Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sydney

What a bitch.

Thankfully I got to know Jill before I met Sydney.  Otherwise Jill and I may never have crossed paths.

I first met Sydney at Jill's duplex in Columbia, MO.  As I've now done on numerous occasions, I was introduced to Syd w/ a warning.

Jill says to me as I face Syd's cold eyes for the very first time, "This is Sydney.  As cute as she appears, that's how evil she can be.  She likes me and no one else.  I wouldn't try to pet her.  She may attempt to scratch the skin off your face.  Best to just ignore her."

So I've got that going for me.  Satan's minion is lurching around the apartment w/ apparent free reign.  She may have the upper hand now, I thought, but I will woo her owner away from her.

And I did.

But damn it if I didn't realize being w/ Jill was a package deal.  When Jilly moved to be w/ me in Houston, Syd came w/.  When Jilly and I moved in together, Syd moved in.  When we got married and moved into our first house, Syd was there.  When we moved back to St. Louis and in w/ my parents, that fucking white demon continued with us...despite my best efforts.

I often joked about turning on the oven and keeping the door open to coax Sydney in.

"What are you doing?" Jill asked (already aware of the joke).

"We're having Thai food tonight!" I'd reply w/ false glee.

As Jill began to be more physically affected by the disease, my fuse for Sydney shortened.  I had no time or patience for her.  She was an unnecessary distraction and I wasn't shy about sharing my point of view.  I certainly didn't want to upset Jill.  But, I also didn't want this fur ball taking my eye off the ball.

You're hungry?  Grow opposable thumbs and get your own damn food.
You need your litter box cleaned?  Get over it.  For God's sake, you shit in a box.
You want water from the bathroom sink?  Fuck you.  Get down.  There's water in a bowl on the floor for you.  You're a cat.

The reality, however, was that I also tended to the cat.  Jill first.  Sydney...later.

Before Jill passed we actually had a conversation about Syd.  In short, we agreed she'd lived a long, pampered life (17+ years) and if I needed her off my hands, Jilly would support me making that decision.  And while I certainly despised that puss, (unfortunately) Syd wasn't showing signs of being ill enough for me to make that move.  I mean, I no likey the Sydney.  But, I'm not ready to throw her in a bag and toss her in the river.  (Though I've imagined it...and received offers.)

Jill passes.  Jill passes and this fucking cat is still here.  The ultimate survivor.

(Oh, note to self - new reality TV concept - "Survivor: House Pets Edition.")

I don't go out of my way to make life easier for Sydney.  But, I do continue my responsibilities of ensuring she has what she needs - food, fresh water, a clean box, a quick brush, etc.

But, despite my adequate efforts, Syd starts to show her age.  Her fur is matted.  And she's now leaving little presents for me outside the litter box...in my bedroom.

So I called the vet and we rolled in this morning.

I knew the option to pull the trigger (for lack of wanting a better phrase) would be on the table.  Though I still wasn't fully convinced it was the right option.

I had a very candid, in depth conversation w/ the vet.  We looked at all options, opted to run a few tests, and she conducted a physical examination.  The tipping point for me was when the vet compared the quality of Syd's life to that of an elderly person.  "If she were human, she'd be in Depends and in hospice by now."  That sealed the deal for me.

I first called Ro to let her know I was making this difficult decision for everyone's well being, including Sydney's.  I put the phone on speaker and allowed Ro to say a few final words to Syd in the exam room.  I think Sydney appreciated that.  I know Ro did.

I hung up the phone and the vet got to work.  I opted to stay in the room; talking to Syd, and petting her - both for comfort and out of guilt.

As cliche as it may read, it appeared to be a very peaceful process.  She simply went to sleep.  In my opinion and my life experience, we should all be so lucky.

I'd like to say this decision was an easy one, a long time coming.  But, the truth is that - in a way - Syd was a part of Jilly.  And while Jilly was at peace with this decision, the vote to euthanize any animal is a difficult one...even ornery one.

Sydney had a good run.  And while she was undeniably evil, she was always part of the package.

Peace and a little love to Syd.

All love,

J, J, & r


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