I woke up pretty rested, having held Split Lip in my hands most of the night. He didn’t leave the way he normally would after I fell asleep, at least until hours into the night when he wanted to go outside. When I finally got up to go to work, I scooped him up and carried him off to the vet. I actually felt a little bit hopeful that he seemed to eat a bit of canned food before bed last night.
When we got to the vet, I parked next to Robyn, who was there dropping off a cat as well. They were super busy running in and out with animals, so we chatted while we waited. Just after she left, I heard the spew of diarrhea in the carrier, so I pulled it out of the car and threw some napkins in to try and cover it up the best I could. It didn’t keep Split’s tail from getting in it though. It was actually kind of normal colored and had some solid in it, which made me even more hopeful. I thought maybe he had just powered through some mouth pain so he could eat last night.
I carried on to work feeling a little better about the ordeal, so I stopped and grabbed a slice of breakfast pizza on the way. From there, things slowly started going downhill.
Sandy emailed me to say Dover couldn’t meet my salary request, so they went with another candidate. I would have liked a raise, even if it was only an opportunity to say no to a couple thousand dollars for a lateral step to their pay scale. I wasn’t heartbroken about it though, and in fact had at least a little bit of relief in sticking with what I know.
I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why imaging the student laptops was suddenly destroying my task sequence flash media. Ben called a couple times and we chatted about Impero some more. Overall, not much was really accomplished.
Dr. Pearson called about split sometime in the middle of the day, and let me know that she couldn’t find anything in his mouth that would cause the grinding sound we were hearing. Without any real answers as to why he wouldn’t eat, her best guess was that he was wasting away from some kind of cancer, and that it was best to let him go. He was already sedated for the examination, so it was a pretty easy decision with the expected fallout throughout the rest of the evening.
I stopped by to get my pet carrier, then picked up a shirt that Ben got me for toughing it out while everyone else was quarantined. The girls didn’t have karate, so I stopped to see Summer briefly before making it home. When I got there, I realized they had not cleaned the cat carrier at the vet, so I hosed it down a bit and left it out to dry.
Autumn made dinner, so I eventually made my way across town. Summer spent nearly the whole evening on a video call with the automotive guys at the ATCC. Autumn’s hamburger meat with rice reminded me of eating leftover taco meat over steamed rice as a child. Then we played a round of Mario Kart before Summer went to sleep and I headed back home.
It really feels like the end of an era. I’ve never truly been here, home, alone. I had my childhood at home. Then I moved out with Angie and we got Kitty, turned Big Kitty, turned Momma. Little Kitty quickly outgrew Big Kitty, but size didn’t matter when he became Daddy. They had five distinct little kittens while we were away in Hawaii just over 15 years ago – Split Lip, Grey, Chewie, Momma’s Clone, and a fifth that we managed to give away before having to come up with a way to describe it against the others.
Daddy and Clone disappeared after I put a bunch of them outside to keep the males from breeding and spraying everywhere. Chewie stuck around the neighborhood, but quickly came down with a dickborn disease, and I had to put him down suddenly when the vet said he had developed jaundice. For a long time, it was just Momma, Grey, and Split. Then Momma blew up like a balloon and I put her down suddenly after a completely worthless trip to the vet at Town and Country. Years later, Grey got the same thing, and Dr. Tanner easily identified and fixed the issue, giving us a little over two more years.
I had been over the whole idea of having cats, and largely pets in general, for a long time. That whole second era of my life had dragged on enough, and I felt like I was never really able to pick up the pieces and move on. Maybe I used the cats as an excuse for being an awful human, but I wanted the chance to find out for sure. I had been ready to move on for a long time, and I guess he was finally ready too.
I’m gonna miss you, buddy. We’ve sure been through some shit together.