I didn’t intend for this to be the pie I made to celebrate having to put my cat to sleep, but that’s the way it turned out.
Z had been back and forth to the vet for about a week, and the ultimate diagnosis was a cyst inside his intestine which would most likely have just grown back had I spent the several thousand dollars on surgery to have it removed. His disposition in that week had altered itself from playful and relaxed to sullen and despondent. He wasn’t eating or drinking, and he couldn’t use his box. It was clear he could not find a comfortable position for himself to rest.
I started this pie in the late afternoon, while wallowing in denial over what would have to be done. Michael arrived later in the evening and talked me back into reality. Without being able to use his box, there wasn’t a lot of time for Z. None of us were benefitting from delay. So after a few more crying sessions, I finally caved and said to Michael between sniffles, “Ok… let me just get this pie out of the oven, and while it’s cooling we’ll take Z in, and then when we get back we can eat it.”
I understand dividing my attentions between a dying cat and a three berry pie with brown sugar topping might seem a bit coarse. But once I had accepted what needed to be done for Z, it was no longer tough for me. We had shared fourteen years of companionship and he’d been content and healthy through all of it. Below is the last picture we took of him. The heart sleeve on his paw is covering up the IV that was delivering the dose that would move him on. He was at ease all the way through the end, purring and nuzzling me. I could not have asked for a better end for him.
It’s been over a month now, and I’m starting to hear the call of kittens at the Saturday afternoon pet adoption fairs outside the Petco on Sunset. But I’ll hold off a while longer.
And we did go back home that night and eat the pie. We topped it with ice cream. We each had two giant slices. At his peak, Z weighed approximately 19 pounds, so I’m sure he would have wanted nothing else for us.