Animal Communicator Lifetime Adventures

Euthanasia and the Pastel Cat

I’ve known Kathy Runnion since 1984, when I moved to Inverness, California next to Point Reyes National Seashore. Known for her friendliness as she worked in the post office, she was awarded for her loving service after she started Planned Feralhood in 2002 to manage the burgeoning feral cat population in the area. When I moved to Arizona in 2006, I continued to help Kathy by communicating with the cats in her sanctuary as needed.

End of Life Dilemma
Recently, she called me to help with Zoe, a cat with a large squamous cell carcinoma in her mouth endangering her swallowing and breathing. The vet advised euthanasia. Kathy was emotionally torn and wrote to me:

I really have trouble with euthanasia, especially when she still has a love of life in spite of her illness. She's only about 10 years old. She is a lover, but also very independent and rebellious. She hates being given any kind of medications or treatments. As always, I struggle with myself to do the right thing, which it seems like I'm never sure what it is, and makes it hard for me to have clear communication with her. I just want to help her.

Zoe was born neglected on a ranch and has had a lifetime of chronic upper respiratory illness, breathing hard and goopy eyes. So many tries at getting past it, and never could.

I think I need more time, and I have to weigh expenses, as well as Zoe's temperament and stress level.

Both Zoe and Kathy were ambivalent on what was the best course of action. I continued to support and relay Zoe’s changing feelings as Kathy also worked with her own emotions. She also tried to give Zoe pain medication.

The Right Timing
After a week, the course of action Kathy needed to take became clear:

I've decided the best thing to do at this point is to have our vet come to the house tomorrow and put Zoe to sleep.

She is miserable, and now she won't let me near her because she does not want any medications or help. She's to the point where she is not really able to eat, though she wants to, and she's not drinking water. She's a mess with her drooling bloody mouth and not being able to clean herself, and then not allowing me to either. 

She did sleep with me last night, but even then kept her distance.

Would you please help us with the communication around this decision, and what will be happening tomorrow?

Zoe realized that you were trying to help her yesterday even though she at first bolted and didn’t like it. Today, she said that she wants to make her last day calm and go to spirit in peace. You are helping her to do that.

Thank you so much for your love and support as Zoe and I find our way together. 

This morning she was on the couch, and I was able to pick her up, administer a good dose of Buprenorphine, and put her into the playpen. Now we can look each other in the eye and calm down and begin the journey to the bridge.

Later from Kathy:
She's gone. She wanted to be held. I laid back and rocked her. She let out final breaths. I'm still holding her.

Her heart started up again after Dr. Lilliam pronounced it had stopped. She gave her enough euthanasia drug for an 80 lb dog, and Zoe willed her heart to start up again. Dr. Lilliam left while her heart was still beating so we could be alone together, which is what she felt Zoe wanted.

After that when we were alone and I cradled and rocked her, she was able to let go.
Zoe black cat on bed in stateZoe's body in state with her brother looking on, saying goodbye

What an unusual and beautiful departure for a strong soul who lived a good life with you.

Kathy, the following day:

I'm getting ready to take Zoe to the Pet Cemetery for cremation. I was wondering if we could talk again tonight? I'm struggling with my feelings about euthanizing her. She fought back so hard. She tried so hard to bolt away when she was getting the sedation injection; she was so strong! She fought us. She did not want to go! I'm questioning myself and feeling so wrong. I've been running away from facing it all. I can't feel her at all. When I think about her, I just can't stop crying. It feels like more than I can handle, so I go into my disconnection mode. I thought talking to you might help. Will you check in with her please?

After communicating with Zoe, I immediately wrote to Kathy:

Zoe is at peace and feels free and happy to be where she is.

The fighting had lot to do with that the rest of her body was strong. Also, she was not feeling the pain from her mouth as much from the medication you gave her.

She has no regrets and feels it was the right thing to do.

Zoe black cat in state with flowers
You are disconnecting because you are blaming yourself. There’s nothing for you to blame yourself about. You did the best you could. You may think now that you could have kept giving her the morphine-type drug, but that would not heal her, only stretch out the degeneration of her condition and her suffering.

I love you Kathy. So does Zoe.
Feel her peaceful, soft, warm light emanating from above and around.

