Monday, January 25, 2010

And in the End...

I slept with Zoe last night, in the attic. She would get down to throw up, then come back up on the bed. When I woke up she was down in her cat-bed, though.

The vet came at midday. Lorraine, and I, and Mary (my ex-wife) went up to the attic with her. We said our respective goodbyes to Zoe, stroked her, petted her, talked to her. The vet warned us what would happen, injected Zoe with a sleeping drug (she yelped and tried to get away), then, after she had calmed down, after she had thrown up, when she slept, injected her with something to stop her heart. I stroked her head at the end.

(There was a strange moment of euphemistic double talk at one point, as I asked the vet, "So that was the drug that puts her to sleep?" and was told, "No, the next one puts her to sleep. This one just makes her unconscious." "That was what I meant. This one puts her to sleep. The next one 'puts her to sleep'." "Oh. Right.")

It was so hard. Harder than I imagined. I sent photos from my phone to Olga, when it was going on, because she was already back in San Francisco and wanted to know what was happening, but I'm not posting them here.

If it was not winter we would have buried Zoe out the back, in the makeshift cat graveyard near my gazebo, but the ground is frozen hard under the snow, and I am not prepared to spend the next few months with a small dead cat in the freezer, awaiting burial, so the vet took her away to be cremated.

I don't have anything more to say about it. I feel sort of empty and used-up right now. In a few minutes I'll go back downstairs, phone in some copy-edits on a short story and then go and write something.

Since my last post another 400 emails have come in, pretty much all of them from people saying, I'm sorry about Zoe, let me tell you about what happened to me and my cat. I keep reading them -- sometimes they depress me, mostly they just make me feel part of something bigger than me: a thousand people going "there was this one particular animal that touched my heart, and I can tell you about it and not seem weird because you're going through it too".

People have asked about where to donate money to, and we're pointing them to, which is the cat charity that Lorraine supports and works with.

And that's about that.