from today’s new yorker
ON THE DEATH OF A CAT
In life, death
to you: I am
willing to wager
my soul that it
simply never occurred
to your nightmareless
mind, while sleep
(see it raised
to an infinite
power and perfection) — no death
in you then, so now
how even less. Dear stealth
to an evil
milk fang, whiskered
— Franz Wright
if i had to guess what spike’s heaven will be like, i would imagine it would be somewhat similar to these last days. a constant supply high-fat wet catfood served in giant heaps, topped with an icing of high-calorie supplement and served dolloped upon an elevated, chilled platter — just like on a cruise ship, “the food never stops.” soft fleecy blankets next to a radiator always set on “warm” to mask the fact that it has been constantly cold and rainy outside. a pain patch on alternating hind-legs delivering measured doses of narcotics, good for five days at a time. bright flitty hummingbirds the mere window-width away. fluffy giant pigeons plump and preening in the rain. warm, familiar-smelling humans with opposable thumbs waiting at the door to allow him to exit or return should he so desire — while spike watches all of it, the whole thing, from just inside the deluge.
but of course there will be one big difference in spike’s heaven: no nasty tumor.
his trip to the vet saturday for a new pain patch was grim; i had to circle the busy block repeatedly to find parking in the rain, and he looked quite ill by the time we had arrived; he also smelled quite foul and they thought he had released his anal glands. in addition, without the pain patch, he clearly was much more uncomfortable, so leanne thinks we will keep it on until he can’t eat anymore or is clearly suffering. his tumor has apparently grown, and he is drooling constantly now. it is not always bloody. he has smelled a lot worse through this, but leanne gave him a sponge bath today and then combed lavendar essence through his silky black hair; now his tail is fluffy and soft again!
he still climbs up on our laps and crawls under our chins and purrs while we stroke him – only now we have to have a little drool bib on while he does this.
he’s been the only cat – the only being! – i’ve known who will leap up on your lap when you are upset and come purring to comfort.
spike just leapt onto my lap, and i am negotiating typing around him, his chin perched on my left forarm.
spike greeted me at the door of otivo tonight with the same squeaky cranky welcome, but leanne says he hasn’t been eating at all today. that’s not good.