Friday, September 18, 2009
Without much warning, after nearly 13 years, I find myself petless.
My trusted kitty, whom I adopted all those years ago from a shelter, has left this spinning orb.
He hadn't been himself lately, and the last visit to the vet revealed some serious things amiss. And he was already 4 when I brought him home. That means, in people years, my sweet cat was probably around 92 or 93 years old. Growing thinner by the day, intestinal issues, digestive issues, kidney issues all confirmed. We went round in circles and finally decided that waiting for the inevitable wouldn't make it any easier when it came. Yet I still struggle with it, this evening, in our too-quiet home that no longer needs food and water dishes at the bottom of the steps: Did we do the right thing? I think we did. But I know that none of us truly has that right, to aid the natural process, to assist the permanent vacation from the body. Am I suddenly a Kevorkian who avoided a sentence because my victim was animal, not human? Do I still have to right to express pro-life beliefs? Should I ever be entrusted with another animal?
I hope that somehow, my good ol' cat understood how hard it was. I hope, on some level at least, he was ready to go. I know that recently, he didn't much resemble the cat I loved all those years. I know that he was not at all well. I know he was, short of a miracle, not getting better. I know he was really, really old. And I know he had a good life.
It doesn't make it any easier. Tonight, the world, our little world, is absent one soft, fuzzy orange mass of fur accompanied by a purr like a rumbling motor. Tonight I will not feed the insistently mewing creature. Tonight, he will rest in our yard and not in his favorite spot in the hall, where we all tripped over him at first and then gingerly stepped over him of late.
There is a hole here.