Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My cat is getting old...

He's 13 years, he sleeps a lot, hardly eats, and has gotten very skinny. I think it's the End of Days for Reilly.

I remember when we got him11 years ago. My family and I were at Pet Smart looking for a kitten, not sure what we were looking for, but wanting to have an animal in the house again. A house is a lonely place without an animal in it. Schneek, our other old man, had died a few years earlier and we were ready to have someone else in the house meowing in the morning, greeting us at the door, sleeping in our beds, and winding his goofy body around our legs.

I remember walking down the aisle of cages and looking at all the cats and feeling like I was going to cry because I wanted to take all of them home with me.  Suddenly I see an orange arm sticking straight out from the the cage like he was trying to stop me and say, "Hey, check me out!" I took it as a sign and he came home with us.

We always say that Reilly isn't afraid of anyone or anything.  When there's fireworks or thunderstorms, 73 pound Roxy is shaking and panting...Reilly is asleep somewhere. The first time they met each other Reilly slapped Roxy in the face and her claws stuck...that was it, the boundaries were defined.

I remember when my sister was dying of lung cancer, every night when I got home from the hospital I would just lay on the couch and cry and my usually aloof cat would jump up on my chest until I was done. I think he recognized that I felt sad and he wanted to comfort me.

I hope that I'm brave enough to do the right thing when its his time. Sometimes I just look at him now and I don't know what to do. I know that if I take him to the vet, she will want to do tons of expensive tests on him just to tell me that he's old and dying. Sometimes he seems like his old self when he tries to sneak out of the house or jump up on the sink or sneak some food off of the kitchen counter and then I think he must be ok. But then I realize that somehow I'll know when it's time and I'll take him and stay with him when they put him down...I owe him that much.