I’m sitting on a couch overlooking the Sydney harbour – Manly beach is around the bend. I had planned on going there today. But now, I’m not so sure.
I’m sitting on this couch, crying.
I just got the news that Jack, the cat that I had been taking care of for the past two weeks, had to be euthanized yesterday afternoon. The whole time I had him, I did all I could to help him eat, be comfortable, and get better. He seemed to be doing well – this cat, despite his frailty and injuries, just enjoyed having someone pet him. He could spend all day just nuzzling with your hand – everyone who met him said the same thing – “He’s just looking for someone to love him.” Well, in his last days, he found just that.
It’s crazy how willing the heart is to be broken. I’ve only lost one real pet in my life – my dog, Pumpkin – who my parents had to put to sleep while I was in college. I remember being really sad, but somewhat removed. You see, unlike my Mom’s current dog, Bailey, Pumpkin was treated as just that – a dog. Whereas Bailey rules the roost and hasn’t ever realized he’s a canine, Pumpkin – whether good or bad – was the family dog. His loss was a little easier to take only because I kept him, to some extent, at arms’ distance.
But Jack…well, I had him just for two weeks, but in that time I found myself wanting to protect him, wanting to do all I could to make him gain weight and thrive and grow. I knew he was an older cat that had a hard life, but as each day passed and he became sweeter and sweeter, I started to envision him living out his remaining days with a fantastic foster family. He would have made a great pet for an older person needing companionship – he wasn’t only looking for someone to love him, but also someone to love.
In the end, that wasn’t meant to be. They had discovered a tumor behind his remaining eye, and it had started to affect him neurologically. Thankfully, he wasn’t in extreme pain, but the most humane and ethical thing to do would be to euthanize him. Since I was traveling, the humane organization that I’ve been working with, Furkids, sent two of their volunteers to be with him during his last hours. I only wish I could have been there – I so hope he wasn’t scared.
Jack, I’m so glad I was able to help you the past two weeks, and know you’re in a better place. Once I stop crying – which doesn’t seem to be any time soon – I’ll smile thinking of how better you’re feeling wherever you are.
But in the meantime, I’m sad. Just really, really sad. And I miss you.