The last days of Penny

It’s been 9 days since my cat Penny ate anything, and 10 days since she came home from the vet with a diagnosis of “something untreatable”, which is another way for the vet to say, “That’ll be $436.12 to keep her overnight, take an x ray, do blood work and give her some fluids, and if I’m being honest it’ll cost another $8,734.29 to diagnose and treat whatever it is that’s wrong, assuming it’s something we can treat, which I don’t think it is.” (OK, so $8,743.29 might be a slight exaggeration. Slight. The $436.12 is the exact amount I paid last week.)

Anyway, the vet said there’s a chance that if Penny stopped eating and drinking she might just curl up and go to sleep on her own, which would save us from having to put her down, or as our daughter so politely refers to it, becoming “cat murderers.” (“Can we just stop the senseless killing of innocent housepets, please?”)

I’ve checked on Penny several times a day this week and been afraid to touch her because I thought she might be … eternally sleeping. But she’s not, and in fact wanders into the kitchen with look that seems to say, “You’re not getting rid of me that easily.”

Which I don’t want to anyway. But I’m feeling very sorry for her. The fluid has come back in her abdomen (they drew 1/2 a liter out last week) so she’s waddling uncomfortably. And she can’t have much strength left after 9 days with no food and very little water. But as long as she can get around, I’m not taking her to the vet.

Here’s to the prayers that she curls up and goes to sleep peacefully, all on her own, closing her eyes in this life to open on the next and find Natasha there, ready chase her through the pearly gates.

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