WE GO ON

Three Wednesday nights ago, we were agonizing over the decision we had made, but Squee was still with us. So, tomorrow morning, it will be three whole weeks that he’s been gone. My mother always said it took three weeks to get used to any new situation, and in some ways this is true…but in other ways, not. I don’t feel as sad as I did the last time I wrote here, and I’m not thinking about Squee as frequently as before, but when I do think about him, there is still a certain note of melancholy. I’m making progress, but I’m still not 100% adjusted.

It still seems rather new and wonderful that we can prepare dinner and leave a fishy frying pan sitting on the stove while we eat in the next room. (And I’m feeling less and less guilty about thinking that’s wonderful.) It’s also kind of strange to wake up in the morning and not have to prepare cat food and scoop the box. Mornings are now less hectic…but also a little sad, not having a little kittle to greet me when I wake up. We go out to eat on a Friday evening and don’t have to worry about remembering to turn on the Feed and Go for the extra meal, don’t have to worry how late we can stay out. But when we get home, nobody is there. Sometimes I say “Hello, House! How were you? Were you a good house today?” But obviously it’s not the same as coming home to Squee.

So yeah, I still miss him. And I think I will for a while. But I have to say this: posting about him last time and gathering up all those photos of what he looked like when he was fat and healthy made me realize that what I really miss is that fat, healthy and robustly gorgeous fellow he was—not the sickly old man that sometimes seemed nothing more than a bag of bones. Looking at all my pictures of him also made me realize that it was only a very short time that he was SO sickly. The hyperthyroidism sapped his weight and his energy, but not really for that long a time. The worst of it came on fairly rapidly, towards the very end. Most of his life he was very healthy. And very happy. So I feel good about that.

I gave him a good life. I was a good Cat Guardian. I can feel proud of that, content with that. I did my best. It’s not a terrible thing to bring your cat to the vet for that last visit when the alternative is that your poor beloved animal would otherwise just continue to waste away, and maybe die alone while you’re away at work…or worse yet, while you’re out late on a Friday night, having dinner. No, it’s better that we were with him at the end.

I will never forget Squee, or any of my pets that have gone on ahead of me to the other side. But I know from experience that it becomes easier and easier to think of them with less sadness, to only remember the good stuff. That’s the natural progression. So we go on, and embrace a “new normal” that eventually seems more normal than new.

The next time I come here I think I’ll be talking about something other than Squee, other than Cat Guardianship. But I felt it only proper to spend a few more moments reflecting on that fine fellow who was my last baby.

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