This morning started off relatively well. I didn't sleep much, but when I woke up I found myself not as unhappy as expected. I was thinking of yesterday, and watching my friend sinking deeper and deeper into a state from which he could not be brought back. So I had a feeling of some relief for him that his suffering was now over.
That didn't last long. Habits of long standing betrayed me. As I have for years, each time I walked through the living room I would look at the back of the couch, one of his favorite sitting/sleeping places. Or I would look at the chair in my office, where he liked to curl up while I was working.
It was a ritual for me to start my coffee brewing each morning while refilling his water dish and feeding him breakfast. This morning, I only made coffee.
The things I felt compelled to do today -- putting the remaining cat food in a bag and delivering it to my cat-owning neighbor, washing the food and water dishes and packing them away, removing the litter box and taking down the structure I built years ago to partially conceal it (this was made long before Hobbes was born), cleaning up a few stains from yesterday -- again hammered home the awful truth:
Right at the worst time yesterday, my musician friend from the Midwest called. All I could do was explain what was happening in a few short sentences and tell him to call later. Today, he did. Thankfully, he also loves animals -- in his case, dogs -- and understood what was going on. We talked for hours.
There is a part of me that wishes I was less emotional and cared less about things -- especially living things -- than I do. I inherited a reluctance to show my emotions openly from my father; what I did not inherit from him was the actual ability to hide them.
For that reason, I have ventured no farther than the trash bin and the mailbox today. My emotions are on edge now that the shock of yesterday has worn off, and I'm not willing to expose anyone, particularly strangers, to the sight of an aging man wandering around with tears pouring out of his eyes.
R. told me that when his dog died, he was unable to function for weeks afterward. I was that way when my dog died, too.
I am like that, only more so, now.
Much as I have loved all my cats, and my dog, and mourned the death of each, Hobbes was in a class by himself.
Right now, I don't know what happens next. And don't much care.
17 hours ago