When we were dealing with Petunia's diabetes diagnosis, my best friend told me about Ira Glass and his dog, Piney. I guess Ira's dog bites people and has crazy allergies -- he has to eat a different protein/starch combo every eight months until he gets allergic to it. Steph said she heard Ira interviewed on NPR, and he was talking about how taking care of Piney had kind of become his life.
Yesterday afternoon, I called the vet to check on Buttonsworth, who had been there all day getting enema after enema. The vet said the first one had worked, but nothing since then, and he was trying and trying but getting nothing, and the next step would be to put him under and, I don't know, dig it out of him, but that had risks, and he'd found some medicine, but it cost $60 a month and needed to be given three times a day, and there was really no guarantee it would work.
I started crying. I called Beloved. We talked about two shots a day and three pills a day that might not work and all the enemas and the fact that Buttonsworth had developed megacolon and it might just never work properly again, and I realized I was becoming like Ira Glass. I've been at the vet's office more times in the last month than the grocery store. I'm was watching Buttonsworth like a hawk. My anxiety is through the roof.
And I can't make him poop. At some point, you can become obsessed, and I was becoming obsessed, perhaps even to the detriment of poor Buttonsworth, who probably did not like all the enemas or the pain of constipation.
We made the decision not to even bring him home, because if we brought him home, I didn't know if I could bear to take him back. I called the vet back, told him to stop with the enemas, we were coming in to say goodbye.
I told the little angel, who had been prepared that this might happen. The child is growing very resilient to pet death, much more so than I have. We got in Vicki and drove to the vet's office. They brought out Buttonsworth, and the three of us covered his face in kisses and told him how much we loved him and how proud of him we were. Then we donated his insulin and syringes. Beloved and the little angel stopped for ice cream on the way home, even though we hadn't had dinner yet. I called my family and sobbed my way home. The little angel and I watched two episodes of Clean House. I had to go downstairs during book time because I couldn't stop crying. I looked at all my photos of Buttonsworth and asked myself how, again, I keep picking these sick cats? But as I looked at the pictures, I couldn't regret adopting him, even though the final total on this month was nearly a thousand dollars and he still died. He kept Beloved company during the months of unemployment. He taught Kizzy to sleep on the little angel's bed. He taught us to not be afraid of cat diabetes like we were before. He wagged his little Manx tail and rumblepurred and gave us so much love and happiness for the short four months that he was here.
So, farewell, Sir Charles Buttonsworth. We will miss you. And we are proud to say the day you died, we had finally stabilized your blood sugar. So in that we did not fail you.