It's early on a Sunday morning and I’m getting ready to go and hold a Chakradance workshop. Mocha, my Earth Angel - a 17-year-old brown Burmese who invariably joins me whenever I meditate, and curls up near me when I write, is the only other one awake. After having a drink she walks up to me meaningfully (the way cats do), so pausing what I’m doing I bend down to stroke her. She’s been getting frail, and I dread the thought of a last trip to the vet with her.
I’ve barely touched her, when she looks up at me and meows long and loudly. If you’re familiar with Burmese cats, you will know that their meowing is quite loud and distinctive, yet they don’t seem to meow much when their needs are met. This time, Mocha meows much louder than she ever has, and continues on for what seems like minutes, it's as though she is really intent on telling me something. My overwhelming feeling is that she has just told me she’s going to pass.
It’s the middle of October (spring in Australia); I take her out to the backyard and she starts lying in each of her favourite spots for a while. After asking my family to look after her, I go to the Chakradance workshop with a heavy heart. I dance for her, not knowing if I will see her alive again.
But she waits for me to return; she hasn't eaten anything the whole day and now she has stopped drinking too. I gently place her on a cushion and we sit together on the front verandah as the sun sets. Then I move her to a soft basket, which I put in the middle of our bed, she curls up and closes her eyes. My husband and daughters spend time with her too, telling me she's going to be OK. She purrs when we stroke her... but it’s so faint it can barely be heard, and only just felt.
We leave Mocha on our bed for the night. I wake early in the morning (probably close to 6am). My husband has just woken too, he reaches out to touch her, and immediately looks at me, "You were right, she's gone"...