The death of a beloved cat, Ramadhan, and Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Let me start by asking this question: What do all three of those seemingly unrelated subjects have in common (the three things listed in the title above)? It’s rhetorical, so don’t feel badly if you did not guess correctly.
Yesterday, our family lost the matriarch of our cat colony – Salimah Bee Bee: She was 13 and half years old. In most regards, she was, and always had been “THE BEST CAT”: Well-behaved, always used the cat box, was patient with her clan members, loving toward us, mothered the small ones, and was just the sweetest and best Tortie-White EVER!
SALIMAH BEE BEE, No1, Edit C, 16Dec09. Copyright 2009 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.
This is a photo of Salimah Bee Bee from 2009.
She had suffered from breast cancer for several months. Yes, now you know; if you did not know before, animals can get breast cancer. By the time Salimah died, the tumors had ravaged a lot of her.
We wanted to give her the best life possible: she loved life. She loved food. Even with cancer, when it came to mealtime, you would think there was nothing at all wrong with her. If you would put her cancerous condition compared to a human with the same amount of cancer, I’m sure the human would not have even been able to sit upright. Nevertheless, Salimah was still running, jumping, eating, looking outside, rolling around on the hot cement (something she loved to do) and dreaming of catching birds.
It is the month of Ramadhan – Fasting Month:
About 24 hours before yesterday when she died, her health had begun to deteriorate drastically. Thus, it was yesterday that we had decided that it would probably be best to have her be put to sleep. Salimah made it to the veterinary’s office, but before the Vet could even begin the procedure, she had already died.
Being that it is ‘Fasting Month’ – we (the family) were all physically stressed from lack of water, tired, emotionally stressed, and after her death, extremely sad.
I have dug a lot of burial plots for our dearly departed furry family members, but I can’t remember digging one during Ramadhan. Yesterday it was extremely hot: I don’t know the exact degrees, but it was probably in the 90’s (F), and it was very humid.
For my cats, I must always prepare the burial spot just as a cemetery worker does for any dearly departed Muslim family member. I do not make distinctions between the importance of non-furry and furry family members. Not everyone feels the same way about ‘pets’.
I do not like the word, ‘pet’ – it sounds very servile or second-class. I prefer the term ‘furry family member’. Of course, that could refer to your old, Uncle George who has an extraordinary amount of back hair, but in this case, I’m talking about the four-legged family members.
STRESS, BODILY EXERTION, and ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS:
Being dehydrated and having a Rheumatoid arthritis disease, like the one I own, ankylosing spondylitis, creates havoc and extra pain throughout the ‘joints system’ of the body. Leave it to be, I wasn’t going to let my bodily pain shortcut the efforts to provide Salimah Bee Bee with a good and proper burial. Thus, I proceeded with as much gusto as I could muster, to make things just right.
Her body was placed into the cube that I dug out of the somewhat dark, clayey-hard soil. I recited Al-Fatihah for her, and recited several other prayers asking God, wishing, and hoping that her soul was peaceful and at rest.
At about 7:30pm (approximately), with the words of the Ahdzan filling the airwaves, coming from the local mosques, we broke our fast. The day was coming to an end, a sad end. For me, it was a sad and painful end.
ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS and BURIALS
This morning, I woke up at the sound of my alarm at 4:30am, to have my suhoor, which is the breakfast meal before beginning fasting. It felt like every joint in my spine, my knees, my shoulders, and my legs were super-glued – just pushing myself to move was causing a solid “8.5” on the Pain Scale! This is what a ‘morning-after’ is like for an ankylosing spondylitis sufferer when a burial is performed the day before.
I really tried to stay up-and-awake to get to my day of work. I just couldn’t take the pain. I couldn’t even sit in my work chair – it was so uncomfortable and excruciating!
During fasting, no medications are allowed to be taken during your fast. Thus, I usually schedule taking my pain medications for right before beginning my fast, and shortly after ending my fast. This morning I made sure to take my meds., but there was no relief.
This entire day, I felt so horribly and physically achy, that I could hardly get out of bed. I went back to sleep at around 9:00am, and only got up a couple of times between that time and the time when we break fast in the evening.
Of course, I would not have changed a thing about the ways and efforts I did for Salimah Bee Bee. The shocker for me, however, was how horribly affected I would be today. It was like the day didn’t happen – where did the day go?
So now you know the connections among the Death of a Loved Furry Family Member; the Struggles Faced during Fasting Month; and that of Suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis.
On a side-note:
I am so backlogged with work that I have not published to my photo-blog! It is crazy! I have paintings and photographs from April that have not been shown yet. I want to get it all uploaded to my Sales Gallery at http://nawfalnur.imagekind.com/ and at the same time, to show the images here at my https://smokephotographist.wordpress.com/ photo-blog.
I think that the time it takes me to do tasks is the main culprit that causes my delays: Time and the Speed of my Internet connection are the main issues! LOLOL!
Well, I’ll do my best because I just need to get these things accomplished. With the death of my Salimah, it is a reminder that our time on this earth is very limited and we need to get as much accomplished and enjoy our time to the best of our abilities and efforts.