In memory of Abraham*

I’ve watched people die and cats die, and cats, if they’re at the vet’s, have a much easier time of it. They get that wonderfully relaxing drug; curl up, and, for all we know, think they’re sleeping.

People, if they’re on hospice, get Ativan, for what is literally called “terminal anxiety.” From what I’ve seen it doesn’t help much. Our wonderful adopted aunt/grandmother Mary spent about a day saying over and over “amIgoingtodieamIgoingtodie?” and there was nothing we could say. You can’t just say “Yes, you are”; and it’s not right to say “No, you’re not.” We just held her hand, and told her we were all there.

The next day she got that faraway look that sees things way beyond our world; then there was the coma, breath finally ending.

When they’re gone they’re gone, both cats and people. The room empties.

The incongruous thing is that people know enough to have terminal anxiety. They’re conscious of their impending dissolution. Cats aren’t (or so we think, anyway, from our species superiority complex). But they’re the ones who get euthanasia.

*Terry’s beautiful noble cat, who died peacefully this week.

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