the hardest goodbye

I’m sitting in an emergency vet hospital for my cat, Theodore, on a Saturday night, waiting for more bad news (probably) on the general well being of his life. It doesn’t look good, and it hasn’t for a week and a bit. During this time, I’ve been left thinking about his life, and how it’s impacted mine for the last four years and it’s been tough.

It’s hard when you realize that you’ve grown emotionally attached to another thing, person, animal in your life, while at the same time consistently pushing others away – for a fear of loss in the end. Somehow, with animals, you can’t help it. Maybe you don’t think you do, but you become attached. And when we lose them, and have no control over it, you can’t help but think, why do we get the power of the choice of their lives being lived?

I can’t ask Theo how he’s feeling, I have to guess. I don’t know if he really is okay with getting a fluid injection every night at 9 PM so he doesn’t fall into kidney failure, or two pills of steroids daily so something can help make his muscles grow faster. Does he seem in pain? No, he purrs, nuzzles his head for pets and rolls over when he desires a belly rub. But sometimes, if you look closely, when he’s huddled on the cool bathroom floor, eyes semi-opened and breathing a bit heavier than normal, it’s hard to tell.

Why must we be the ones to make the heaviest choice of all? Who is it serving? Who’s being more selfish?

Theo’s lying beside me in his dark green carry cage, the one that brought him home to Ontario from Calgary, eyes closed, head against the side. Not stressed out, not meowing, doesn’t seem afraid.

He’s just lying there, waiting. For an absolution he doesn’t know is coming, or maybe he does and I’m actually the one who’s waiting in the dark.

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