Friday, June 03, 2011
Frisker looks out from her carrier on the way home from a visit to the vet.
The vet informed us this week that the moment we've feared for several years has come. Frisker has reached the end of any plausible medical intervention's capacity to keep her going with a good quality of life. She is about 19 years old, arthritic, and is developing stomach tumors. We are forced to face the responsibility that people who choose to live with a domestic animal assume.
Frisker is the third cat we've lived with, but we've not really faced this before.
The first one, a sad ditz of a feline, met her end under the wheels of a passing car. It was not really possible to be surprised; she had no sense.
The second one just dragged herself along well into old age, until one day she died on my lap. We were too busy (and perhaps too immature) to take her to the vet; besides, we literally couldn't afford veterinary medicine.
This time, we intend within a few days to take Frisker to the vet to receive the sedative that will kill her. I cry as I write this.
She's not really my cat; she bonded with my partner and mostly tolerated me. But we have a relationship. She wakes me up to demand food. She gives me stern looks if I might be about to intrude on her space or dignity. If I sit in the right place, she has chosen late in life to sit on my lap and receive respectful patting.
I've gotten closer than most. There are people who've called her "psycho-kitty" -- she's been known to bite the unwary. Even at death's door, she has never allowed a vet tech to take a rectal temperature. She emits a terrible low leonine growl at very approach of a doctor. No one messes with her without protest.
I will miss her horribly.