It’s funny how when death comes, it’s not what you think it will be.
This is it for Desi. Poor cat.
I’ve joked about her in the past and what a shitty pet she’s generally been, what with the hissing and the hairball puke all over the rug and the trying to eat anyone who comes through the door. But for 16 years and 7 months she’s been my shitty pet.
Saturday morning I took the old girl to the vet, after realizing she hadn’t touched her food (unheard of) in ages and seemingly of nowhere, she’s become just a wisp of her former gloriously obese self. She’s not quite walking straight, her fur is spiking out in unnatural angles, and she’s certainly lost her feisty streak. When I nudged her off the coffee table, she didn’t let out that trademark toxic hiss–just stumbled and landed on her side before scuttling away, defeated.
And then there’s the matter of the fist-sized growth on her back.
I walked back into the apartment, trailing big clumps of black cat hair behind me as I confirmed the prognosis with Nate. The doctor had given her a steroid shot to ease the pain until we could make the decision to let her go and that decision should be made sooner than later.
Never did I expect to be this emotional, to burst into tears as I relayed the information. I suppose I have spent a lot of time thinking what a burden Desi was, and really very little thinking what things would be like without her. How I’d miss those nights alone in bed when, like a magical stuffed animal who comes to life just for a child, Desi would curl up on my chest, lick my neck and purr herself to sleep, releasing the sweet inner kitten she revealed only ever to me.
I set down in the duffel with which I had transported the cat, while Thalia, who loves every unlovable beast on this planet, squealed and scurried up to pet her. As if Desi were still fat and healthy. As if she had ever reciprocated Thalia’s affections even one bit. Thalia never saw her as others did. Thalia never questioned whether Desi was worthy of her love–she just loved her.
“Desi, doctor,” she said as she pressed her face against Desi’s mangy fur in an that cheek-hug that toddler’s do.
“That’s right, Thalia. Desi is feeling sick and so we took her to the doctor.”
“Desi alllllll better.”
“Yes, sweetie. Soon she’ll be all better.”