It's just a cat. It's just a cat. It's just a cat. It's just a cat.
Just a smelly, grass-puking, mangy god damn cat.
This has been my mantra all morning. Just a cat. Just a cat. Not a kid. Just a cat.
And it was working for me. It kept my voice steady when I called the vet clinic to ask, you know...do I need to make an appointment to kill my dying cat, or can I just drop by? And it kept right on working for me as I picked up said sad, emaciated cat off the bathroom floor to gently slip him into his travel cage--the same travel cage we used to carry him home for the first time 13 years ago. Just a cat. Just a cat. Not a kid. Just a cat.
It sort of stopped working for me a bit on the drive over. The 'not a kid' part led to some pretty gruesome (and, in retrospect, extirely predictable) tangental mindfuckery which my fragile nerves had some trouble processing.
But I choked it back and was in control again as I walked into the clinic. Just a cat. Just a cat. Asshole husband didn't do the dishes last night. And just a cat.
The receptionist was a huge help. Cold. Businesslike. You're here for termination? Would you like him examined first? Will he be going to the common crematorium, or would you like an private urn to take home with you?
Yes. Sniff. No. Ew. What was that first one? And are you always such a bitch?
I was kind of getting pissed at her. I mean, wasn't anyone going to try and stop me from doing this terrible thing? Shouldn't an exam be...I don't know...obligatory? And God! She didn't even ask me why I was doing this! How I had arrived at this horrible decision! Didn't she want to know that he hadn't eaten since Sunday night? Wasn't anyone going to ask me about how he'd fallen down the stairs Monday morning, and never quite got up?
I wasn't crying when she walked back towards the exam rooms, shouting, "I have a termination here. Where should I put it?"
I couldn't look at the cage. Couldn't sit next to it. I kept my mind on the bitch receptionist, and started pacing.
It's just a cat. Just a cat. What a bitch. Just a cat.
When the receptionist came back out. She walked over to me, stopped me mid-pace, put an arm around my shoulder, gave me the saddest, most understanding look, and said softly, "I'm going to take him now. You've given him a long life. This is absolutely the right thing to do." Then that nice receptionist lady had the great pleasure of watching me come completely unglued.
It's been a shitty day. A shitty week really. It should have been done last Friday, but it's taken me this long to be willing to face up to it.
God what will I tell the kids?