I’m writing this as a matter of record because I haven’t yet worked it out—maybe I don’t want to.
One of Dave’s cats took ill yesterday—panting and not coming upstairs. Weak looking. Reluctantly, I made an appointment at the vet, letting Dave go to PT by himself. I stopped at Robin’s on the way there and when I got to the vet, I let the cat out of its carrier and she seemed sick, but relatively normal. When the doctor walked into the room, however, the cat went stiff and stuck her tongue out, gasping. He doc applied the stethoscope. The cat was dead. Just like that. Without any preamble, right in the middle of its life, wanting to get on with other things. Alive one minute and dead the next. When I got home and buried her, I kept thinking it was a mistake. She was still warm. But her eyes, they were all cloudy.
So this is the way it goes, I keep thinking. I’d never see anything die before. It just—goes. And I wonder now, is this the way it’s going to be? Not with warning, but suddenly, with no goodbye? It could. It happened to Robin and Nick.
The odd part is all the life that surrounded it. Meeting Robin’s boyfriend and buying strawberries, talking to Bryan about today’s dinner plans. None of that changed.
The cat didn’t look dead, either, except for her eyes. And all I wanted to do was apologize for every casual brush-off I’d given her—only a cat—and one of the other 12 we still have—unwilling sharers of this life. Something I really didn’t want but didn’t want to die either.
So, I know this—I will still have massive regrets. There are no do-overs.
Oh, God, have mercy.
And He says, I AM.