I think Ash is going to die soon.
Just a couple of days ago, I was thinking that she seemed stable. In very poor health, but ... stable. She was incontinent and she stopped drinking weeks ago (we've been giving her subdermal fluids daily for seven or eight weeks). But she would still move around -- turning in circles, falling over frequently, but she could get from the den to the kitchen and back again. She would eat, or try to, shoving her face into her food and lifting her head out of it and working her tongue in an effort to get some of it to slide down her throat.
Sometime yesterday, she stopped.
I gave her a bath yesterday, as I've been doing about weekly for the last three or four. I think I knew even then. She was so week. She'd fall onto her side and not even try to get up. She hasn't tried to eat since last night. This morning, a few minutes after I put her down by her food bowl in vain hope, I found her lying on the floor, unmoving, in a puddle of urine.
She doesn't purr when I hold her.
One of my friends -- whose cat is also dying, horribly, of cancer, who he's putting to sleep today and he tried to call me last night but I didn't get the message and now it's too late for me to say goodbye to that cat, too -- my friend said to me a couple of weeks ago that there's a spark inside every living thing that makes them who they are. 'You can keep the biological process going after that spark goes out, but they're still gone.'
I am afraid that Ash's spark is already gone. That she may not die today, but I will never hear her purr again.
I held her this morning, after cleaning her up, my face screwed up and crying not because I cared about cleaning up after her but because I don't want her to die. I'm not ready, I thought, and imagined Ash complaining, I've given you two and a half years to get ready. When will you be?
Never, I guess.
I don't know exactly why I'm writing this down. To get it out of my head, so I can stop thinking about it, maybe.
I keep wondering if I've done too much, fought too hard to keep her alive instead of letting her go. Or if I haven't done enough, if I should have taken her to that neurologist veterinarian, if there was something he could have done.
I love you, Ash. I hope you're still alive when I get home. I hope you get to pass away peacefully in my arms. There doesn't seem much else left to hope for, now.
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