She has a tumor growing on her mandible. Her digestive tract has ceased to work on its own. Today we found out her urine tests show the possible beginning signs of kidney failure. That’s what killed her sister. But she’s so old, a 17 year old cat, so there’s nothing to worry about. But I do worry. Vashti’s like the pile of dirty laundry I carry down to the washing machine (wait for it…it’s not as bad as it sounds). I’ve got all the clothes just so in my hands, but I falter and a sock falls, I pick it up, but then a t-shirt lunges toward the ground, I dash my other hand out to save it, allowing three more articles of clothes to evade me and plummet to the ground. How can I pick up all the fallen pieces? How can I fix her and make her well? The machine is shutting down, no matter how many buttons I desperately press. The doom and gloom music is starting, but I want to keep my kazoo and guitar happy music.
Do I sit back and watch? I can let Vashti join me on my bed, a comforting place for her. I can help her jump up when she tries and falls down, groaning in pain. Instead of checking my email straight away when I come home, I can go directly to her, saying in effect, “I see you. You matter. Your life matters!”. I can pray for the easing of pain. I can deal with the smelliness on my bed. I can be a warm body for her to cuddle up next to. I can rest my hand on her velvet black back, my arm rising and falling with her breath…a breath that I value so much. Am I silly to care this much? Am I silly to ask that question?