So, because 2015 hasn't been enough of a rollicking roller-coaster of fun, the universe decided I needed one more piece of infuriating, harsh, nothing-you-can-do reality bleeding into my life.
Let's go over my last year or so, shall we?
Ahem. First, my mother was diagnosed with and subsequently underwent chemo treatment for cancer (although she is currently doing great healthwise, for those wondering). In July, Jason lost his job the day we returned from a vacation that we had cut short essentially so as not to inconvenience them. A month later, a tree fell on my car, because that seemed like a reasonable followup to the whole sudden unemployment thing. After that, my father's sudden death has made it clear to me that the ground under my feet isn't actually ground, but quicksand made from shattered glass.
Why not one more thing? The universe asked itself.
My cat is officially a "senior citizen", as she is either 14 or 15 years old, which means that she is somewhere around 80 in people age. She has recently begun to drool somewhat continuously, which is exactly as vaguely unsettling as it sounds. I looked her symptoms up (drooling, knocking food around her bowl, looking haggard and a bit gaunt lately) and was told by Dr. Google, Pet M.D. that it would either be a tooth/gum infection that may require pulling several teeth (inconvenient and expensive, but a fix) or outright kidney failure (inconvenient, expensive, and nothing you can really do).
I went ahead and scheduled a vet appointment.
Ten minutes after the vet came in to check her over, I discovered it was neither of the things that Dr. Google the Vet had assured me it would be.
Instead, I was informed my cat is dying of bone cancer.
So far all she's really doing is drooling. The vet says eventually eating will grow too tough and painful for her to keep it up, and then we'll need to decide when to make the call.
While she's a secondhand cat, she's been ours for over 8 years now. She was the very first Big Thing Jason and I did as a sign of being really committed to our relationship.
I found her in a newspaper ad, and Jason went to pick her up because I had to leave town that weekend and her previous owner said she'd have her put down if no one took her by a certain day. He brought her to my apartment and cared for her himself until I returned from my weekend trip, and so really it was him she bonded with first.
She has slept curled against our backs or purred in our laps for over eight years now. Her age had begun to make her a bit grumpy and prone to crankiness, but she's handled both the advent of the dog and a new baby like a champ. She's been known to lay near Audra and let my daughter "pet" her - which, granted, mostly involves my toddler daughter good-naturedly smacking her back and sometimes her face while chanting "Dat dat dat dat". Eventually, she will get up and move away, to escape those little hands that don't know that no one likes being smacked on the nose six times, no matter how gently it's done.
But she purrs right through until she's had about enough and decides, finally, to move.
If I didn't have enough weighing me down this year, the universe decided to throw "dying pet" on me, too.
I've carried enough weight around my neck this year, why don't we add just a little bit more?