Especially when you're a cat, a gorgeous stray cat, definitely a Norwegian Forest Cat descendant of some kind, orange and white with a mustache and goatee. You're 15 years old and it's been a good 14 1/2 years. The last 6 months have kind of sucked. You have some kind of abdominal cancer. There's some internal bleeding. Vomiting. It's been a decline, that's for sure. You've gone from 10 1/2 pounds down to a wraith-like 5 pounds this morning at the vet.
You and she have been partners for your whole lives, adopted the same day from the Humane Society. You are the same age, but she's always been stronger, bigger, healthier. Always. You've always been a bit fragile, and now more than ever. She and the young upstart, the big fat brown tabby not appearing in this thought process, have started to withdraw, but last night she walked over you on the couch and gave you a little pity lick on your forehead, the little M between your eyes that says "yes, I'm a bit of a tabby here."
It's days now, not months, all of a sudden you are sick and yet you still jump on the counter, you still follow me upstairs. But it won't last. You ate up the baby food puree at first but the spoonful I put on your plate this morning is still sitting there untouched.
Selfishly, I want you to make up your mind. I don't want to have to handle the girls and deal with the decision of bringing you to the vet for that last time. The vet was realistic: "You'll probably wake up soon and he'll be gone." And I want that so badly. I thought you would die in my arms last Saturday night and yet here you still are. But you look comfortable, your eyes aren't desperate like they were a week ago. And yet you've lost another pound in that time. So I hope you can go peacefully here at your own house. But we'll see as the weekend goes by.
You are as old as my marriage, brought home the weekend school started and I didn't have a job yet (I would by the end of the week). It was a two-for-one deal. We named you after a character in a Roger Zelazny book. And it was fitting.
But now it's coming to an end and it's going to be ok. Sad but ok. It's too short but we knew that going in. And it's been so so good.