Aloha, Dear Friend

I just scheduled Widgit’s euthanasia for 4:30 this afternoon, a little less than 6 hours from now. I know I’m a mess of emotion inside, but as usual, I’m in task-oriented mode right now and don’t feel a thing. I don’t know how my psyche does that, but I know I can always rely on it to see me through in times like this. I’ll probably be a mess on the other side of it. Always am.

When we lost Padi a little over 10 years ago, it was different. We had her leg removed at the vet’s recommendation in hopes of getting rid of her cancer, but the surgery proved to be too much for a 20-year-old kitty and she went downhill after spending some time back home. By the time we got her into the pet emergency hospital, she was already too far gone, so the decision was clear and immediate. There was no waiting, no scheduling. We said our goodbyes, I held her in my arms while the injection took effect and it was over.

This time it’s a lot harder because we had a tough decision to make after several weeks of heartache, but it’s better too. I have a chance to spend her last day with her, watch her lay in the sun enjoying the Maui breezes, and we get to keep each other company one last time. How often do you get a chance to say goodbye to a loved one properly? I even took a few photos, though I’ve been hesitant to do that lately, not being sure if Kathy or I would want to remember her this way, our tough little Widgit, now less than half her original weight, so skinny and frail.

Today, on her last day, I decided I had to. I’ve taken many photos of her since she found me that day in the park 14 years ago, when she was only 5 months old. When I started shooting professionally, I couldn’t have asked for a more patient, cooperative and photogenic test subject to help me take my new equipment through its paces, which is ironic given her personality. She was my muse and my inspiration during that transition period in my life. We photographers are story tellers by nature, and I owed it to both of us to complete this one.

Sitting with her now, on the lanai, looking through this chronicle of her life, I’m happy and grateful for the time we’ve had together, and unspeakably sad she won’t be there when I wake up in the morning. I only hope we’ve appreciated her love and companionship enough. We’ve certainly loved her enough. She’ll always be our “little Widgit”.

Aloha, my dear friend. Thank you. Be safe.