Three days before Makia, my 15 year-old, pure white diabetic cat, died and then came back to life, I noticed a couple of strange behaviors.
For example, she started to eat ravenously in the middle of the day. This I thought indicates a need for more insulin, so although I didn’t give her the insulin, I scheduled a glucose test for later in the week. I became aware that Makia had started napping in Bean’s (my sassy bunny) crate in her room. This isn’t where she usually sleeps during the day, but because Makia has always liked small, dark places I didn’t think much of it. In fact, I thought it was nice that Makia was keeping Bean company. Then, on the day of the incident, Makia meowed in the kitchen. “That’s it,” I thought, “…something is wrong. Are you ok, Makia?” I asked. “Yeah. Fine, Mom, just a bit dizzy. Can you feed me?”
Makia has been known to not exactly tell the truth when it comes to how sick she feels. She can endure an awful amount of suffering and still be happy. Once, while a bear was chasing her, she split her stomach open by eight inches. I didn’t even realize she had a deep wound until she was calmly grooming herself two hours later. I have wondered if Makia goes into denial about her suffering, but in actuality it is a strong character trait.
Ten minutes after I fed her, she walked by my office window and once again meowed. I stopped working immediately because her meow didn’t sound “right”. I got up and brought her into my office so I could watch her. She was there only a few minutes when I realized I had been wrong. She needed less insulin. Makia was about to have a hypoglycemic episode. She started projectile vomiting “Mom my stomach doesn’t feel good”, had head seizures “I kind of have a headache and my eyes feel funny” and then right before she passed out, Makia curled up with Stormy (my Aussie) and told him, “Stormy, I feel strange.”
When I picked her up and tried to have her stand, she defecated on me and collapsed. Her eyes looked at me and then rolled back into her head. As my adrenaline pumped and rushed through my veins, I paced, breathed and thought, “Forget the carrier, we are in the car!”
On the thirty-minute drive to the Veterinarian, I did everything I knew to do in such situations. I smeared her gums with maple syrup, rubbed her ears to help bring her out of shock, prayed to a Higher Power, and prepared Makia for death by saying things like: “The Buddha will be in Heaven. You love the Buddha – just like the statue you lay by. We can still talk from Heaven. You will see Maia, your old doggie sister and you will feel a great peace. It’s a wonderful feeling in Heaven.”
This, I mixed with “Hold on Makia. Stay with me. You have to see our new cat garden and the butterflies that will come. Stay in your body.” Makia spoke little at first and when she did it was mostly about fear, having a headache and feeling sick. I thought to myself, “I speak to dead people and animals. I have friends on the Other Side. I need a favor!”
Then I called out, “Please help us.” I began to chant positive statements of health, “My body is alive and well-balanced” and the names of ancient healing symbols.
Immediately after I called for help, Makia saw angels. “Mom, there are some glittery people here.” She felt a warm energy when I imagined my hands healing her. “Mom your hands are hot.” At one point, she was being comforted by my Grandfather on the Other Side. “Your Grandpa is here with a few little doggies.” She told me she saw a bright light and felt her spirit traveling away from her body and wondered if she should go with my Grandpa. “Mom, I’m dying. I don’t want to die,” she said as her listless body draped over my lap. Her eyes dimmed and drifted to crossing.
It is an image I will never forget and haunts me when I close my own eyes. “She’s dead,” I thought and shook her with no response. “Makia come back to your body,” I called, stroking her ears and trying to watch her eyes while I drove. Then her eyes shifted a little and looked at me. “I don’t feel well,” she offered.
It’s a hard thing to stay calm in an emergency, drive through traffic, prepare a loved one to cross over, and keep them hanging on at the same time. I thought how lucky I am to hear Makia and to know what she is experiencing. I felt amazed and calmed that my prayers were answered and that help from the Other Side came immediately. Whether she lived or died, I was comforted by the fact that she had someone’s arms to fall into. What do other pet owners do in such situations? I know. Some panic and some have blind faith.
Makia’s situation made me realize that even during our greatest trauma and our most frightening moments all we need to do is ask for help.
The angels were not there until I called them. And although he was allergic to cats and may have met Makia once, long ago, I wasn’t surprised that my Grandfather came for her. I have heard stories over and over again about how people in Heaven come for the pets of their loved ones when the animal crosses over. They do it because they love us.
After her near-death experience, Makia now says, “I have seen Heaven in a different way. When you are first there it is a feeling of being lost and found at the same time. I am happy I get to see my butterfly / cat garden here on earth. I want to thank my doctors for giving me the magic medicine water (intravenous fluids) and I want to thank my Mom for calling in help when I could not do so. I have learned we are never alone.”