Yesterday, Jinx my 17-year-old kitty crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Luckily I was home when it happened. Two years ago a mass in his chest was discovered. We never knew exactly what it was, but our vet suspected it was cancer. After hearing that news, we knew he was using up his remaining nine lives.
I was upset when I realized he was taking his last breaths, yelling his name several times as I held him in my arms. I don’t know why I did that, except that I didn’t want to let him go. Hubby wasn’t home at the time, so I sat with Jinx in my arms and we waited. I cuddled him and told him how much I loved him. About a half hour later hubby arrived. We took Jinx to our vet have his body cremated. In about a week he will come home and join our other fur babies on the family alter.
Our home feels different now that he is gone. The energy isn’t the same. It’s too quiet. When we rescued Jinx off the streets of San Francisco, he was two years old. He was always quiet and the sweetest cat I ever lived with — and I’ve lived with a lot. We still have four others living with us now. The last couple of years Jinx became more vocal. The vet said he probably had some dementia because he always wanted food. There was nothing wrong with him (except for the mass), he simply forgot he just ate something. Jinx meowed a lot, wanting to get my attention. I think it’s his meowing that I miss too, even though at the time, I admit, he drove me a bit crazy with his demands.
The Buddhist teachings about impermanence helped prepare me for his death. It helped me understand and accept that every thing dies one way or another eventually. The key is to enjoy and appreciate my life and my family while we are here. Getting caught up in the busyness of life, its easy to lose sight of that. I am working on it. I want all my family members to know they are loved. My pets are included in my family.
A few years ago I was separated from my family for several months, looking for work and new place to live. When I got home, I vowed to never leave them again. I missed them so much.
Impermanence reminds me that our time here is limited. I want to live in the present moment and enjoy every minute of it. Jinx is gone physically but I am left with wonderful memories of our life together. I wish I had remembered to chant Om Mani Padme Hum while Jinx was crossing over, but at the time I panicked. So tonight I will chant it and think of him as I meditate.
I found this poem on the online magazine, Elephant:
Life and Death are but an illusion.
Happy and Sad are just a state of mind.
Love and Compassion alleviates the suffering
Of All sentient Beings — those who have been
our Mothers and our Fathers.
To recognize the interconnectedness of all beings
Is to know peace! ~ a Buddhist Homage.
This poem is from the Rainbow Bridge website:
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Om Mani Padme Hum Jinx