Thank you Penelope, for telling  me what I needed to hear, and I know it is true, coming from you.

It's okay now that I've read your message. No need to talk.

Thank you Thank you Thank you.

Pastel Cat Wisdom
Penelope wrote to Kathy later:

Zoe floated in to visit as I was taking an afternoon rest. She showed me herself surrounded in flowing pastel colors and feeling such peace.

Zoe black cat with pastel light around her
She told me that she’s not a cat anymore—just a pure soul and she feels like she’s been in this place (spiritual realm) always. She shared how it was such a struggle to be a cat in the physical realm. Always being somewhat tense monitoring what other cats are doing or intending to do, being on guard.

She said her struggle to resist the euthanasia drugs was natural for her. It was how she lived as a cat.
She had fought all her life to survive and manage her life. Was she going to do anything different at the end of her life? That was her way. Even when you tried to help her with medications, she fought, though she managed to calm herself somewhat because she knew you were trying to ease her pain. She was strong—a survivor. The fighting was well-ingrained.

She shared her insights, contemplating:
once you are in the physical realm and have a body, the survival mechanisms take over. They help you to get through the struggles you meet in life. Sometimes, the fear of being hurt rules your life. It’s a constant tension ending in disease caused by all the stress and fighting.

Now I am at peace, relaxed, and not concerned with an individual body that must make it no matter what. I can just float and be and it’s “heaven.” I feel full of relaxation, the love that is a natural way for us as souls. There is no stress, no care.

I can also see that you, Penelope, regularly inhabit the spiritual realm as if you are not in the physical realm. You have many friends here and they know who you are and encompass you as you encompass their being. You are filled with love.
Yet, you still have a body with its demands and the struggles all beings have in the physical realm with the added fears and complexities of mind that come with being human. You have fun and make the best of it, doing what you are meant to do on Earth, as you are so conscious of, but still you must deal with the pain and limitations of being physical. There is no real rest, not for long. You have to keep moving or your body ends up on and then in the ground. Still, it is what you have chosen for this time. Yet, you have the best of both worlds because you remember who you are and what spirituality is about. Still, you have the fear of change that is common to the mortal realm, and you have to remind yourself of what is real.

This is real, being a soul is real, being in this easy, peaceful realm of goodness, light, and flowing love is real. I am glad I am here. I am glad my struggle as a cat is over. I am glad I learned and experienced what I did and it lead me back here, to the home place of the soul. I also feel in full connection with those I knew on Earth and who think of me now. There is no effort to do this. The nature of soul and love creates a full flow circle of connection always.

Please thank Kathy for her goodness to me and her great love. I feel her struggle and her pains and I want to share with her where the life with her of relative ease and infinite caring led me to. May she feel it and not bother herself with thoughts that run around in circles about guilt. I am free. That is what matters. I have no regret. I am at peace.

May she be surrounded in this balm of peace, this open space of life from the spiritual realm that I feel. My love to you. My love to her. My love to all.

This morning I feel so much better. Thank you for helping me and Zoe. I am so relieved to know she is happy now. I am so grateful for the teaching, and for the guidance to let go of my guilt. The responsibility for end of life decisions can be extremely overwhelming. It is never easy, but it is especially hard for me when it is euthanasia. I prefer palliative care and the allowance of choosing one's own time as to when to go. This choice really took a toll on me, and I am so grateful to you, Penelope.

I’m so glad, Kathy. You tend to berate yourself and I’m happy I was able to help you cut that short and end the torture. You are such a great person with a huge heart of love. I am so happy to know you and that we have been able to share so much in this life.

I was very happy for Zoe’s feelings and her helpful insights about life and death. I feel her pastel colored presence around us and it is comforting.

Pastel Light Echo
I was delighted to see the photo Kathy had taken of Zoe before her passing and how it echoed the image Zoe gave me of her pastel presence in the afterlife.

See the
Volunteer Animal Communicator Service for Rescue and Shelter Organizations for help from animal communicators for rescue organizations on the Animal Communicator Prayer Circle Page on my website.

For many more stories of how animals view dying and death and how you can communicate to your animal friend in the afterlife, read my classic book on the subject,
Animals In Spirit.

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