I'm struggling with a decision to euthanize my oldest cat. I can't bring myself to do it despite the fact that her health is failing. She was once a fat cat that made no qualms about eating the younger cat's food when unattended. She was once a bold cat, but now she's a mere shadow of a her former self.
I know that I'm mixing my feelings for my granny with Clancy. Natural death is expected. My granny died when she was ninety years old. Clancy's purred and cooed for eighteen human years, which would make her eighty-eight years old in the animal kingdom.
I know I'll have to do one of two things: contact the cat lady in Stuyvesant Town and ask if she still has the country home where her cats roam free until death, or take her to local animal shelter and have her put to sleep. The first choice is easier, provided the cat lady (her self-described moniker, not mine) is willing to pet her out to pasture.
Death is permanent, and I'm not prepared to step into the role of executioner.
I think, too, about Maxie, my black tortoise shell cat. She knows that the end is near for Clancy. Maxie's taken to following me around the apartment more often than not, rather than one of two favorite hiding spots underneath the coffee table or living room sofa. She's been beside herself, meowing, and trying her best to communicate what I know all too well when I lock eyes with Clancy.
I used to be allergic to bobbed-tail cats as a child. My mother was concerned and surprised that I'd have a cat, and eventually two. I don't know that I'm not a dog person, but cats are less maintenance than dogs. And there's no walking a cat during freezing New York winters.
I think what it'd be like decide to flip the switch on a human relative. What if I'd wait a few more minutes? Who says that there wouldn't be miraculous recovery?
I know I have to make a decision, soon. I keep hoping upon hope, that, she will eat more days than not, and her guttural wails that stop me in my tracks will cease. I feel as if I'm playing God. Who am I to end another life? I don't have all the answers.