It’s all a girl can do. Put one paw in front of another and keep marching forward. But it is hard. I went home for a few days, which was a nice break. Coming home to an empty place was hard—much harder than I anticipated.
Emeril was my first real pet. Of course, he was much more than a pet to me. It was never my intention to become one of those weird “moms” who dress up their pets, refer to them as their children and talk to them like babies.
Obviously, I succumbed to being a weird mom. And I am not ashamed.
I knew when I adopted Emeril that logically I would outlive him. He would be the first of … many? several? a few? … feline companions. He promised to be with me until I was at least 40.
I am a few years shy of 40.
It makes me mad that I got cheated out more time with Emeril. He was only 12. I know that’s not terribly young, but lots of cats live into their upper teens these days.
I feel guilty, as though there was something more I could have done for him. Those lingering shoulda, woulda, coulda thoughts haunt me, like little scratches that scar my soul. Emeril was misdiagnosed with a UTI (urinary tract infection), but in reality, it was a kidney infection. He should have been on antibiotics for at least six weeks versus 10 days.
He rallied so strongly that I never questioned his diagnosis. He then fell so quickly. It was too much to fix at one time. My big-hearted kitty couldn’t give me more time to right all his wrongs.
I feel guilty, as though I failed him. I could have saved him.
Looking at one of my favorite pictures of Emeril from two year’s ago, he looks so hearty and hale. When I look at pictures from a few weeks ago, he looks so thin, his coat so rough and his eyes so weary. I’m going to delete those pictures.
It was time for him for go.
I like thinking of him in heaven, playing with Mo. Watching his wily birdies. Never needing an enema. Or sub-q fluids. Or medicine. His dish is always full. There is pep in step once again. He meows his happy song. Loudly. And repeatedly.
He is Emeril again: The most handsome cat in heaven.
Life moves on without him. I cleaned my carpets but haven’t washed his food dishes yet. I gave away his CRF supplies to other CRF kitties. I pray they give their owners more time with their beloved pets. I burned his increasingly worse blood test results. It felt good.
I peeked at a couple of local humane society websites. It hurt less than I thought it would.
Someone asked me how I was doing. I said okay, which is on the road to good.