Well, I had hoped to come back from my vacation with funny stories about how miserable it is to chase two kids with princess fantasies through the Magic Kingdom. I mean, I really did have some funny stories and it really was miserable at points. But then I came home to a sick cat.
This is like what happened with Fritti all over again, only compressed into a few days. Lydia, my baby and my darling, was okay when we left. The neighbor’s oldest daughter came by all week to take care of her and BJ while we were gone. But some time over the week, Lydia stopped eating and then stopped drinking. We found out when we came home. She was just as bone thin as Fritti was, and just as shaky. Poor thing has spent most of the weekend tucked away in her little kitty tent, just laying there, except for when I drag her out to squirt water or runny baby food down her throat with a syringe.
Now she’s even worse. I last fed her around 6PM, and I left her on the couch lying on a towel. She was so listless, and she had vomited up some of the food I gave her, so I didn’t want to move her. Then when Michael and I weren’t looking, Sam grabbed the towel Lydia was lying on and dragged the whole thing onto the floor, with Lydia still on it. Lydia didn’t even move, apparently just hit the floor and stayed there.
Right now, she’s in my bedroom. She found enough strength to wander over to a corner and is lying with her head atop an air vent. Here eyes are open and she’s just staring off at nothing. I don’t even want to try to feed her anymore. I’m afraid it will just upset her or make her vomit again.
Lydia is sixteen years old. I’ve been thinking that some time this year or next she would die. But it’s so hard to watch her go like this. If she’s still alive tomorrow, I’m taking her to the vet. He probably can’t do anything for her at this point, except put her to sleep. I did it for Fritti, so I’ll do it for her, but it tears me up just thinking about it. And everything is so hectic right now, I can’t even find the time to stop and just cry. I’m swamped with work and unanswered e-mails, one novel just published and a short story collection just accepted for contract, plus house work, unpacking from the so-called vacation, and on and on, all this work just waiting to fall on me and crush me beneath its weight.
Lydia, Fritti and BJ were with me when I first moved out on my own. Those three cats kept me company when I was all alone in Blacksburg, in that single bedroom apartment, going to graduate school while Michael went off to work. They kept me company, kept me warm, snuggled with me in bed. Lydia was my baby doll, the cat that comforted me when I was suffering through all the garbage of infertility treatments and tests. My smallest, my softest, my baby. And tomorrow, she’ll probably be gone. I simply can’t bear it.