Is it a good thing when you don't see what is before you because it happens so slowly and gradually?
My Second Son stopped by yesterday afternoon. Senior Cat heard his voice and eventually ambled up the stairs and sat before him.
My son didn't realize what an honor it was, to have attracted Senior's attention and roused him out of his regularly scheduled afternoon napping period.
I was touched by Senior's attempt to be social but my son was aghast.
The last time he saw Senior Cat, he was a little plumper, his hair was a little fluffier and he was a little more limber.
My son made a comment to the effect of me being too close to the situation and not seeing when it is time to let go.
I immediately started defending my decision to keep doing what I can for our ailing kitty.
He is still eating and drinking. He is still socializing with us. He isn't sleeping all of the time.
Granted, he is eating much less and does not weigh much these days.
He doesn't socialize as much as he used to. But he comes up to me at least twice a day and sits at my feet and breathes (loudly), so I can pick him up and snuggle with him for as long as he chooses (this explains the lack of new posts lately, because he tends to appear at my feet in and around the time I am often ready to sit down and write a post).
His hair is still looking shiny and healthy but he has lost the hair around his "wrists" (again) and his tail looks quite gangly (it has looked this way for quite some time).
He moves about very slowly but he can still jump onto and off of the love seat (one of his favorite resting spots).
I watch him ever so closely, for signs of discomfort and cues that his condition has changed. We have Junior Cat to compare and contrast him to. Senior is by no means keeping up with his young partner in cathood, but he appears to be comfortable holding onto his throne as King of the Cats within his domain.
My son left and echoes of his words remained. Am I missing the obvious because I it is happening so gradually?
When is it time to let go?
My heart ached at the thought of Senior's last trip to the vets one day in the foreseeable future.
We have never had a pet with us this long. Senior is fifteen years old and has lived with us since he was about nine months old. He is a huge part of our family dynamic.
I have been afraid of this day for quite some time now. I thought I was worried about my youngest son's reaction to this loss.
But I think it is my own heart that I'm protecting. My little black kitty and I go back a long, long way and he is a huge part of our little family.
I honestly can't imagine the day when we have to take that final drive together.
I'm not ready. He's not ready.
He's still eating! He is still socializing! He curls up into a tiny ball in my arms and licks my face because (I think) he cares for me in equal proportion to how I feel for him.
We aren't ready yet.
But I'm afraid of missing the obvious because I am too close to the situation. I'm not seeing things clearly because I see him each and every day.
Then again, because I do watch and observe and take note of the smallest nuances each and every day, I do believe I will recognize when it is time to let go.
Just not quite yet. I must memorize his purrs. Here he comes now.