Well folks, it’s time to say good-bye to Zoey. For those of you who don’t know, she’s a cat I’ve been fostering for going on three years. I won’t post any pictures of her in her present state. The vet gave my son and Zoey’s owner the news around 4:00. She has an inoperable mass. Like her daughter before her, the late Cloey, it has spread throughout her vital organs. I guess that explains her inability to keep food down. Not even grass at this point. For the last several days, I’ve been feeding her the little she eats out of my palm. Sara Lee honey ham I pulled into small pieces. Anyway, we will be saying goodbye to Zoey on Thursday, if she makes it that long.
She ran straight down to my room when she got home from the vet. Yesterday she kept pawing at me and today she looked at me as though saying, ‘save me.’ I wish dammit I could cause she saved me long time ago. All the time I spent trying to keep her from hiding in the hole she made in the mattress. I guess if I’d kept my distance I wouldn’t have such mixed emotion now. But it was well worth it to have her trust. I’m the only one she doesn’t run from. To me that’s an honor.
I asked my son why they didn’t just get it over with. He thought I wanted to spend some more time with her. She purred and rubbed against my legs while he gave me the news. I reached down to rub her. She’s all fur and bones and quite frankly I don’t think she likes being rubbed right now. In typical Zoey fashion, she’s the giver of affection. She would groom that old Tigger for hours if he didn’t turn violent. Wonder what Mr. Big & Bad gonna do once there’s no Zoey to attack?
Anyway, we will all be there with her. I’m a little nervous because it’ll be my first time holding vigil with death. I’d let my first cat die alone. I was a teenager and nowhere as strong as I am now, partially thanks to the small gray cat. Last night I was thinking maybe she won’t make it until Thursday. Maybe she’ll go peacefully in her sleep. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve wondered if Zoey would come out the room in the morning. Even when she’d started to limp for no reason she’d still emerged. Ironically, back then the vet told us maybe she’d injured her leg because she was overweight. If only she had that signature appetite of hers now.
This morning she came out soon as my door opened. I let her outside. I imagine her having a bucket list. Going outside daily has a check mark now. She made her way around the yard nibbling on grass. After about an hour I let her back in. Bones wrapped in fur. Not only is she still walking around, but she still claws her way on top my bed, she still jumps on top the sofa. I tried to palm feed her more ham but she turned away. I gave her a spoon full of chicken pate and put some of the appetite stimulant they got from the vet with it. To my delight she lapped up the gravy and medicine.
I had errands to run. When I was done, I went on to the park and took the trails. I hadn’t walked in five days. God I missed it. The medicine apparently did the trick. Zoey ate. Vomit was in the hallway and her room. She threw up again today several times. Still she walked around, clawed her way on top my bed, and jumped on the chair to cuddle with me. Not only is she impossibly still alive but she’s not lethargic. Even Zoey must have a breaking point. Even if she can go on I can’t. It’s a greater kindness to say goodbye.