Yesterday morning, she was lying in the grass in one of her usual spots, but she didn't look like she was sleeping peacefully like she usually is. I picked her up, and she struggled a bit (she doesn't like being carried). I carried her to the porch to check her over, and when I sat her down, her back legs wouldn't support her weight.
I settled Kimba into her heated box on the porch, and I went inside to get the phone to call our veterinarian. I promise all our pets that I will never allow them to suffer. The final ride in the car, with Kimba wrapped in a towel cradled in my lap, is one of the most heart-breaking things I know. It is the ultimate kindness, though, and I bear the pain to make sure that my pets don't have to.
Kimba was the Queen of Hartwood, the cat who came with our house when we bought it in 2002, and I cannot imagine not having her here. She sat on the porch, or in the garden, surveying her domain and inspecting whatever was happening. She came to our relationship frightened and distrustful ... and she left, sitting on my lap cradled in my arms, as a trusting member of the family, secure in the knowledge that she was loved.
Kimba's favorite place to nap was a sunny spot in the rose bed on the south side of our house. I think this is the perfect spot to put her ashes. She is a part of this place, and here she shall stay.
Rest in peace, sweet Kimba. I miss you already.