It Just Goes On and On, My Friend

This just feels like the sadness that never ends. And yet, things go one much like they have for a while now. She goes out and stands in the yard and looks off toward the north like something is coming from that way that only she can see. She sleeps on the couch until she hears something and then she cocks her head and looks at me like I’d better go check and see if we’re about to be killed by a scary monster, because she’s going to be busy hiding and unable to protect us.

She likes the wet food, but, like I said, it’s clearly just the novelty of it she likes. She took a few bites of dry food yesterday, I think mostly to appease my mom, but really has no interest in it.

Sometimes, she stands next to me and puts her head in my hands and stares at me and I know she knows something is wrong and she wants me to do something about it. It’s the same look she’s given me when she wants me to pull a tick off her or get a leaf out of her ear. She pissed the bed again last night, but I had her on towels, so it wasn’t as gross and night-ruining as the night before.

Most alarmingly, it doesn’t have any smell. So, I think her kidneys aren’t working. It’s just water coming through, no waste. And she shudders when she breathes in.

I worry that she’s in pain.

But she seems completely happy. It’s so weird.

I called a mobile vet one of my friends used when her dog was dying. I’m waiting for her to call me back. I thought I was composed, but the minute I had to say why I was calling, I started crying. So, I hope she can understand at least my phone number and call me back.

It’s the ordinariness that gets me, most, how Mrs. Wigglebottom is just doing all the regular things she normally does. Just much more frailly. It’s so easy to ask yourself, “Do you really euthanize a dog who’s still capable of licking her butt in a disgusting manner while sitting right next to you?” “Is it fair to euthanize a dog who would be happy to sit out in the sun all day when there are bound to be so many more sunny days?” You look for any excuse to say “It’s not bad enough yet.”

And then I remember this is night two of her sleeping in her own urine and I feel guilty about wanting to wait until the Butcher gets home. Making her wait seems so cruel.

And yet, of course she’s unbothered. This is just another thing that happens. She used to not pee when she slept and now she does. She seems to find it strange, but not alarming.

I am doing all the dreading for both of us.

7 thoughts on “It Just Goes On and On, My Friend

  1. My empathy.

    My 17 year old cat is doing much the same things right now. Clear, odorless pee (wherever he happens to be at the time). Won’t eat, only he’s not even interested in the gushy food. No water. He’s seeing something (and since he’s blind, that’s a trick), walking circles through the house, just looking. He’s gone, though. There’s an animal in there that responds to stimuli, but *he* is gone. No fear. He’s going in this afternoon, after we somehow get through a day of teaching we can’t cancel.

    Every time it feels like my heart can’t break anymore, it does.

  2. I went thru this same thing almost two years ago with my kitty. It started as a greasiness on his fur. And he was crying all night all of a sudden, and that ceased after about a week. To complicate matters, it was when I was having to abruptly move and I had my head in another space, not noticing that the cat was sleeping more and more – I mean, cats sleep all the time, right? Long story short, a vet visit happened, labs were done and the really nice Doctor told me his kidneys were failing – that most cats, if they live long enough, eventually go from kidney or liver failure.

    And I went through the same “but he looks fine now” and “he could live another xxx months” – but eventually, I realized and admitted to myself that I have a living will for the purpose of not suffering when I can’t speak for myself and that I should afford him the same dignity that I hope a signed & notarized document will afford me if the situation calls for it.

    Playing God sucks.

  3. Cinnabari, I will be keeping you guys in my thoughts.

    Beth, as gross as waking up in a puddle of pee is, I’m actually really grateful for a sign that the time has come. As terrible as this is, at least I know without a doubt that this is what a body does at the end.

  4. She knows what’s coming, and she knows she is loved. Every living creature should have that at their end.

    Know that you are loved, too, dear one. Our hearts are with all y’all in your little love-filled house.

  5. Aunt B., I send my love. My turn is coming, maybe sooner than later. Please ruffle Mrs. W.’s ears for me.

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