11 Months with Joey

11 Months with Joey

11 Months with Joey | Soul Cats | Tamara Schenk

11 months with Joey – June 18, 2022, was a day I will not forget anytime soon. It was the day Joey’s soul chose to cross the rainbow bridge. And his soul chose a rather heavy way to get out of his body–with an aortic thrombosis. Anyone familiar with aortic thrombosis and who has experienced it knows what that means. There aren’t many options left. Just like in Joey’s situation.

But one after the other. What was Joey’s life with us, and what can we all learn from it?

His first eleven years of life

Joey was born on April 23, 2010. For this life, his soul chose the body of a beautiful Highlander, also known as British Longhair.

I don’t know much about the first eleven years of his life, except that he lived with an elderly lady who already had his cat friend Hubertus. He was about five years old when Joey joined. And yes, a few years ago, there was also a man. For both cats, the subject of having a male human felt a long time ago. They both said they had a great time with their human guardian, the elderly lady. No wonder both cats were in severe grief when they realized she would not return from the hospital.

How did they get to us on July 24, 2021? They had already been alone for five weeks when we picked them up via an animal rescue organization. The loss of their human and the two-hour drive to their new forever home created a lot of trauma for them. You may have already read about her first 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months. Especially Joey took a lot of time to settle in and work through his grief.

And, very importantly, soul cat Flix had his paws involved so that these lovely souls in need could come to us. Shortly after his departure, when asked if he would send us cats, he said, “they’re already there.”

I could clear Joey’s trauma, and he evolved

In the beginning, Hubertus was the one who first explored and checked out everything. Joey needed more time to gain confidence and leave his hiding place under the kitchen sink.

I worked with both very consciously on their traumas so that with each clearing, they could let go more of their traumas. How cats integrate these clearings differs from cat to cat. In late summer, Joey made lots of progress and became more vital daily. He explored everything on his own, and it was important for him to be independent of Hubertus. Joey then took on the challenge with the stairs (he didn’t know stairs at all). At first, he found our open stairs to be a danger for everyone and completely unsafe. Then, he took on the challenge and sat in front of the stairs, thinking about how to approach them best. Then he got it and was incredibly proud when he first could walk up the stairs and come down again.

With his awakening of strength, Joey radiated an incredible, loving presence, his eyes began to shine, and he presented himself in his full, remarkable size. He then walked around with new self-confidence and explored his world. He often said, “I do different things than Hubertus.” It became more and more important to him to go his own way. No matter what Hubertus thought of it.

Bowel and teeth

No doubt, Joey was growing tremendously at soul level as soon as he fully arrived in his new forever home and as soon as I could help him clear his past traumas. In parallel, some physical symptoms showed up that we started to treat. It often happens that as soon as the cats have arrived and their whole body/mind/spirit system can relax, physical symptoms appear that the body had to suppress first since survival had to be secured first.

He kept throwing up frequently. The diagnosis showed that his intestinal walls were thickened. He got TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) pills and vitamin B12 because his B12 level was too low. Medicinal mushrooms for his intestines were also on his plan. Joey had no problems taking medication or supplements. Luckily.

During this vet visit, his slightly inflamed gums were noticed. So, I immediately made an appointment for a tooth restoration (dental X-ray, cleaning, and, if necessary, extraction of diseased teeth). In November, he had his appointment, and as expected, five teeth had to be extracted. FORL, the hidden drama for the teeth of cats.

His kidney values ​​were slightly increased, but his urine was fine. From that on, I performed a particular energetic clearing program for him to clear the source of any kidney issues. Not only has it brought his kidney values ​​back into the normal range, but it also opened him up even further. The kidneys always have something to do with relationships. I also observed the same effect with Hubertus, but I will write about that separately.

Relocation and HCM diagnosis

Then, we moved from Wiesbaden to Schleswig-Holstein, about one hour North of Hamburg. Both cats were energetically prepared. Joey mastered this process wonderfully and felt super comfortable in the new home from the very first moment. There was so much to discover, explore, look at and observe. He was ecstatic and often said, “I have such a beautiful life!”

