Wednesday, June 19, 2013
An Indifferent Monarch: Mr. Wookie
My little man is very sick with bone cancer which started in his jaw and is spreading. I noticed he was drooling some in his sleep and thought a tooth was bothering him, so I took him to the vet for a check-up. We don't go often; he isn't sick, usually, and, since we started him on a special diet for bladder stones, he never goes.
The first visit it was decided to treat him for an infection in spite of the fact that he had no fever and no sign of infection in the mouth. Ten days later, the lump was worse. Since then, he had an x-ray which revealed the spreading cancer in his jaw.
He was given pain meds and sent home to wait to die, "probably within 21 days... during which time he will be in agony."
This was six weeks ago. He has not been in pain, that we can tell (no crying, trembling, balling up, or isolation); he still wants to eat (although that is getting harder as his jaw is now out of alignment and I am hand feeding him four times a day); he still wants to sleep on me and to taste my food -- just in case it was better than his. In short, he is normal except for the whole jaw thing.
During these weeks, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to know when to let him go. No one should love an animal as I do him. I hold him, kiss him, stroke him, talk with him, feed him from my plate, carry him, wash him, and generally act a fool over him. It might be his indifference to me that keeps me challenged in this one-sided relationship, but I just can't show him how much I love him. Stupid, isn't it? Yet, I do.
I know the day will come when he will no longer be able to drink or will be in pain and I will have to release him. Unlike the roosters, I don't want to see him go. Ever. Yet, I know he will. And, when that day comes, I will lock myself in the bathroom, cry until I am sick, and then bury him wrapped in the blanket I knit him. But,until then, I will enjoy every minute I can with this indifferent monarch.