Friday, November 3, 2017

I killed a cat once

I'm not ashamed. Miss Kitty was 23 years old and miserable, barely able to walk and in pain.

I fixed her some very good food--hamburger I think I remember--and laced it with 4 or 5 aspirins. Aspirin is toxic to cats. She died within an hour, full and without suffering.

Miss Kitty was part of the deal of Bern and I renting a house on Everitt Street in New Haven. The owner had moved in with her man friend and he was allergic to cats. We got a great deal if we were willing to keep Miss Kitty.

It was painful to watch her in the last few weeks, so I killed her.

I only regret that I didn't remember the aspirin trick which our cat Luke was in his last days. I was too attached to him to be thinking rationally. He was the best cat ever--a big yellow coon cat who was more like a dog--coming when you called him, loving to be petted.

I could have saved him a few days of agony if I'd only cooked some 90% fat free hamburger and filled it with aspirin. I wish I had.

And now there's Bela, who falls down the last three steps of our stairs almost every time now and hits his head. He has a hard head. Sometimes it takes him 20 seconds to get up and make his back legs work. He often falls on our hardwood floors and needs help getting up. He almost never can jump up on the bed though we have a table as a step.

My greatest fear, I told Bern today after ruminating about it for several weeks, is that he will fall and damage himself beyond repair and have to be put down in pain and confusion.

Aspirin doesn't work on dogs or I would be thinking about it.

He isn't who he's been for 12 years. He's afraid of things he would have previously attacked. He doesn't react to knocks on the door. He sometimes doesn't seem to recognize us or friends and family he used to celebrate. He sometimes shows he teeth when we rub him. He won't let Bern groom him at all and looks bad. And the constant falling, even sometimes when he comes up the one step from the back porch to the kitchen.

And his stubbornness has increased. Our back steps are carpeted and have a little landing and are much better for him to climb and descend. But he won't unless we force him with real 'force'--which I don't like to do.

Bern hopes he'll die in his sleep. I do too, devoutly. But I worry about him more and more each day.

I wouldn't ask you to 'pray' for a dog--but I do hope you'll hold Bela in your heart and hope he passes through that mysterious door in peace and without pain. Thanks.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.