This past weekend was hard for us. Last Friday, we had to say goodbye to our cat, Simon. Here he is in much happier, cozy times.
Simon came to us from my friend but Simon and I were old friends. We’d lived together before and cuddled many times. When he moved in with Ross and I, Ross seemed apprehensive because only six months before, our cat, Voodoo, had gone into kidney failure and had to be put down. Replacing Voodoo seemed impossible.
Soon, it became apparent that Ross really liked Simon. He got attached, even though it was supposed to be a temporary stay. Soon enough, Simon was a permanent resident in our house.
When Scarlett came, Simon seemed a little wary of her but she loved the cat and was very respectful of his age (he was already 14 or 15 by the time she was born.
I feel zero shame about making this cat wear a bow tie. He liked it and didn’t he look sophisticated?
Over the past year, Simon declined quite rapidly, losing weight (weighing a little more than 6 lbs.) and becoming more and more immobile with his bad hips. He had stopped grooming himself to the point his fur was scraggly. He had become incontinent with diarrhea. It became clear that we couldn’t put off the inevitable any longer. This was Simon on Friday a shell of his former self.
That night, Scarlett and I had a good cry and a long discussion about death. It’s hard to describe death to a 3.5 year old and not scare them. Having said that Simon was sick translated in her mind that sick meant dead. When my sinuses started acting up on Sunday, she asked me if I was sick. When I said yes, she asked if I was going to die. There was a moment where I thought, well, yes, I will die. Because we will all die but saying that to her would not come with the complicated concepts of time and real disease. So, instead, I said no, I was not going to die.
This was, of course, a lie. But that’s a conversation for a much older Scarlett and a more prepared me. Maybe even making Ross field this one, I don’t know that I can be trusted to explain this in a way that won’t scare the shit out of her. I’m blunt that way.
Now, we find ourselves without a pet. Our house is quiet but I find myself catching glimpses of white out of the corner of my eye and thinking I have to step over him because making him move was too much for him. Then I remember that he’s not there and I’m sad all over again.