Cow Mau’s cremains are back with us

Cow Mau’s cremation was done on 24th March and his cremains were brought back to us this afternoon.

I will usually place all cremains on our shrine table until I am ready to commit them to the earth, which will be in our garden. In Cow Mau’s case, it will be Bunny’s Garden where he had lived.

It’s very sad when I looked through my phone calendar today. I saw Cow Mau’s next medical appointment supposedly on this Thursday and his next Advocate spot-on reminder in April. I had to delete these reminders. It would be better that I delete them than to wait for them to pop-up when the day comes.

On the day Cow Mau passed away, I quickly kept whichever medication which cannot be used for any of our cats and those which could be used (like the probiotics), I am now using them up for our cats. Later on, when we go to the vet’s, I will probably donate the medication to the clinic so that they can give it to other cats who might need it.

Also, I had ordered a whole box of size 25G Nipro needles to do the subcut RetroMAD1 injections for Cow Mau and these only arrived today. I have no need for them now as they are not for subcut fluids but only for subcut injections. Nobody needs any such injections at the moment, but I will keep the box just in case in future, anyone needs them.

I feel sad and I miss looking after Cow Mau so much. I wish I could still look after him, but at the same time, I already knew his heart was failing and if he had hung on any longer, he would have been in a deteriorating condition. Maybe he wouldn’t have been able to even walk anymore. Towards the last few days, his hind legs were so weak, he could only walk about 10 steps, and he would fall on his side and just sleep. So no, I didn’t want him to hang on if it was already time to go.

During the last few minutes of Cow Mau’s life, he did throw a few seizures, but we were all there for him. They were not very major ones, though. But I was all prepared with Midazolam (the vet had given for Bunny and Hiro last time but I did not need to use them then). This was my first time experiencing end-stage seizures. Luckily Ming-Yi was here as she had done it before for her cat, Doraemon. The liquid is to be syringed into the mucous membrane, so it is either the nostril or the anus. It did help calm the seizures. But at the end of it, Cow Mau passed away peacefully and I was holding him all the way, telling him to let go, to go peacefully and assuring him I will look after myself and that he need not worry about me anymore. I told him we all loved him too.

As I write this now, I’m crying, but perhaps crying is good for the mental health too. We have to go through the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I don’t think I have any anger in Cow Mau’s passing; there is nothing to be angry about because every living being has to die some day. I am not bargaining either because there is nothing to bargain for anymore. It is already a bonus if you have lived a full long life filled with love which Cow Mau had. So what is there to bargain for anymore?

Perhaps right after he passed on, I was in denial. Maybe even in shock. No matter how well you prepare yourself, it is never easy to face the death of a loved one, especially someone so beloved. All pets are beloved because we can never find any faults with them. Unlike nasty humans where we can and there are those whom we don’t miss at all. But pets – no way. All pets are good.

I cried when Cow Mau breathed his last. I cried in silent moments after that. I cried when his remains left our house in the Pet Memorial van. This was when I cried the most because it was so “final”. I would never see him ever again. That journey was “goodbye forever” to the physical body.

No matter how much I keep reminding myself that his remains were just a lifeless body, that Cow Mau “isn’t in that body” anymore, being able to see him, even in death, meant that he hadn’t left us yet. I know this doesn’t make any sense, but that was how I felt. Cow Mau was still there. I could still touch him. He looked so serene, his eyes were closed, it was like he was sleeping. He was so very clean too. I should also mention now that shortly after coming home from the vet’s, he also vomited twice – it was all oxidised food from his stomach. I guess the body wanted to clear off all unnecessary contents. That is why he remained so very clean until the next day. There was no smell of death, no fluid discharge, only the fresh fragrance of the flowers I had placed around him.

I will always recall the message in the 2017 Disney’s animated film, Coco. It tells us how important it is in Mexican culture to remember the deceased. And in the film, it showed that if the living remembers the deceased, they will continue to live on in the Land of the Dead. I think what it wants to tell us is that if we always remember the deceased, they actually will live on in us, in our hearts and minds. That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Whether the deceased has “gone to a better place” or “taken on a new and better rebirth”, none of these can I be sure of. These are probably ways on how we comfort ourselves and each other. But one thing I am very sure of is that if we remember them, they live on in our hearts.

So whenever we lose a loved one, all we have to do is to remember them. That’s all. Just remember them.

Remember me
Though I have to say goodbye
Remember me
Don’t let it make you cry
For even if I’m far away I hold you in my heart
I sing a secret song to you each night we are apart

Remember me
Though I have to travel far
Remember me
Each time you hear a sad guitar
Know that I’m with you the only way that I can be
Until you’re in my arms again
Remember me

– From the movie, Coco.

I will always remember you, Cow Mau. You live on in my heart.







4 responses to “Cow Mau’s cremains are back with us”

  1. wei ee

    I am overwhelmed with emotions but unable to find the words to express. If only I could convey them through a long hug. Your journey has moved me to tears many times, each word resonating deeply within my soul: every living being has to die some day… No matter how well you prepare yourself, it is never easy to face the death of a loved one, especially someone so beloved. All pets are beloved because we can never find any faults with them. Unlike nasty humans where we can and there are those whom we don’t miss at all. But pets – no way. All pets are good. love hurts, but love also heals. I pray healings for you..

    1. chankahyein

      Thank you so much for sharing my journey with Cow Mau. It means a lot to me knowing I’m not alone.

      Your thoughtful “long hug” is received with utmost gratitude. Thank you very much.

  2. Catherina

    So sorry for your loss, Dr.
    No, you are definitely not alone.
    Together, we grief for our loved one who have left us to a better place
    We will miss them and love them forever.
    They will always in our heart.

    1. chankahyein

      Thank you, Catherina. Personally, I am not sure if a “better place” exists, but what I know for sure is that I will remember all our pets.

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