I had many visits this morning and only two this afternoon which left a nice pause in the middle of the afternoon. Just prior to this pause the office called me to assist an individual in a rather practical matter. A cat had died and needed to be buried. I said that would be all right as the last visit had been with a smoker and I didn’t feel that dead cat would alter my olfactory senses further.
Upon arrival, the individual answered the door and seemed surprised to see me. Granted, I hadn’t done a nursing visit in probably a year, so was out of the loop nursing-wise, but still remembered Fluffy. This individual started to share how attempts were made at the vet for 8 days to keep Fluffy with us, but to no avail. The vet cost was high and one may wonder about such expense on a cat. Fluffy had crawled behind the couch and breathed his last.
I started with the grave plot and requested directions as to where Fluffy was to rest. Directions were received to an area near the corner of the lot with the directions that there were two others there and Fluffy would lay next to a former occupant of the household. Digging was kind of tough, but not too bad as this was a flower bed and the dirt was lower in clay content. Once that task was accomplished, I went back to the house to retrieve Fluffy. The couch move was reasonable, and lighter than anticipated from the front appearance. I was presented a hand towel and retrieved Fluffy from his location as gently as possible noting the shaved leg where the vet had done the IV. I rolled him so that the towel was underneath and held him so that the individual could have a last look, then offered the collar. This was removed per the individual who commented on losing a friend. That’s where the vet cost makes sense. This was not just a cat. This was a companion and daily joy to this individual. I set fluffy in the grave being careful to adjust the feet and wrap the tail in a reasonable orientation and then was offered the towel as a cover. I placed this as a shroud and proceeded to return the dirt to its original location.

It brings a tear to my eye recounting the event while at the same time a pleasant realization that I was there for a need, and able to assist someone during their loss. I may describe this as one of the joys of home health.