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.