Wednesday, July 6, 2011
One of our cats, one we've had for 16 years is nearing the end of his life. Now, we are not the cat-are-our-babies sort of people, but we do love our kitties and this one, Samson, in particular has seen Peter and I through our entire relationship. He is also Miss E's buddy. He sleeps in her room, on her blankets and bumps his head against her hand for scratches. He sits on her bed while she's crying. She feeds him and makes sure the dog doesn't eat his food.
Tonight it occurred to me that because I have a daughter who wants/needs to know what is going to happen before it happens, I should probably prep her for some bad news in the Samson department. So at bedtime, we talked. I told her that he was very sick and very old and that while we had taken him to the vets we still don't fully know what's wrong with him. He could have days, he could have months. We just don't know. As I was carefully speaking these words to her, her eyes filled up with tears and the sobbing started. Oh, the heartbreak. It hit me THEN how truly hard this was going to be. Not only would I be grieving for my kitty cat but so would she. And I understand things like life-span and quality of life and what the limits of healthcare are. She doesn't. Stuff like this is so hard to explain to a 6 year old. Or maybe the hard part is that it isn't hard to explain to her, she gets it, but the emotions are hard to feel.
Truthfully, I don't know how much longer we have with our Sammy but I know it's probably not long. We talked about making him comfortable and letting him sleep in her room a lot. Giving him lots of fresh water and just loving him as much as we can, together, for the next few days to see if he will get better. And after that, I don't know. We didn't talk about that tonight because truthfully, her emotional response was a bit more than I expected and I'm not sure the correct way to address it. Hopefully I'll have some time to work it out.