I’ve had my cat for 14 years. In some ways, I think that means she’s been with me for almost all of my adult life meaning that I mentally became an adult around the age of 25. She’s been a really amazing companion and a great pet, aside from being a little mouthy and complainy. I wonder where she got those traits from? Sadly, I have noticed her losing weight and showing signs of age. I knew it in my heart that she was getting sick, but I just didn’t know for sure yet.
My thoughts were confirmed today when I got the report from the vet. Dapple has hyperthyroidism, and her kidneys are failing her. She only weighs 4 pounds, half of what she should weigh, and although it’s treatable, there is no guarantee that the medicine will work, or if she’ll take to it naturally. The doctor told me it’s tricky and that one illness has to be treated before the other but again, there is no guarantee that it will work.
I always knew this day was going to come, and I guess I must be ready for it if it’s here right now, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t fucked me up a little bit in the head the last few days wondering and worrying about what the results might be. Now I know.
Five years ago my ex’s cat Jose got sick, and we did everything we could to keep him alive including having him go through a costly surgery that we hoped and prayed would yield a good result. Jose died the day after the surgery, and it was probably one of the saddest days of my life.
I remember coming home from the vets after seeing him after he passed. I put on the song “Breathe Me” by Sia and I sat in my bedroom and cried for an hour. In the days that past I would still hear the jingle of this little bell he used to play with as if he was still there in the apartment, haunting it with his presence. The last few days of his life were probably some of the most stressful and painful for him, and I vowed I would never put an animal through that kind of torture. It drained me, and it killed him. I remember I had just moved into a new apartment in Hollywood when he died, and here I am in a new apartment in Seattle finding the irony in this deja vu.
Things have been going really well for me lately. I have a good job that sometimes frustrates me but is lucrative enough to keep me there. I have an amazing girlfriend who has patiently put up with my drama as I try to learn not to make the same mistakes I did in other relationships, and I love the city I live in, and I have some friends that are also co-workers who like and respect me, even though I sometimes freak out when I get stressed in the well. And now, there’s this.
Dapple has been there for me through everything. She always runs to the door when I come home, she always likes to “make bread” on my stomach by kneading it when I feel down, and she always called me out and let me know I was fucking up by pooping in the hallway back when I was addicted. She never held a grudge, and she is always happy to see me.
I don’t know where to go from here, but I know that this is beginning of the end of her life, and all I really want for her is to live it out as painless and stress free as possible. She deserves it. I’ve been down this road before and whether the course of action is treatment, or just making her as comfortable as possible these next few months I’m going to do what I feel is best for her. I just wish I knew what that was right now.
I paid $20 at the shelter to adopt Dapple when I lived in Las Vegas, yet they say money can’t buy love? Well, considering everything she has put up with and done for me over the last 14 years if that’s not a prime example of unconditional love, then I don’t know what is.