Those who know me know I have an inordinate fondness for cats. This leads to the occasional stupid decision (like owning six at once). For the record, six is too many and I will not own six cats at the same time ever again, so help me, God.
Mica, my oldest, has a chronic digestive problem. She eats the wrong stuff and bad things happen, things that cause starvation and dehydration rapidly in a cat whose max weight in the three years I've owned her was five and a half pounds.
The problem is worsening. I knew it would. It's chronic. It can't be cured, only controlled. For a while. Want to know how?
With pills. Three a day, if I remember correctly. Pills which more than double the cost of Mica's monthly upkeep. So, I can give a resistant cat three expensive pills a day to help her keep food down, even though I know from past experience the stress of taking the pills will cause her to eat her own hair and throw up food that costs four times what I feed the dog who outweighs her 10 times, or I can do nothing and let her die.
This is where the crazy comes in. My head knows she's dying. I can't stop that. Any additional course of treatment will mean pain and anger for both of us, and, frankly, only possibly delay the inevitable.
But my heart wants to do anything to save her, because, pain in the ear that she is, I love her. When she's happy, she's infectiously happy. When she's not...well, she could have been a momma.
One of my favorite movies is The Three Lives of Thomasina. It's a Disney movie about a Scottish cat. Go figure. In one scene, the vet and the "witch" are tending a wounded badger. The vet announces, "It's a bad wound. Kinder to put it out of its misery." "And wonderful to give him his life," the "witch" responds.
I wish I could give life. I wish I had the power to heal with a touch and an act of will, like Leetah from Elfquest. But I don't. So I wait and give Mica what time and love I can, without pills.
I read a poem on one of those memorial stones recently that said it perfectly:
"If love could have held you, you never would have gone."
She's not going today, and hopefully not tomorrow, but one day soon, we'll say good-bye here and not meet again until I take my own Long Step.
Crazy as it sounds, I will miss her.