Tiger’s ashes, the tiny white butterfly and the yellow stains

Tiger’s ashes came back a few minutes ago.

When we are ready, we will inter Tiger’s ashes at the same spot as Bobby’s since the two of them were very close.

Meanwhile, we are keeping watch on Tabs to ensure that she will be okay.

She has been sleeping on this mat a lot.

But at night, she still sleeps on the bed with us, which is her usual routine. Yesterday morning, she just wanted to spend the time in our bedroom looking out of the window, so we let her.

This morning, I played with her and she also tried to initiate play with Heidi, but Heidi ended up hissing at her instead…

Guess Heidi wasn’t used to it.

Heidi doesn’t want to play with me…

It’s okay, Tabs. We are all here with you.

Tabs will be okay.

As I think back now, even though last week had been a very busy week (Jia-Wen and Sihui’s wedding was on Sunday), I definitely saw a very tiny white butterfly (or was it a moth?) in our house, hovering right outside Bunny’s Room. It was an exceptionally tiny one. Now, it reminds me of the little earthworm and tiny cicada who Tiger saved.

Ever gentle Tiger, always so kind to the tiniest creatures.

On the early morning that Tiger passed away, Ming-Yi had a dream about Tiger being young and happy, frolicking and playing. The dream woke her up and it was around 4am. That was probably the time that Tiger passed on at the clinic. He was already in a coma earlier, but our vet did not give up because with cats, sometimes they could still come back from the brink. He had even prepared a 5-day treatment plan for Tiger. He told us the facts, that the prognosis was poor, but yet, he never gave up. We are truly thankful for that.

Strangely, this morning I woke up with yellow stains on my fingers and my leg. They were external stains which could be rubbed off, but not entirely. And immediately, they reminded me of the povidone iodine that I’ve been using for Tiger’s bite wounds throughout the two years that he had fits. It’s that exact colour too.

I still cannot figure out what caused these stains on my fingers and my leg…

Ever since Tiger was hospitalised, I had been dealing with feelings of guilt, wondering if I had done my very best for him. I had not been in the best of health for many months now, so did I slacken in caring for Tiger? I had been monitoring all his bite wounds, cleaning and applying medication when needed and I thought this last wound would also heal, like the rest. It did heal externally but we didn’t know what happened internally. Our very compassionate vet assured me that I must not let doubt creep in nor feel guilt on his last days and certainly, Tiger wouldn’t want that. Tiger has had a good, long life blessed with everything that he ever wanted or needed, our vet said. He reminded me that we have done our very best and the odds were stacked against us – there were so many issues, especially Tiger’s age, the seizures, the FIV+, all of which were beyond our control.

I suppose I would need time to come to terms with all this. Everything happened too fast and maybe, I’m still in a state of shock. Life goes on, there’s work, there’s AnimalCare to run, all our cats to look after, many things to do, but deep down, I still need time for acceptance.

We want to thank all of you, dear friends, for your kind messages of condolences and comforting words. Although I did not reply each one personally, please know that I’ve read each one many times and your kindness is extremely precious and deeply appreciated.

A friend sent this:

Tiger taught us how to be peace-loving, gentle and most of all, to accept whatever life offers. He coped with all his illnesses with much endurance, perseverance and as our vet described, “Tiger was such a good patient.”

In time, the sweet memories will remain and most importantly, Tiger’s lessons in how he embraced life and its challenges with bravery, acceptance and equanimity.

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise
William Blake

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