This week has been hard. I feel like we’ve been on a rollercoaster. One minute, Cleo’s really sick. We go to the vet. Tests are okay. Procedures are done. We think it’s gonna get better. And then, hours later, it isn’t. And we’re back on the worry train–not sleeping, googling our fears.
Last night was one of those nights. Cleo was in to the vet all day yesterday. Had procedures. Did well. Did not eat. We were told that was probably normal. We came home with her and noticed she was walking funny…probably from the procedure. She immediately ran and hid. And didn’t come out. My roommate was able to get her, eventually, and we tried to give her food and water. She refused. We forcefed her water. It was awful. Then, gave her the Pred. Another battle. And back to under the bed.
She sleeps all the time. She doesn’t sleep with me like she used to–though, I think, she wants to. She doesn’t eat or drink or play–she wants to. She just seems like she’s given up. The appetite stimulator hasn’t worked. Surefire food tricks aren’t working. What was good Friday failed today. And yesterday.
And I google.
And we cry, juggle finances, and consider the worst case scenario.
We’re back at the emergency vet later. We’re at a crossroads. We’re not sure which road is ours. But we hope it’s the one where Cleo gets better, and we don’t have to do the impossibly hard thing we fear most.
I read once that losing a pet is one of the most aging, stress-inducing thing you can go through. I can confirm that. Having lost so many loved ones, I can say that witnessing a beloved animal suffering and being completely unable to stop it is one of the worst things in the world. It’s up there with enduring my mother’s illness.
I haven’t talked much to people about how I feel about it. I’ve mostly just given them the facts of the situation–shared victories and setbacks–kept people posted–asked for prayers and good thoughts. I do it for me–to make me feel like things have been done. Because I feel so helpless here. I need the prayers and good thoughts. I really do.
I haven’t told my therapist my cat might be dying. My last convo about Cleo was when we had good news–no cancer. But I haven’t felt like I should share this. Because I can’t do anything about it, and I’m not scarred yet. We still have hope. If she gets better, I’ll be fine.
I try not to cry around her. I get upset when people yell around her. I try to shelter her from things that scare her. I’d stop the entire Universe if it made her feel even a tiny bit better.
Last night, we realized we’d probably need to take her back to the vet today. Things started sinking in. Horrible possibilities. When I went to sleep, a part of me was so grateful for the 10 years I’ve had with her–for the tremendous love I have for her. For that special bond we have. I am her person. I am the one she wants to be beside right now. And I’m so grateful she is there right now–even if sick and totally out of it. Every moment with her has been such an honor.
But there’s another part of me that, when I feel the pain of losing this amazing creature, just wants to shut it all down. Part of me tells me to protect myself–to distance myself–to suck it up and just get past this.
There’s a battle there.
I had it last night. In my sleep.
I woke up this morning and chose Cleo. Not my ego. Not my pain. Not the crap. I chose to take care of myself and support my roomie so we can be there for her. I will love her like I always have. I will cherish every second like I always have, and I will be there for her the way she has always been there for me. I owe her that much. I will fight for her and tell her to fight. But I won’t let her suffer. I won’t hold on to hope that isn’t real. That would be for me–not her. I will do what’s best for her–even if it breaks me in two.
We’re not there yet. But my roomie and I know it may be possible–soon. So we had that conversation. That worst case scenario. We are clear.
We choose love. Because she’s worth it.
Love isn’t all you need, though. It’s a big thing. But sometimes, food and water are pretty key too. We have all the love in the world here. Pray for full bellies.