And guess what–when we had his blood values ​​checked in March in the new clinic, his kidney values ​​were back in the reference range. Yes, energy healing works. However, heart murmurs were noticed during this vet visit. We scheduled a heart ultrasound for him. And we got the diagnosis of HCM (Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), also a condition that unfortunately often comes with his breed. His soul really didn’t choose the most robust body. And he was still young (for me, as a senior cat specialist, 12 years is still young).

Even more important is to stay present to the present and celebrate his 12th birthday on April 23. He was an expert in relaxation, just lying down, stretching out all four legs, airing his long fur, having fun, and being pampered with fresh chicken. A beautiful day! Enjoy the moment, one of Joey’s key messages.

And there were signs…

I’ve only known Joey for nine months, and he’s always been a quiet cat who needs a lot of time for himself, one of the more “quietly happy” cats. As it turned out, he knew exactly what his body was capable of. He had slowly adapted to his lower cardiac performance. As our new vet, a cardiologist, suspected, he had been carrying the HCM for a long time. I’ve checked his respiration rate many times, and we’ve done it every night since the HCM diagnosis. It was always higher than Hubertus’, but not in the range where you go straight to the clinic. I have been in close contact with our vet since his diagnosis.

Yes, he should also be on medication, Clopidogrel, to thin the blood, and a beta-blocker, Atenolol. At first, it wasn’t a problem, as Joey usually accepted medications and supplements.

Circulatory collapse on May 10

This day was quite warm for our region, and the weather had changed rapidly compared with the day before. Joey just collapsed. He stretched out all four legs in the living room, then slowly dragged himself up the stairs and the same situation again. He was breathing frantically, didn’t eat anything, and didn’t drink anything. I served him his heart tonic (a liquid supplement) and his medication. It did not get better. Rather worse. I switched to autopilot, didn’t hesitate, took Joey, and drove to the veterinary clinic. This was a case for the emergency service. When we arrived at the clinic, it had already started raining and cooled significantly. Joey’s head was up again. And he looked a lot better. Luckily.

Great, Joey, you’re feeling better! Tell me, should we still go in to see the vet? I immediately asked myself whether or not I had overreacted. No, it didn’t feel like an overreaction, given his context. So, I checked us in, and a few moments later, it was our term. The vet on duty looked at his compiled reports and examined Joey. He couldn’t find anything specific, and he wasn’t even dehydrated. But, his breathing was way too rapid, and, yes, his blood pressure was way too high, well over 200. This was alarming because he had never had high blood pressure before. We should have it checked again in the next week or two. Sure, that makes sense.

His blood pressure was in the normal range when we rechecked this a week later with our cardiologist. She also performed an additional examination of his fundus of the eye. Also, there were no signs of high blood pressure. I also learned something new, in cats whose blood pressure results are in the upper range and close to high blood pressure, this examination can be used to see whether veins in the fundus of the eye have burst or not. If so, you are dealing with high blood pressure. If not, everything is fine. Excellent! We drove home calmly. And yes, I should stop administering the beta-blocker, the vet suggested. But he should definitely take the blood thinner.

11 months with Joey | Soul Cats | Tamara Schenk

Joey realizes and changes his behaviors.

It’s only in hindsight that I realize that. After that collapse in May, Joey changed. First, he changed his behavior regarding medication. He started to reject everything. No, he didn’t want to take the blood thinner either. I perceived severe discomfort from him. He said it wouldn’t do him any good. He explained to Martina in more detail that he couldn’t take it; it gave him a bizarre feeling in his head. So, alternatives were required. Auricularia is the name of the medicinal mushroom, which has been proven to also serve as a platelet aggregation inhibitor, i.e., it helps keep blood flowing. Joey took it for the first few days, and by then, I was just getting started with smaller amounts of the mushroom powder. Then, he also refused the medicinal mushroom. No, he didn’t want to take it either. Now, I had to practice acceptance. I sensed that it would happen for a reason.

At the same time, we started with both cats to check out the garden. First with a cat harness and leash and then without it, as we could secure the garden even more. Joey enjoyed it, but it didn’t become a big issue. The same with Hubertus. Joey sat at the open terrace door for hours and observed the garden. Today, I know that what mattered most to him was the fresh air, the oxygen, and less about the garden. At that time, Hubertus had made no specific attempts to go out. At this time, he preferred to be in his cave, next to Joey, for hours. Being together. That counted—quality time.

