I told Joanie's vet today, that Joanie has left my house. I had waited until today, just in case she might come back. Also, I'm more composed now. Yesterday, I was fluctuating between breaking down and putting up a brave front, and the slightest word would swing me to the former.
Of course the vet was surprised, and we talked at length. We both finally came to the conclusion that it is Joanie's decision on what kind of a life she wants.
The vet told me we had already done everything possible for Joanie, and the comforting thing he said was this: "She must be feeling great since she wants to be on her own again."
Yes, I hope so too.
Last night, I emailed one of my friends in Singapore who is a medical doctor and also a cat-lover (he taught me about TNRM). He said something very wise when I said I was worried since Joanie is supposed to be still on antibiotics: "Sometimes the body immune system is better than antibiotics and keeping in a stressed environment may be more detrimental to her health." Now, that is also comforting to hear.
It also made me realise that while we humans think Joanie is better off sitting on a soft towel in a cage, she may be so uncomfortable and stressed because this is not the life she wants or is used to. Maybe to her, sitting inside a drain is a luxury, being free to roam is a luxury.
Even my own Cow and Bunny, who get to sleep on the bed and sofa, sometimes prefer sitting on the hot tar road under a car, or in the drain. They actually like it.
It is just like what a vet used to tell me, that statistically, zoo animals live longer than animals in the wild, but are the zoo animals happy? Sure, they have food and shelter, but are they happy?
It all boils down to present-moment living and the quality of life.
It is not how long we live, but what kind of life we lead, moment-to-moment.
So, where are you now, Joanie? Wherever you are, be happy.