to a peaceful death when life is no longer bearable is essential and truely humane. To allow an animal or human to suffer when that suffering can be relieved is inhumane. I am an athiest, so religion and god do not cloud my mind on this. When caring for an animal I always ask this "am I doing this for the good of the animal or myself?"

I am glad that Bak Bak is at peace.

animalfamily said...

yes, there are many regrets because i went against what i believed on this one. but i do believe there is more to think about on this dilemma.


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