This is what my husband told me this morning.
  1. Our cat died yesterday.
    It was sudden. He apparently choked on a hair ball.
  2. I was the one who found him.
    I noticed he was missing because he didn't come to watch a movie with us like he usually did. When I opened up a can of cat food and he still didn't come running, I knew something was wrong. After a quick search, I found him behind an arm chair. From his strange body position, I knew it was too late to help.
  3. I kept calm.
    I told my husband to turn off the TV and told him that something was very wrong. He came to see and put his hands to his face. I paced a bit, repeating "Ok. Ok."
  4. I stopped my husband from helping.
    I knew right away that I had to be the one to take care of the body. Even though this cat meant a lot to me, my husband had had him for 13 years, since he was a kitten, way before we met. I didn't want him to have his last memory of his cat to be like this.
  5. I got a box and a plastic bag to dispose of the body.
    But touching the stuff body, even through the bag, gave me the heebie jeebies. So I got an old curtain that I was about to throw away anyway. In fact, my cat had fallen in love with it and napped on it many times before his death. It was appropriate. I wrapped him in it and gently brought him out and placed him in the box.
  6. I tucked away his tail.
    He had a very long tail. We used to joke about it.
  7. But I let my husband do his part.
    He wanted to bury him and I thought that digging the hole would be therapeutic for him. I was right. He went out in the dark and came back to ask me to see if the hole was deep enough.
  8. I carried the box out and tipped it out into the hole.
    I was thankful when the curtain didn't unroll. I did catch a glimpse of his little white paw, which we used to say had been dipped in milk when he was born.
  9. We said a few words, tearfully.
    He really was a great cat. He accepted me when I first started dating my husband (his other cat took longer to warm up to me), he loved our dog straight away. He had a very big heart and loved to nap with me and the baby, even when I was pregnant.
  10. My husband told me this morning how grateful he was for how I handled it all.
    Emotionally removing myself from situations like that comes naturally to me. My sisters used to have me handle gross stuff like cleaning up a tape worm or catching spiders.
  11. Rest in peace, Pepe.
    I hope you're taking great naps across that rainbow bridge.