Last night, when I got home, my eighteen-year-old cat was wheezing, having difficulty breathing, and obviously in pain. I got her calmed down, offered her food, which she declined, and put her on my pillow to sleep. She napped a little, woke up, cried a little, and seemed to settle. Then Lilly -- my five-year-old -- got onto the bed, and Nyssa attacked her viciously, going for her eyes. Lilly is the mellowest cat alive. She freaked out, and ran, crying, to hide under the desk.
Nyssa was still clearly in pain, and collapsed back on the pillow wheezing and panting. So I called my mother, and got Nyssa into the carrier while I waited for Mom to come and pick me up. We left for the vet at five o'clock. I got home around seven-thirty.
Nyssa was old. She was tired. The vet said her kidneys had completely stopped functioning; she weighed less than five pounds, and she didn't fight at all. Not once. She just let us hold her, and she purred, and she was limp and calm. Batya said recently that Nyssa had no bones left, that she was just paper mache and mice, and that was her last night.
I told her she was good. I stayed with her the whole time, and I told her she was good, and I told her it was okay, that she could go, that I wouldn't be mad. But I think I was lying. I'm not okay at all. She was supposed to live forever. That was the whole deal. I would love her, and take care of her, and put up with her, and she would live forever. I made that deal with Nyssa, and with Leela, and with Sarah Jane, and Ben, and Pepper, and Pirate, and Princess, and Mindy, and every cat I've ever lived with. And they never keep their side of the bargain, and I love them anyway, and I am not okay.
I want my kitty back. But more, I just want to know that she isn't hurting anymore. I guess that's how this can be okay. Because she isn't hurting anymore. And somewhere in my heart, she's still half a pound of fur, and I'm still arguing that they have to let me keep her, and today is a million years away. I always fall in love again.
Oh, Nyssa. Oh, I love you.