Rock, paper, scissors was the way my friends and I made decisions when we were young enough to play hopscotch and tag–when days were endless hours of playing in the sunshine and catching fireflies at night.
Those days are long gone now. Through my adult years I’ve been faced with many decisions. I became good at making lists of pros and cons. This still works when making financial decisions, but not so with emotionally charged decisions.
I’m facing saying goodbye to my furry friend of nineteen years. It’s been a roller coaster ride for the past year. He has his good days and bad days, like me. I tell him we are just two old people doing life together, one human, one feline. However, his bad days are every day now. Yet, he eats good, and wants to spend every waking minute by my side. I am comforted listening to him purr every time I touch him.
He sleeps a lot, but when his naps are over, he’s vociferous, loudly vociferous, until he finds me and feels my touch. His health issues require a lot of bending, cleaning, and constant attention, which I won’t elaborate on in this blog post. His weight is more than half what it used to be. His body is weak and he stumbles, but so do I.
Making the decision on what is the right thing to do can’t be accomplished by a game of rock, paper, scissors. He doesn’t know how to play. When it comes to a list of pros and cons the emotional pain overwhelms me. How does one say goodbye when so much love is involved?
I’m haunted by the decision I had to make in 2013 when a doctor offered a possibility of extending my husband’s nonexistence in a hospital bed where his body was shutting down. Emotional decisions when the choice is whether or not to extend a life that isn’t really a life are heartbreaking.
And so today, Templeton and I will visit the veterinarian possibly for the last time. In this case, as in the case of my husband, I will ask the same question of the doctor. If this was your father, or cat, what would you do?