A Limpy Update
Limpy has been spending his days in the yard, nestled in the tall grasses. He seemed to enjoy this.
At dusk, I have been bringing him into my office, to spend the night. Weeks ago he made it clear that he did not like the ‘house’ I created for him across the room from where I sit. Rather, he wanted to be right next to me. So, I got rid of the house, and laid upon the floor a thick towel to my left. As he would stay there, it seemed obvious that this is where he wanted to be.
Very late each night, I have been hauling him atop my desk to comb, clean, and pet him. Then I would have some wine and watch YouTube videos while gently stroking him. He would purr and curl his toes. I loved this.
Last night, I was having some late-night bacon and Limpy was atop my desk. I realize that he was watching what I was doing, intently so. He had brought his head up (rather than lying flat down, as was his norm). He stared as I reached down to pick up a slice of bacon. He stared, following the bacon upward to my mouth. He stared as I nibbled on the bacon.
In telling this tonight to my neighbor, Brad, I explained: “I think he wanted some bacon!”
Brad replied: “Or, Limply is a Muslim and was judging you!”
I burst out laughing. “Well, I did give him some bacon. He scarfed it down. Then I gave him some more. He scarfed that up! So, if Limpy is a Muslim, he’s a very bad Muslim!”
This morning, I noticed that Limpy did not fully eat his breakfast, leaving about 2/3 untouched. That was odd, as he has been devouring everything I gave him.
Putting him in the yard for the day, I noticed that his lower body was heaving in/out, and quickly. It was like he was being inflated/deflated, and quickly.
Were his lungs in trouble? I grew concerned.
I brought him food and water. He touched neither. My concern grew.
His labored breathing (if that is what it was) grew worse and at 4:15 Limpy was at the vet.
The vet said he likely had pneumonia.
Then the vet said: “I think it’s important to ask a vital question. Is my pet miserable? If so…”
I looked at Limpy. Even though he was obviously very old, and rather a wreck, he had not been miserable the day before. But looking at him on the stainless steel table? He radiated misery. He did not respond to my stroking him. He did not curl his toes. His right, rear leg was a mess from his second expressed wound.
And then it happened. I was slammed in the face with a decision I had not expected today.
I have told this story before:
My friend Christina and I developed our own ritual.
Somehow, and I don’t recall how, we stopped using words like DIE or DEAD. No, when one of our precious peas departed, it was announced that they had moved to Florida.
Moved to Florida.
Absurd, yes, but we both found this oddly satisfying. One of our beloved ones would not have, you know, DIED. No, it just moved to Florida. Our intellectual selves knew this was ridiculous, of course, but our emotional selves grasped at this tenuous explanation with a surprisingly eager tenacity.
Moved to Florida. If you repeat this enough times it proves kinda somewhat maybe a tiny bit plausible.
And broken hearts are easily deceived.
Today, I was greatly surprised to find myself at an airport departure gate.
I was greatly surprised to book a first-class ticket, for Limpy, to Florida.
I was greatly surprised to lean down, and give Limpy a kiss goodby.
I was greatly surprised as Limpy departed. For sunny Florida.
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