She's Not With Us
Today, June 18, 2009, we sent Tasha Mau Anderson to her never ending sleep. She was 14 years old, loving and a care giver.
When I was sick years ago, she would never leave my side. She lay with me for three days when I suffered from the flu, and before my surgery, she did everything she could to comfort me.
Whenever we brought in a new kitten, she would become "mom" to them-licking and cleaning them as if they were her very own.
Sadly, we only had enough money to send her to her sleep, not to have her cremated or put her in a pet cemetery.
What I am setting up this fund for is to help others, like us, be able to give their cats a decent burial or to be cremated unlike our Tasha who will be buried in an unmarked grave, in a mass cemetery where we don't even know where she is so we can visit her.
Our girl deserved so much better than to have to end her life this way and then not be even able to visit her or bring her ashes with us. This is what bothers me most-to know I have nothing of her left to keep her in my remembrance.
The pain is almost endurable due to this decision, although I am very thankful to the young lady who put her to rest and to Golden Valley Animal Humane Society and the woman who took our information. Everyone there was understanding and compassionate as I was crying like a child while holding her for the very last time.
We gave Tasha her last bath due to her inability to clean herself and prepared her for the long trip to Golden Valley from Mounds View. I got a large box, put in some shredded papers, in the bottom, a towel and pillow in it for her. Then we, lovingly, placed her in it. She pleaded and cried most of the way to Golden Valley.
Don and I were silent most of the way. We both were feeling the despair that was to come when we had to hand over Tasha to a stranger to send her to her permanent sleep.
We didn't even have a carrier to take her in. But we did have her favorite canned food and gave that to her right before we took her in. Surprisingly, she didn't eat every bite. This girl, normally, had a hefty appetite.
After she ate her portion, she would check out our other 3 cats' bowls to see if there was any left. If she found some, she would scarf it down too. Our girl had a good appetite. So I think she knew something was up.
The folks at Golden Valley allowed us to spend some time with Tasha after she was put to sleep. I was amazed to see her, beautiful green eyes were still open. It was as if she was just laying there as she had for so long before. Her body was still warm as I bent to kiss her and hold her. It's as if she was looking at me saying, "Mom, it's alright. I'm not in pain anymore." She had suffered way too long. I kissed her one more time, then said my last goodbye.
On the way out, I cried, uncontrollably, knowing it was to be the last time I would ever see her-my body wracked with deep, soul searing sobs.
Don held me up, since I was stumbling and was blinded by my tears. My body was trying to crumple to the floor. As we made our way out of that hallway from the room of death, I asked the attendant what would be done with Tasha's body. She said that she would be buried in a mass grave. I had hope then? Maybe I could still visit my girl's grave? But, no, this wasn't to be either.
When we approached the counter, I asked the woman if I could visit Tasha's grave. She said, "I don't even know where the cemetery is." That hope went right out the window. Then I asked how much it would be to have her cremated. I wanted something of my girl! She, kindly, offered it would be $50.
We didn't have much money. So Don said no. Again, I had my hopes dashed. It just wasn't to be.
It is a beautiful, Spring day. On the way home, Don and I were well aware we no longer heard Tasha's cries, from the box, in the back of our car, which brought it to home. Tasha is no longer with us.
We miss Tasha terribly and want to help those who have to undergo the loss of their beloved friend and companion as we have and have no way to keep their cats' remains or bury them so they can visit them.
So, even if you just give one dollar, many add up fast. Help someone else not have to go through what I did.
As it is, though, I am making a plaque, with Tasha's name on it, and putting it in our garden. I also am going to have a personal memorial for her. At least, I will have this to remember her by. No one can take that from me. I will, in some semblance, have my remembrance of Tasha always with me.
I'm also known as penwright to many of my on-line friends.