Anticipatory grief

225767_1036609588894_2163_nI guess what I should really be writing about here is how I’m feeling about my 18-year-old kitty, Sophie. I started worrying about her death right after Mama died. I expected her to be next, and although I was holding things together, I knew if I lost her, then I would lose it.

She was only 14 then.

Sophie’s always been anxious and on edge. I swear, I think she even sleeps with her claws out. She’s been a lot of work. She’s not a kitty just anyone would tolerate, much less love!

Bringing Benny into the house really stressed her out. She quit coming into the living room and stayed in the back bed rooms. She started relieving herself in closets and hampers rather than come out to her litter box. And, perhaps most distressing, she compulsively groomed herself for about two and a half years. She licked off most of her fur on her sides and all of her fur on her stomach. She licked until she made scabs, and then she licked some more. And, she started losing weight — lots.

In the past year, she’s calmed down. She tolerates Benny and even allows him to sleep near her in the bed. Her fur has all grown back. She’s just skin and bones, but she’s been back to her old cranky self. She visits the living room and goes outside to get sunshine.

Since Lenny died, though, I feel like I’m counting down her remaining days. She’s been throwing up more often and is clearly unhappy about the new kitty. I want to take her to the vet, but that has always been so stressful to her, and I have this fantasy that maybe she’ll just not wake up one day. I want it to be like that.

I miss her already.

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