You know I’m all about the Christmas joy right now, but there are a couple of other things going on, too.
First, my Garmin is acting up now. It’s only one year old, but it froze up completely on Friday and blew my step goal streak EVEN THOUGH I TOTALLY GOT IT THAT DAY. I blame you know what.
Second, I’ve started to really think about the fate of my old cat. I wrote about her a couple of months ago and, as I’m sure you can deduce, things haven’t been getting better. I don’t think they’ve gotten particularly worse, but they haven’t exactly improved.
While we were away, my mom stayed at our place. She’ll stay here again this weekend. When we saw my parents yesterday, we got to talking about our cats and since my mom used to be a veterinary technician, I value her opinion. When I asked what she thought, she was blunt in saying that her time was coming. Her time, of course, is anything but her time – it’s actually the end of her time.
I knew it and I’ve even been saying it for a while, but it was different to hear the conversation outside of the confines of our relationship, me and Kevin.
I’m conflicted because as much as she is confused and has degenerated mobility and screams bloody murder anytime she wants to eat, get on the bed or plain old just feels like it, she still does things that indicate that she’s also okay. She plays. She chases me around the house and then runs away like I’m supposed to chase her back. She recognizes her opportunities to do things she’s not supposed to and takes advantage of them. (She does this thing where she runs behind the dryer and out the other side and she sneaks behind me to do a loop every single time I open the closet that house the washer/dryer.) She lights up when she sees me. She also seems to get lost sometimes. And she loses track of us in the apartment. And she gets off the bed only to want to get back on ten steps later.
How do you do the math to balance all of these things? How do you measure the healthy for her age and the still together enough to goof off and the rough around the edges?
We aren’t at the point where an argument could even remotely be made that we are keeping her alive for us more than for her, but we could be, and soon. How do you recognize that point in time?
She woke me up in the middle of the night last night, like she does every night. She was just yowling away, right in my face. It seemed she was doing it for no apparent reason. She didn’t get up because she wanted to eat, her favourite pillow was vacant and accessible. I had no idea what she wanted and it seemed totally possible that neither did she. And the conversation we’d had yesterday afternoon was all I could think about.
What if the day comes when I have to make the decision to end her life? I want to believe that my love for her is strong enough that I’ll be able to do the right thing, but what if I can’t? What if I miss the signs or become so selfish in my potential grief that I keep her alive past the point when it’s what’s best for her?
Right now, my heart is a little heavy, but I’m also choosing to enjoy my time with her and change my thinking from being burdened to being blessed. And I’m thinking long and hard about whether I’ll leave her alone to travel at all between now and the end, whenever that may be.