So, since the medication was no longer an option, I focused even more on supporting him energetically with a particular protocol. He accepted these treatments gratefully, always relaxed, and his breathing became calmer. I always felt we could have opened up something in the blood flow. His whole system felt a lot more balanced.

On two other days, he felt poorly in the morning and didn’t want to get up. I gave him a small subcutaneous infusion each time, significantly improving his well-being—everything in close consultation with our vet.

The Day of Days: June 18, 2022

This Saturday went really well for Joey. He spent the afternoon with Hubertus in the living, and both hung their noses in the fresh air at the patio door. Nobody wanted to go out; it was time to cuddle and relax.

It was dinner time. Both had already received food. I was cooking asparagus with potatoes. The potatoes were already done, and the asparagus water was boiling. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Joey going to the litterbox; but oh dear, his hind legs stopped working. He dragged himself in and out of the litterbox and then collapsed as he got out.

I dropped everything. We immediately put him in his cat carrier, then the carrier in the car, and I rushed off to the vet clinic. At that point, he wasn’t in significant pain.

However, on the way to the clinic, he got severe shortness of breath; he turned his position and had relapsing pains of the most severe kind. Anyone who has ever heard a cat screaming with aortic thrombosis knows what I mean…I immediately realized what it all meant.

During the car ride, I tried to calm him down with clearings and took off the transport box’s lid so that he could always see me and I could hold his head. At the same time, I called my dear friend Martina, an excellent animal communicator, to see if she could possibly help us in this emergency. She could—what a relief. I also had to manage my fears, drive and calm down Joey. I couldn’t conduct an animal conversation myself in this situation.

As soon as we arrived at the clinic, I checked in and said, “Joey, HCM patient, suspected aortic thrombosis, you have everything on file!” we were already in the emergency service’s consulting room.

Joey’s realization and his journey to cross the rainbow bridge

The vet immediately diagnosed what I had already suspected: aortic thrombosis. His hind legs had already given up, were no longer supplied with blood, and were already getting cold. When I asked what options we had, she said, “with a cat his age and in this situation, only euthanasia.”

She then made it clear that I had to decide on euthanasia immediately and added, “your cat is slowly suffocating.” That statement created enormous pressure, even if everything was factually accurate.

That was the physical diagnosis. However, at soul level, things looked different.

Joey looked at me, his eyes filled with fear. “Please help me; what’s wrong with me? What’s happening now?”

There was no way I would “let him go” in this fearful, unclear state. We first had to achieve clarity and peace together. He had to be prepared, and we had to say goodbye. It is of great importance how one leaves this incarnation, no matter if an animal or human.

I told the vet that I understood all of this, that Joey was terrified and not ready to leave yet, and that I needed a moment alone with him. In the meantime, please give him oxygen. She put the oxygen tube in my hand, and I could support him with oxygen so that he was more stable for the time being.

I quickly phoned Martina and explained the situation, and she then explained everything to Joey, while at the same time, I continued to clear his fear and resistance. After a few moments, he relaxed. Through Martina, he had now realized that his body could no longer be a home for his wonderful soul. He also realized that he could no longer feel his hind legs and what that actually meant. That was the breakthrough for him. He was also not prepared that he would have to die now. But he understood that his soul could not remain in this body.

His thoughts immediately went to me, to us, and Hubertus. He then understood that when his body could no longer carry him and started dying from his hind legs, his soul had to leave his body.

Joey also understood that the moment of death was essential for him and his future path. Suddenly he was in a hurry; he wanted to cross over gently and without further pain, with me at his side and Martina on the telepathic line. He then looked at me–his eyes were calm and in trust–put his paw on my hand and said, “It’s okay, I’m ready to leave.”

I immediately signaled to the vet, “we’re ready.” He received an anesthetic injection. He was relaxed; he knew that the way for a smooth transition out of this incarnation was now being paved for him. Then, after a few moments, he received the actual euthanasia injection. I kept stroking his head, sending him love, talking to him, and holding his paw. Then, Joey’s beautiful soul left his body and quickly embarked on his journey to rainbow land.

Then, I burst into tears. The pressure of the last hour (more time hadn’t passed between Joey’s breakdown, driving to the clinic, and his transition) slowly eased away in the form of my tears.

