On the terrible day in November that I had to bring Casey to the vet's office for the last time, something unusual happened.
At my request, Dr. Gifford had administered a sedative, prior to the final injection, so that Casey would be relaxed and calm before she drifted into her permanent sleep.
As the relaxant took effect, Casey laid on her side, without moving, and I looked deeply into her eyes, stroking her and whispering how much I loved her.
Casey began to slowly and deliberately blink her eyes. I had never noticed her doing that before, and I wasn't sure why she was doing it now, at this fateful moment. As I struggled to keep my turbulent emotions in check, my telepathic prowess deserted me; there was no time to ask Casey or intuit what she meant.
So it was with tremendous gratitude and wonder that I stumbled upon a moving explanation of this gesture in Dusty Rainbolt's engaging book, Ghost Cats: Human Encounters with Feline Spirits (which I will be reviewing in the December issue of my monthly eNewsletter, "What's Up With Animals?"):
"A slow blink is one of the ways that cats communicate affection--sort of a kitty kiss."
I now realize that Casey was saying, "I love you," one last time. She was saying, "good-bye," in the only way she could, and I will always treasure that memory.