On boycat, pt. 2
It was a banner day for paper mail today. When I got home I found my security deposit from my old place (much-needed) and a very nice handwritten card from my vet. They filled out a whole card, about how great my cat was, and that I was super-attentive and such after his diagnosis. There was also folded pamphlet about pet grief that I read. It made a lot of sense and included a part about how your pet has seen you through so many of your life stages, which is true.
I read the parts about the stages of grief and realize how I never let grief really sink in for me, about most anything in my life. For right now I do miss him, mostly in that when I come home now, girlcat runs to the door, and I don’t have him here to cuddle with; its just super weird to not see him when I come home. I can admit its made some old feelings about death rise up in me, but I’m also relieved he’s not in pain any more.
Aside from losing my cat, I realized how fortunate I am in some areas of my life. I can swing having an amazing vet, and I have friends in my life who are at the ready to do things like keep my cat in their freezer til I can take him to the vet in the morning, or come with me for said vet trip, and then hang out and eat chips with me all day afterwards. If I was isolated and dealing with all this alone it would be very, very tough. The night Howzit died, one friend came and took him to his place in a cab so I wouldn’t have to put him in my brand-new freezer, and then be forever sad, and another friend stayed with me. This is in addition to all the texts I got. Then in the morning Mike met me at the vet for the cremation intake. It was raining heavily and I took poor frozen howzit over in a cab, silently wondering how the driver might feel if he knew what was in the duffel in my lap.
When we got to the vet, the practice director and my regular vet sat with us both a long time to talk about my cat and send him off with lots of respect and time that I wouldn’t get if I was dropping him off at a general intake. If I was say an elderly person without friends or resources, this would all be impossible.
So the last time I saw boycat was in a lovely private room at Hope Vet, surrounded by people who cared for him his whole life, and in the end stages of his illness. He was wrapped in one of my t-shirts, and I got to send him off with it, which I am happy about. I chose not to get his ashes back, not just because it is a pretty costly option, but because in my studio I would have to see them all the time and it would make me so sad, for so long. I’m planning to ask one of my talented cartoonist friends to do some drawings based on photos, so he can live on with me that way.
When we left the vet office, we walked down Smith Street towards the G, and I tossed my american apparel blue sparkly gym duffel* into a trash can, a relucant goodbye to one of the last items to touch my cat. RIP bokitty, RIP.
*Yes, my cat was wrapped in one of my old bleach stained am app tshirts, inside of an am app gym bag. I can only think he’d appreciate that.