18 nov 2014

the word that generally prompts a discussion about sex, but it means so much more than that. intimacy is a degree of closeness. intimacy is wiping up bodily fluids. 

mango is sick. he's had intestinal lymphoma since april. about a week ago i noticed a decline in his appetite. on saturday i'd had enough and stepped out into my new neighborhood to try a new vet. after the dance of phone calls and faxes netted mango's records in the hands of a new doctor, i voiced my concerns.

my new vet: he is an expert in bedside manner and understands where i'm at. more importantly, he understands where i am at with mango. knowing that my cat's prognosis is terminal is something that's been in the back of my mind since the diagnosis. however, now it's getting real: weight loss. a liver panel that's off the charts. untouched cat food. morning/evening pill routines. 

there's more intimacy. more bodily fluids. it there's anything that draws attention to how much i care for mango, it's the willingness and concern over every spot of vomit that ends up on my floor. humorous as that may sound, i mean it with absolute seriousness. 

i abhor this part in life--the death part. more importantly, i hate the decline that precedes death in all living creatures. for pets, there's a widely accepted path where euthanasia enters into the picture. it's almost expected. i hate that this is the next step that looms over my head: deciding when the quality of life has declined as far as i will allow it. i interpret behavior--there's no way for mango to voice when he's had enough of the pills and the vomit. 

until i read that message from him, i'll pet and caress his soft fur (and take some video--thanks, e), enjoy him snuggling with me at bedtime, gladly bow my head for numerous bunting episodes, and make sure the shades are open so he can bask in the morning sunlight.

1 comment:

  1. Gah. I know this gray, sickening area between knowing and doing. Yes, take those videos of you stroking his fur. 8 months after Chloe, I can feel the weight of her long dog body on me, remember every jutting bone and lump of a long stroke from her head to her rump, and how she would relax toward the end only when I held her like this. I even dreamed of her just last night—she shows up all the time. Have someone who's good at this hold you and take care of business for you and then take you to do a shot (just one, for now) at a dive bar. A vet with a bedside manner is everything—even better is if that vet will make the final visit a home visit. It's worth asking. You'll get through it when it's time, and you'll be in good company on the other side. XOXO, E