This is Kasey. He's 16 years old and nearing the end of his nine lives.
For the most part, he gets around alright. Still purrs and craves our attention.
But he's got some medical problems that can't be fixed. The writing's on the wall that his days are extremely numbered. He declines visibly each week.
I've drawn a mental line in the sand about how far I'll allow him to deteriorate before taking him in for that final vet visit.
If he shows signs of obvious pain and distress, it's a given. If he starts using the upstairs as his personal toilet, something will have to be done.
At first, it was easy to be ojective about the notion that we'd have to intervene. But as the inevitable inches closer, that's becoming more difficult. My fear is that I'll let things get too far gone before I can muster up the courage to do it.
That's because Kasey and I go way back. I knew him long before my husband, son, and many of my friends.
I got him from some drug dealers while I was still in college. It wasn't part of a transaction; I wasn't affiliated with them.
A friend in one of my classes knew they were trying to get rid of a cat and since I've always been partial to Siameses, she gave them my number.
When I drove over to check him out, I first took in the large supply of their merchandise on full display in their kitchen. They took me to a back bedroom and opened a dark closet door to let Kasey out.
That's where they'd been keeping him; they didn't want their landlord to know they had a cat (I thought later that it was ironic they were more concerned about hiding the cat than their drug supply).
Inside the closet, Kasey had a bowl full of large-breed dog food and no water or litter box.
I picked him up and his feet never again touched the floor of that nasty apartment. He's been with me ever since, a loyal friend.