Parting With Pele

peleweb2 There’s no song or dance, no seltzer down your pants today.  I just couldn’t find the humor in this one, I’m afraid. Last night Andrew and I got a call around 10pm from my mother-in-law’s nursing home.  They were asking us to come back (we’d been there for dinner) to pick up Adelle’s cat, Pele, and take her to an emergency veterinary clinic.  At nineteen years of age, Pele had certainly been slowing down of late, but as of yesterday, she had begun throwing up blood. When she was examined at the clinic, dangerously dehydrated and clearly in pain, the vet discovered a large mass in the cat’s stomach that had likely been there for some time.  We were told that even with aggressive treatment, she likely wouldn’t survive more than a few weeks.  With the utmost compassion and kindness, the vet gently suggested it would be best if we ended Pele’s suffering now. As sensible and humane as it sounded, it was a horrible decision to make.  That cat had been part of the family since she’d been found as an abandoned kitten almost twenty years ago.  Adelle, the pied piper of stray animals, had fallen in love with the Siberian calico and had brought her home immediately to nurse back to health that summer.  Its soccer-like tendencies toward a tinfoil ball inspired the name Pele, who soon found favour alongside Emma, the family dog, and Hillary, their noble feline. Many years passed, most of them happily, until eventually Adelle and Pele were the last women standing.  Longtime companions now, they had shared the best and the worst of times.  They had cared for each other, comforted each other.  They had grown old with each other. And now this painful decision, made all the more difficult by the fact that Adelle wasn’t able to make it herself, let alone be there with Pele.  But at eighty-six and with advanced Parkinson’s, she had long since fallen asleep for the night and wasn’t even aware we had taken Pele from her. So we made the call, with the support of Andrew’s siblings, and did our best to usher Pele out of this world with gentle touches and whatever soothing, choked up sentiments we could muster without completely falling apart.  It’s no cake walk. But when Andrew went over this morning to deliver the news in person, he found his mother resting in bed, solemnly looking out the window.  Before he could utter a single word, she told him that she already knew. She had dreamt it in the night. (Goodbye, sweet Pele. xx) newandiepic

Andie Duncan

Andie Duncan’s ability to communicate has taken her from JUNO Nominated songwriter to published author.  As an older mom to two young kids, she relies on the humour in everyday life to inspire her stories, if not to ensure her very survival.

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