Short consultation with the vet. Yes, of course, I’ll take him with me, and Hubertus has to say goodbye to him. And no, we’ll send you the bill; you don’t have to pay it now. Thanks so much for understanding. She, too, felt the difference that the few moments it took Joey, Martina, and myself to allow him to understand the situation and its terminal impact was essential for his smooth transition in trust and peace. Last but not least, these few moments also made her work much easier.

Joey’s soul then gently slipped away, quite quickly and purposefully. His soul looked back on the way and saw me crying by his body. Martina passed him on gently. He should continue his journey, as free and blissful as he felt now.

When his soul left, my tears were flowing. Yes, we are attached to their bodies, no question—another lesson to learn.

Rainbow communication with Joey

Not even two weeks later, I was able to connect with Joey. I took a day off, went to the beach, and wanted to let everything sink in and sort myself out internally. However, Joey didn’t show up. When I packed up my things in the afternoon, bought lemonade at the beach bar, and sat down in a beach chair, he was suddenly there. My beloved Joey sat next to me in the beach chair. It was sunny and windy, weather he liked, and his long-haired silhouette looked like a “storm hairstyle.” He happily breathed in the fresh sea air.

We just felt inside ourselves for a while and were in the moment. I was very touched, not sad, but happy. Tears again, but tears of happiness and love for having this moment with him.

I asked him how he was doing.

“Wonderful. I am floating, traveling, gliding, free from my sick body. You know, I’ve had such a beautiful life. And the last year with you was so beautiful and intense, with so many new experiences. I learned and experienced more that year than I had in all previous years. You made my life complete. Thank you so much.”

We chatted for a while but mostly enjoyed the moment together. Then he said goodbye and slipped away and disappeared into the blue sky. My Joey. A truly great soul that is only just about to unfold. I am grateful that I was able to give him so much inspiration. And that I could be his human guardian for eleven months.

THANK YOU!

The next blog article will be about the lessons learned from Joey’s sudden departure, why dealing with life and death is so important before the situation occurs, how you can develop guiding principles that help you navigate in difficult situations, and why the responsibility for your cat’s life and death is up to you and why one is inextricably linked to the other.

Text and pictures:
© Tamara Schenk | Soul Cats

For more about myself, click here. For more about trauma clearing, click here.

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Pet Loss – Transmuting Grief into Gratitude

Pet Loss – Transmuting Grief into Gratitude

Pet Loss Transmuting Grief into Gratitude| Soul Cats | Tamara Schenk

Pet loss – Transmuting Grief into Gratitude. When our pets transition to the other side, we usually go through an extreme situation and are pushed way out of any comfort zone. Every case is different, as you and your pets are.

Let me share what I learned from the last months of my soul cat Flix’s life and his transition, and how I learned to transmute grief into gratitude.

Flix joined us at age 15 with his best friend Max, 12, soul cat, alpha cat, and the cover cat on my book Soul Cats.

We had 6.5 beautiful years that we could experience and master together. For some, it sounds short; for others, it seems long. Time is not that relevant. It’s the quality time we shared and how we could learn and grow together. Flix and I went through many challenges and the most beautiful moments I will never forget. You will read about this special boy a lot in my book.

In this article, let me share some additional insights on how to best transmute grief into gratitude. First of all, we start with tears…

Tears are a good thing!

I see tears as something positive. For me, everything my heart wants to articulate, and that’s way beyond our language, comes in tears. That’s usually a lot. I’m often near tears.

Many tears have flown after Flix passed away, especially in the first week. I can only recommend letting it happen. Let the tears flow. And please don’t care about anybody who wants you to stop crying. This isn’t helpful, and in fact, it is counterproductive.

My tears continued to flow when I took his ashes home and put them next to Max and Howy. Then it became a bit better. And it got better when we spent a few days on the Baltic Sea, and I got in touch with him and could talk to him on the other side. Everything was fine with him. He was free, reunited with old soul friends, with his previous human who passed away, and with Max and Howy, of course.

I know it is an advantage to be an animal communicator myself. Please ask for help and ask an animal communicator you trust to connect with your transitioned pet. You can also find more information here.

In addition, many tears have already flowed in the last few months of his life. Whenever we entered another phase, it became obvious that the goodbye was getting closer and closer. For instance, when he decided not to take his medication any longer. When he wanted the quantity of subcutaneous fluids reduced. And then when he canceled his fluids altogether. And again, a few weeks later, when he quickly became physically very weak and at the same time spiritually very big.

