Death’s around the corner


Today I realized that my cat Suzie, with whom I’ve interacted in some way or another every day for the last 16 years, is soon going to die of old age. She barely eats anymore, and she’s very weak. She’s just sitting there, facing the living room, as if she were trying to draw a picture of it, of the place that was her home and where she always tried to be the center of attention, which she often succeeded in. But her eyes are weary, her head slightly tilted downwards. Her thick fur makes her look chubby, but a touch reveals that she’s really just skin and bones anymore. Skin, bones, and a remainder of determination to be the center of attention, which—of course—she’s succeeding in.
I thought I could take it like a man, all stern and robust. But I’m sobbing. Right now I am. I don’t know exactly why. Maybe it’s the way she looks miserable, not really alive anymore. I was twelve when I got her. She got more playtime out of me than my younger cats, and I got more out of her. I remember her agility vividly, never one to gallop like normal cats, but instead gliding above the ground like a centipede, like a little devil in stealth mode. Seeing her tumbling around aimlessly feels terrible. Witnessing the decline of a loved one is something I do not wish even upon my worst enemies. It is excruciating.
I’m trying to make the best of it, petting her, trying to make her feel as comfortable as I can. She has brought me more joy than one could ever ask out of anyone or anything, which is something only people who’ve at least once had a close relationship to an animal will understand. My father has an even closer relationship to our cats than I do, so naturally, he’s hurting as well. He noticed that something was wrong with Suzie much earlier than I dared to admit to myself. But now there’s no margin left for denial. The next step is to accept faith and make the best of it.
All I have left to say is that I will always choose to have someone dear in my life, even if it means having to let go at some point, which might hurt like a thousand spikes through my heart. But that’s part of life I guess.
A big part.