Today was a bit difficult.
Jack has been concerned about his 16 year old Manx, Wilma, for about a week. She has suddenly been lethargic and her appetite has not been right. We pet people know when something is wrong. The problem is we don't share a language and so can't say "Tell me what hurts?" and get a recognizable answer. This is why I consider vets like my sister and brother in law to be angels. They know how to read the signs. Also cats breathe through it. Theay are the essence of Zen. If you have ever watched a cat give birth you know this. They will complain about anything unacceptable to them until it's something that you can't fix and then they talk. Or they are silent and just decline with acceptance.
Jack is the only other person I have ever met who has a manx. My Sonny is also a manx - about the same age as Wilma. They are a great breed - sturdy, and with a solid, beautiful body - No tail and the best back arch ever. Very much themselves above beyond the typical cat thing. When I met Wilma she was typical manx but acknowledged me which I considered to be manx acceptance to the fullest. On my next visit she allowed me to pet her and rub her head. I was accepted!
Today Jack emailed mid morning to tell me he had a vet appointment for her. At 12:20 he called on his way to the vet early - the situation had become very worrisome. 30 minutes later he called to tell me she was eaten up with a fast moving cancer. Cancer can move alarmingly fast in cats, especially older cats. The vet offered the option of surgery and chemo but Wilma was 16 and this would only have prolonged her life at great expense. Jack made the very wonderful and difficult decision to put her to sleep. If you have never done this you can't imagine what a selfless gesture of kindness it is. You want more than anything to keep this companion alive for your own benefit. But in the end there are times when this decision has to be made and in this case I know it was the right one. Still, it tears your heart out.
I have my cell phone programmed to meow as a ringtone and we always have laughed that it sounds like Wilma. When my phone has rung at his house we have to try to decide if it's my phone or Wilma. Running joke. Seriously it sounds exactly like her! Now I wonder if I should change my ringtone.
RIP Wilma baby girl! You were a good girl! Today you joined Sofie and Zach and Boo and Gracie and I know you are all playing happily.
Monday, April 09, 2007