I think it’s time.
He’s tired, he’s so very tired, and he’s old, and he’s been on this planet nearly two decades, a marathon for a cat, such a long time.
This sweet kitty pressed his paws into my palm for so many timeless times, holding hands in his little kitty way, cuddling under my arm and looking into my face sometimes, just looking, just watching, just seeing if I was there.
His fur, once glossy and smooth and soft, is matted now with tangles; he has not eaten for several days and can’t even drink any more.
It’s Friday night. Tomorrow I’ll go to a first aid class — part of my fost/adopt parent licensing requirements — and then I’ll take him on what I fear will be his last journey.
It’s a good weekend here in Arizona. The skies are clear and lucent, the air fresh but not bitter with cold. Birds are coming back and early flowers are peeking out of the toneless khaki of the desert in winter.
I’m not ready for this. I wasn’t ready for it with Mira either, when I knew it was due, when I knew there was no other path for us to take. We create our own samsara; we make our own suffering — at least most of the time.
We’re never ready for the last. We’re never ready to lose these sweet warm life companions. The idea of Rainbow Bridges is lovely but not plausible and the certainty of the permanent parting lies heavy on my heart.
But he is so thin and light, starving, dying; only two weeks ago he rested beside me and cuddled as he always did, purring gently and seeking, petting, pawing, kneading, looking up to see if I knew he was still there, and I kissed his furry head and told him I loved him, and he rested beside me, fragile and beautiful and hopelessly impermanent.
Spring brings life and the promise of future, but my little grey bed biscuit can’t hold on any more, and I will not require it of him. If he whispers to me, if he tells me what I think is in his heart, I’ll know it — and I won’t let him be alone when the day wanes forever in his sight.
I’m going to talk to him, I’m going to ask him, I’m going to hold his hands and let him know that if it’s time, I’ll be there for him.
He was always there for me.
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