Today I am very grateful for this long, shared process of letting go. Flix and I needed this time. Now, I only fully understand Flix when he said last fall, no, I don’t want a feline friend anymore. We need this time together. It’s the final phase of my life. And he was right as he always was.

During the Twelfthtide of 2020/2021, he told me that he would be leaving the planet in 2021. I am very, very grateful for him sharing this with me. This way, I could shape this last phase of his life as consciously as possible.

Review memories and transform grief into gratitude.

Then, when the tears slowly dry up, it goes into the next mourning phase, processing memories. I created a photo book about Flix’s life with us in this phase. I had already done that for Max and Howy. Just the process of going through the many pictures and videos and creating the booklet was a very intense, emotional process that filled me with heartfelt gratitude and love for my beloved Flix.

When I was finished with the photo book, I had relived our history together. Of course, there were tears again. And that’s good. But then there were other tears. Tears of emotion and joy because I fondly remembered beautiful moments together. And more tragic moments too. Of the moments when we both grew beyond ourselves. Moments that transformed our lives forever. For the better. Because we both have learned to follow our soul’s path, we drew the courage to do this from the strongest of all energies–from love.

Every farewell is different. Always situational. And highly individual.

It is now my third farewell to a beloved cat, Max, in 2017, Howy in 2020, and Flix in 2021. Each time a completely different situation, a different process, and very different needs that the little tigers had in this situation. I tried to respond as best I could so they could each go their own way. Looking back, that was an extremely steep learning and development curve for me!

My key principles – Acceptance. Surrender. Trust. Love.

“It’s all said and done,” Flix said in an animal communication a few days before his death. Indeed, not all animals or humans can say that at this point. So, this is an immense gift. For that alone, I am infinitely grateful.

Because I know other situations where people were not allowed to clarify everything with their animals before they passed away. Because there was an operation from which the animal never woke up. Because the animal had disappeared and was found dead or never found at all. Because there was an accident, and the beloved animal passed away unexpectedly.

The grieving processes in such situations are entirely different because everything comes unexpectedly, and you didn’t have these parting and grieving steps, this phase that Flix and I have been going through for a good eight months. And then, with the sudden death of your pet, all the shock and sadness come at once and have to be mastered at once. In the aftermath. After the animal has embarked on its journey.

I imagine that to be many times worse than my situation with Flix. We knew since the third kidney crisis in October 2020 when we started the fluids that Flix was now in the last phase of his life.

My Flix journal was an excellent help to me.

No, I didn’t plan that. Like so many things, the idea of ​​the mourning journal came to me intuitively. A few months ago, I was suddenly drawn to symbol cards. Exciting, because I had never worked with cards before. Then it was probably the right time for me to start.

I ordered a set of symbol cards and started experimenting with them for myself. Then I integrated the work with the symbol cards into my energetic work with my clients and their animals. The horse was so enthusiastic that it even asked for the cards at every appointment. It was fascinating to see the accuracy with which the symbol cards reflected the challenges we were working on.

So, I spontaneously started working with a card every morning after Flix’s death. The theme of the card then accompanied me through the day. Very helpful. Again and again, I reflected on the topic through the lens of the card. For example, the card said “lightness” or “gratitude” or “trust.” Amazing how valuable it is to reflect your grief through the lens of your daily theme. And I should reflect. That’s what Flix told me to do!

In the first few weeks, the cards said: “heart-to-heart connection,” “angels of light,” “healing on all levels” came up again and again. Then, things changed. Cards with the themes of “lightness,” “joy,” “abundance,” “manifestation,” and so on came much more often now.

After a month of intensive work, I changed the flow a bit. I continued to work with a card every day. But whether I will write directly about it every day, I will keep that open. Yes, that’s exactly how it feels. In any case, this work was an excellent barometer of my energy, which is now clearly increasing in frequency towards lightness.

My beloved Flix. Soul cat. Teacher. Pure love. Pure wisdom. Pure trust.

Our love extends far beyond this life. Our love existed before we met here. And we’ll meet again.

____

© Tamara Schenk | Soul Cats | https://soul-cats.com/
Image Source: Tamara Schenk