It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. I was supposed to go first, to wait at the Bridge for him. I practically promised him, and even though we talked about the possibility he would go first, no one believed it.
Buddah was the mischievous little boy, always the baby cat no matter how old he was. Even a couple weeks ago he played THoE by himself, racing down the hall into the office and up the bookcases to the top of the TARDIS. His downturn was so sudden, so unexpected, that it feels wrong and unfair. But he tried hard; he took the medications even though they tasted bad and he only bit the Man once. He tried to nibble the food they set down for him, despite feeling nauseated. And last night and today he snuggled with the People, going back and forth between their laps.
I stayed out of the way, because this was not my time to interfere.
Earlier today he fell off the back of the recliner, and since he’s been unsteady on his own feet—the Woman took UP away from him last week because it was no longer safe—and when she heard herself tell the Man that they needed to take the cat trees away so that he wouldn’t climb them, she knew.
It took a few hours for it to really sink in, though. He spent the afternoon under a bed and turned his nose up at snack, which meant he’d had maybe half an ounce all day, and he didn’t eat much more than that yesterday. He’s been on an appetite stimulant and nausea medication, but it wasn’t enough to beat down the pain in his belly. But the way he sniffed at it and then turned away made the Woman say the words out loud. We have to let him go.
They understood that we’d reached the point where doing anything more was for us and not him. So the decision was made to let him begin his journey to the Bridge, and the stabby guy did not want to make him wait any longer, either. So this evening at about 5:40, Buddah exhaled one last time and headed off to meet Hank and Dusty, and to see all out friends who have gone before us.
Doods…if you read our last book, you probably got the sense that he and I had finally made our peace. And we had. He stopped picking on me and I stopped running away from him. Last night, we drank from the fountain at the same time.
I complained about him all the time, because he was a furry pain in my asterisk, but doods…he was glorious.