Caring for my dad has been much more difficult recently because we’ve been facing some of the same emotional issues with our animals.
Last month, my spouse and I lost, to death, a cat we’d rescued only a year and a half earlier. Suzume had been only a day or two from death when our daughter saw her in our yard; she was starving and almost unable to walk. She weighed six pounds then; she was skeletal, her skin like leather in all the many places where fur was missing.
Within a few months she was up to thirteen pounds, a different cat entirely; the sweetest and most purely loving one we have ever owned. For nearly a year she did well, and then began losing weight: It was clear that she was far older than the vet had originally thought. Cared-for, well-fed, and well-loved, she was dying of old age.