I said that tonight, with a numb flatness. I was referring to my cat, Tick-Tock. He is around 19 years old and has been on a long slide downward for the last several years. He receives regular subdermal injections to augment his failing kidneys and he gets a Cosequin pill mixed with his daily treat to help soothe his aching joints and increase his mobility. Lately, his rate of decline appears to be accelerating. He eats very little and has become little more than fur and bones. He has very little use of his back legs and is now often unable to get up and walk.
CC and I have talked about this a lot over the last few years. We have agreed that when it is Tick-Tock’s time, it will be up to me to make the tough call and take the final walk 3 blocks down to the animal hospital. When it is our other cat, Brownie’s time, it will fall to her. Well just as we’ve been gearing ourselves up for Tick-Tock, a surprise has come our way – Brownie has suddenly taken a nosedive and has abruptly lost most of his ability to walk. As I write this, he is lounging in a cage at that aforementioned animal hospital, where he is being treated with steroids. If they are not effective, it is likely that he will need to be put down in the near term. Understand that Tick-Tock has been a part of the family since 1988 and Brownie has been part of it since about 1993, so this is a pretty big deal and a pretty sad week hereabouts. I will keep everyone posted via this journal.
All in all, the month of May seems destined to be a sad month in my life. On top of the ongoing and impending crises with the cats, I am presently two weeks away from marking the first anniversary of my mother’s death. And while we’re at it, this May 14th would have been my friend Kathy’s 50th birthday, but she passed away almost 3 years ago. For the uninitiated, Kathy was one of the dearest and most profoundly important people I will ever see in my life. I will write more about her someday soon, but I should mention this much – even though she lived most of the last 15 years of her life in California while I was in the Midwest, there was a bond between us that never diminished, and I always sent her a card on her birthday. And as my friends will attest, I don’t send out all that many cards. My more maudlin instincts tempt me to write her a card next week anyway, but another part of me thinks that would be a needless bit of self-indulgence. I really prefer to have my life revolve around the living, but this month seems to placing darker, more silent figures in my path.