A Kitty of a Certain Age
I'm worried about Gretel. She is a skelecat. I can feel her breastbone, her ribs, her bony, bumpy spine. I don't know if it's the heat or her age (17) or the anxiety of being this close to escape because she's now allowed outside or if she's not eating or what. I recently started feeding her wet food as her teeth might be hurting her with the dry crunchy dead horse cat food. I feel a little sick with anxiety at the thought of something happening to her, but I know she'll die. It's the not knowing when that's hard. Jess once said that she wished she could just put her dog Lucy to sleep right then, just so she'd know when she was going to die. It's the unknown quality of grief that scares me. Like, maybe I'll be fine or somewhat sad, but then recover in a week or so. Or maybe I'll be devastated since she was my first pet ever and since I got her in college and so when she goes, it's this metaphorical death of that college self too and a reminder that I'm getting older too. I've never lost a pet before (having never had one before her), except for our neighbor's golden retriever when I was growing up, Corey. I remember I almost fell off my bike when Mrs. Autterson told me they had to put Corey down. I ran home. My mom was putting clothes out on the line. She said later that she knew something devastating had happened because of the way I was wailing. I cried through dinner and through piano practice, until my stepdad snapped. He said, Quit it! It was just a dog! I also remember when Wallis Payne, my best friend in middle school, had to put her very talkative Siamese, Diabla, to sleep. Diabla was a total bitch to me sometimes, but she loved Wallis and slept with her under the covers every night. I remember the fear that she would die some day too and collecting a few of her whiskers to put in an envelope (she loved that). And I remember when Wallis called me to tell me and how she didn't have to say anything. She just said, Can you please meet me halfway? (Our houses were at the end of two cul-de-sacs and we always met at the cross street). I saw her coming to me and I knew, knew, knew. I said, What happened to Diabla? And she started crying. At least I know Shawn will feel part of what I feel since he worships her. I have to remind him to pet me even 1/100th as much as he does her.