Everything seems so trivial now. I still have a broken dishwasher in place of an indoor freezer after 6 years of trying to get a new one to fit into the space. (The kitchen was originally built around small appliances). Do I care? No. The allotment needs doing and the back lawn needs mowing, the carpet needs a professional clean and the windows need cleaning.
I don’t care about any of it. I’ve gone into a bit of a decline, and one minute I’m all bright and cheerful with Katy playing with her Ever After High dolls and the next I’m standing outside with tears running down my face because the sun is shining and Diesel ought to be sleeping in it, and never will be again. And I’m so cold all the time. I’m wearing a thermal vest, jumper and two cardigans and the heating’s on, and I just want to huddle under a blanket.
Bubbles is searching the house and scratching at cupboards and closed doors looking for him, and hardly leaves our sides now unless it’s to sleep on the bed in the place where he used to sleep on my legs.
Everywhere I go in the house there’s a memory of him there, and I look at the back lawn and remember him running across it, tail up and miaowing because I’m holding the door open for him and he doesn’t have to come through the catflap.
I suppose that what I feel now is overwhelming sadness coupled with guilt. Did we make the right decision but too soon? Should I have brought Diesel home and tried for another week? He hadn’t gained weight, that’s true, but at least he hadn’t lost any more. Maybe another week of giving him his favourite food would have started him on the upward track again. I’d been told that his liver and kidneys were in great condition only a couple of weeks before. Should we have taken that into account?
I was fairly sure that I was taking him to his doom and although it was R who did the signing and paying, I was the one who picked him up off the sofa in the conservatory where he was happily asleep and put him in the carrying box. I was the one who took that last photo knowing, pretty much, that he and Bubbles would never be side by side again on this earth, and she’d never see him again. The other day we had lovely warm sunshine, and Bubbles found a patch of sunlight to sleep in. He should have been there too.
I shan’t keep on here; you don’t want to suffer all this angst with me! But so much reminds me of him. When we first had him he attached himself to me and wanted to be carried everywhere. Neither cat would sit on our laps for about two years; we think that they’d not had much reaason to trust humans, but we’d only had them a few weeks when Diesel started asking me to pick him up and would sit happily on my left shoulder while I held him with one hand and we walked about (just like Katy did, when she was born 🙂 ). I was the one he came to when he was hurt; I only had to sit down anywhere and he’d jump up on my lap. It was my bed he’d come to in the night and settle himself on my legs, and me he’d wake up in the morning asking for food by batting me round the face with his paws. If anyone brought me flowers he was ecstatic if there was a fern in it, and would jump all over the work surface while I was cutting them to put into a vase.
When I worked in the garden he and Bubbles would venture out and sit on the grass, companionably close. This year I’ll be doing the same things but he won’t be there. It’s just so unfair for him; I deprived him of his life, in what seemed to be a cruel way (because he cried in pain and I wasn’t holding him to give him comfort), and I wish I had given him another week now, but I didn’t and now I can’t.
I promise to talk about my ‘normal’ day to day inanities again soon, but one day, when I can bear to look at them again, I shall tell you some of the things that Katy wrote when we broke the news to her last Monday after school. She was so upset – angry, first – that she couldn’t speak, and filled four sides of A4 paper with questions in big scrawl and tiny bunched-up writing. Some of those broke my heart all over again.
But whatever doubts I had about doing the right thing, it’s done and can’t be undone. I know that we’ll probably have to face the same with Bubbles before much longer (that’s another thing – because she’s older I assumed that she’d go first and I’ve been semi-prepared for that for the last couple of years, but Diesel was so fit and active that I expected to have him for at least three or four years more).
As R said when his Dad died, “now we must take care of the living”, and I suppose that’s what keeps any of us going after someone we love dies. I must somehow break out of this tearful fog and follow that advice. I just don’t know how.