Some decisions are hard to make because there’s too many choices that are all basically the same. Like shopping for a Kindle cover. I wanted something sturdy enough and visually acceptable. And most of them were book-shaped, fake leather covered, with elastic tabs to hold the Kindle, about the same price, in a small sample of colors.

So I dithered. There’s a lot of brown, black, and gray, which I find boring. I have an objection to pink/ red that’s a holdover from well-meaning relatives who were unaware of the kind of skinned-knee, tree-climbing, shoe-losing child I was.

I wasn’t, in fact, a doll/lace/pink roses kind of girl. But it’s the thought that counts.

Also, dolls are a bit creepy.

Other decisions are hard because there’s no good choice. One of my cats (eight years old next Monday) has cancer that’s spread to his lungs. Treatment would very likely not help at all, and he hates the vet so much he’d likely injure himself badly if we tried.

Old picture. He’s on the top left.

So I’ve been watching him, giving him plenty of attention and treats, and looking for a sign that his quality of life isn’t good anymore. Yesterday wasn’t a good day. If today isn’t good either, I’m going to have to take him in. I have no desire to subject him to a slow, suffocating death. I also really, really don’t want to euthanize him. I’d like this to be an Eddie Izzard skit (warning: language) where I have another, better choice.

There isn’t one, but so it goes. You laugh and you cry and life goes on.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

8 responses »

  1. I’m so sorry about your kitty. I hope he’s not in too much pain 😦

    • caitlinstern says:

      Thanks. He was struggling to breathe, so I took him in this morning. We sat outside for a little while, watching the hummingbirds and butterflies in the flowers. You treasure your pets while you can because you don’t get to keep them forever.

  2. Marcia says:

    Oh, boy. Nothing anyone can say can ease this kind of pain. We live with cats and dachshunds, currently, and I’ve had cats all my life. We lost our beloved Snickers one month to the day after you took your baby in. *sigh* ( You know you are having a bad day when it starts with a colonoscopy, your cat dies, and then your house gets struck by lightning. In ONE day! Really???) It was awful to come home from the hospital and find Snickers semi-conscious on the floor in a pool of urine, especially when she had exhibited no outward signs of illness at all, and we didn’t even know she was sick. Apparently she had pancreatic cancer! They couldn’t bring her around, so we had to say goodbye. And then there was that lightning blast to add insult to injury, but we were very lucky. Though we were without cable and several other things went wonky for a week, no one was hurt, and our house didn’t burn down. It’s all back to normal now, except for that empty Snickers shaped space on my lap in the evenings.

    If it’s any small consolation, I think you did the right thing. We give these animals the best life we can, and I believe it’s incumbent upon us to give them the easiest passage onward when the time is right. I’ve held every animal I’ve had to have put down in my arms at the end, so the last thing they see on this earth is a face they love. It’s very, very hard, but I want to make it less frightening, so I do it for them. Bless you for putting your pet’s needs first.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Wow, you ought to have earned a year’s good luck from that day!
      Thanks–it was hard, trying to figure out when it was time. Cats hide their pain and often still purr when you pet them, making it hard to know they’re suffering. But you do what’s best for them, because you love them.

      • Marcia says:

        You are so right. My vet says cats go, “I’m fine. I’m fine. No, really, I’m fine. Um..I’m dying!” I think it must be a survival instinct to never show weakness, whereas my dachshunds will howl like wolves if they get a cat paw even raised in their general direction, much less an actual smack on the nose, other injury, or illness. Obviously, unlike cats, dachshunds wouldn’t last a day in the wild!

        Yeah, we figure we’re due a few uneventful weeks now. This summer was one unexpected drama after another, culminating (I hope) with the Day The The Lightning Struck. But you know what? We’re still standing. We still have a roof over our heads. Our family is still safe, and the rest of our pets are happy and loved. I feel blessed. (Now that I no longer have to spend my days in Repairperson Limbo, waiting endlessly for contractors who don’t come when they say they will.) So it’s all good. How many cats do you have?

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