Vickers went for an ultrasound on Monday. The vet said his liver is failing and he needs to be put down by the end of the week. So I’ll be taking Vickers in tomorrow morning to be put to sleep.

Vickers has been my closest companion for 14 years and I’m broken-hearted. I’m finding it hard to believe that he’s here today and he won’t be tomorrow. The vet says he is in discomfort and is probably experiencing headaches and nausea. I don’t know what a cat headache looks like. He seems fine to me which just makes it harder. We’ve just been hanging out and everything seems so normal. But I guess there is no sense in trying to pretend that this isn’t happening.

Vickers has definitely lost weight. He’s skinnier and I can feel his bony shoulders and the ripple of his backbone. His demeanour is the same as always though.

He still climbs up on the couch at my feet, same as always, and walks up the arm and along the back of the couch and down the other arm, and figures out where the Macbook is so he can sit right in front of it, same as always. He’s lying across my shoulder purring right now as I pet him with one hand. I feel so guilty. Would he still be purring if he knew I was planning to snuff him tomorrow morning?

The veterinarian said to forget about what’s healthy for a cat and let him eat whatever he wants this week. So I’ve been feeding him bacon and eggs and coffee, and a can of tuna everyday, and a hamburger, and peach yogurt and Mars bars and fried chicken and steak and mozzarella cheese. And gin and tonics and a fine cigar. I hope he is having a good time.

And tomorrow morning, that’s it. They’ve given me three options: I can take away his body, or they can cremate him, or they can cremate him and I can take away the ashes. I’m not really happy with any of these choices.

For half a second I thought about taking away the body and burying Vickers in a hole in Gaspereau Forks cemetery right next to the place that’s reserved for me. But I suppose it’s not a good idea to be burying stuff in the cemetery anytime I feel like it. They might have a system or something.

I considered taking away the ashes but only if I could have the remains conveyed to me in a coffee can à la The Big Lebowski. Vickers must’ve seen that movie at least as many times as I have. But Vickers has been an indoor cat ever since we moved to this big old house. If I were to scatter the ashes in the place he loved best I would wind up making quite a mess of the bathtub. I’ll probably leave it all to them because I don’t want to deal with it.

It’s been a hard week. I’ve known for months that it was coming but I still can’t believe this is it. Hanging out with Vickers tonight it seems like he’s got plenty of life left in him. I guess I just have to trust the vet.

At least we can say Vickers lived a long happy life and never suffered. That’s about the best any of us can hope for.

12 thoughts on “vickers.

  1. So sorry to hear this. Having lost both my animal friends in the past year, I know how deeply sad it is, and how difficult to make the decision and carry it out. Just try to remember, this is an act of love and that without your courage to act, Vickers would end up suffering terribly. Distant hugs! xo

  2. i’m so sorry for both you and vickers. i lost my boy to liver failure, too. it’s been almost seven months but it still feels like yesterday.

    i’m sure robin is taking good care of him for you.

  3. Phil, I’m so sorry. From what I saw of his pictures, Vickers was a handsome cat, and your beloved companion. It’s always hard to lose our pets. I’ll never forget how surprised I was, because my Dad actually cried along with me and my sister, when we had to put Shadow (the family cat) down. I never thought he cared about her at all.
    Shadow had a cranky personality, and lived for a long time, for a diabetic cat. At least 16 years. The year before she had to be put down, she caught a squirrel. Even though she no longer had her front claws. She was so awesome.
    To sum up, I’m so very sorry this has happened to you and Vickers. He should have had a hero’s death, saving you from a burning building or something. But I think that treating him like a king for his last week, and being there, holding him, is a great way to go, too.

  4. sorry to hear about Vickers phi. I have been reading about him in all your blogs over the years, and he sure did seem like some kind of cat. We killed our 15 yo golden retriever this year, so i can appreciate what you’re going through.

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