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June 6, 2017 / memoriesofagoldfish

The Hard Stuff I Don’t Understand

I will never understand why people abuse animals.  Every cat I’ve ever had has owned me and the thought never crosses my mind.  When I adopted Daphnie in 2001, I had no idea what I was getting into.  What a fool I was.  She was the best cat.  Smart, pretty and funny.  She was always around and she was my first unconditional love and I don’t think that I would understand that concept at all, without her.

You all know how this goes, you’ve been here long enough.  When I met Mark he had Nike and Ezri and they were completely different cats than Daphnie.  They were just like cats.  Aloof and fussy and HUGE.  They weren’t exactly love bugs, like Daphy, but they were good kitties and I loved them.  They were so soft and fluffy!  Mark rescued them from the landfill where he worked and they traveled from IN to CO with us.  Ezri left us in CO and Nike made it to PA diabetes and all.

Then came Wooley, whose story was well-documented on the Facebook.  I had always wanted a smooshy-faced cat and I fell completely in love with him at Pet Smart.  He was 12 and he had such a sob story I couldn’t understand why no one had rescued him.  I wrote the lady a check for $50 and said I’d be back to get him just as soon as I tricked my other half into adoption.  There was some convincing and I took him to see him and that was it. Wooley cast his spell and Mark was a goner.

Sidebar:  I found him and I rescued him and he should have pledged his everlasting love to me!  Alas, he became Mark’s cat and while I pretended it was a bone of contention, I was really just happy to have him around, safe and loved.  He was so SMOOSHY!

We do so many special things for our pets that people without pets may not understand.  If you’re not a pet person, we probably won’t get along for long.  I don’t care what kind of pet, honestly.  But there’s a bond between man and beast that makes you understand unconditional love in its purest, truest form.  They just give what they have and it’s so enchanting.  So in return, we help them with their diabetes and special diets (look at feeding Wooley and Daphnie wet food mixed with tuna, because it was good for their fur and stuff.  Cut to their elder years where we added fish oil and glucosamine in because it was good for their joints and skin and hair and nails…whatever.)  Because I did/do it for my own pets, I completely understand why you do it for yours and if I ever pet-sit for you, I will do it, tirelessly.

Moving back to Indiana without Daphnie was tough, but I didn’t want to bring her here without having a place to bring her and I was sure that I’d go back for her.  Too much up in the air and for whatever was between Mark and I, he was really good to our chirrens.  I might have made the decision to leave her there with him permanently if the Brother Husbands didn’t have 9 dogs.  She was never a dog person, so I rescued her from that hell.  I know Mark loved her and missed her, she was truly special among the special.  I know what it’s like to have a special cat, because I had a REALLY special cat.

Fletcher is Vicki’s fault, she found Fletcher on PetFinder.  She showed me a picture of him and I emailed the shelter immediately.  I was still living with her, but I WANTED him soooooo bad.  Look at his smooshy face!  He needed me.  Who else would take care of him like me?  Who would abandon him at 11 and leave him at the Home for Wayward Cats?  Some fucker, that’s who.

I contacted Barb a THfWC and I arranged to get him after Daphy and I had settled into the new apartment, which was July 18, 2014.  He was smart and polite and had ZERO trouble with the litter box.  A complete gentleman.  But he was not a cat person.  There was a period of adjustment and thankfully, Daphy was the smarter cat.  She would figure out how to keep him from abusing her and when I was around he left her alone.  We made it work.

When Daphnie passed in 2015, I really think it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  I had to actively make the choice to end the life of “someone” who’d brought me nothing but happiness and love.  I’ve lost many people over the years, and this is completely different.  It’s not better, not worse, just different and hard to reconcile.  Logically, you know you did the right thing…but, what if?

Now here I am again, waiting for lab work to confirm what I already know.  My vet is a good vet and he really hates to put an animal through anything that they don’t understand if there’s no benefit to the animal.  He’ll tell you straight up if he thinks you’re being selfish.  He was honest and straight forward when we talked and he said that what was likely was that Fletcher would need 24-hour care in a hospital until he died.  Basically, catspice.

I can’t do that.  He knows me and he sleeps with me every night, curled up in my arm.  I’m a side-sleeper and when I move, he moves.  He wants to be curled up against me.  That is perhaps the best compliment I’ve ever received in my entire life.  How could I leave him alone in a strange place, not knowing anyone, wondering where me and my warm arm are?  It breaks my fucking heart and it’s not an option.

As I sit here drinking wine, crying my balls off, I am fully preparing for this to be his last night with me. I’m not trying to be fatalistic or macabre, just honest.  I hate false hope, it’s cruel.  Tonight I will sleep on the floor of my office, close to him and his litter box and the food and water, not high up off the floor, so he doesn’t have to waste energy he doesn’t have trying to find me and my arm.  I will talk to him and rub him and love him and make sure that what could possibly be his last night on Earth is comfortable, safe, warm and he will spend it curled up in my arm, where he belongs.

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