Since "re-booting" Tuesday With Maggie, I've done a lot of research and contemplation. I've also made some memories with the Mags-- I'd like to think I'll look back at our ridiculous poses and smile.
Because her condition will likely require us to essentially "pick a date," I've Googled all sorts of phrases involving cat cancer, pet euthanasia, and when it's "the right time." I suppose I hoped it would give me a more definitive answer than what our vet gave us-- "You'll know." Apparently that is the most definitive answer one can get unless you find yourself in an emergency situation.
Before we'd even had Maggie for a year, Jeff and I talked about our feelings surrounding pet euthanasia. Thankfully we were both on the same page, agreeing that sometimes it's the best thing to do for your furry friend. It isn't about the number of years we spend with our companions but the quality of time we get to share with them. Neither of us thought to discuss it any further. Why would it be any more complicated than that? Unfortunately it is vastly more complicated, and not just in our case. There's even a scale designed to help owners determine when it's time.
I don't want or need the scale-- it seems too clinical, at least it is for me. But I understand why it exists. It was made for the very same reason I started researching when and what to do. We are humans, and we want to be in control with all of the answers. For me, my research only confirmed what I didn't realize I already knew-- I simply would, as the vet said, "know." I know with absolute certainty that today is not the day, but I know it could be tomorrow. I know this because I know Maggie. I doubt tomorrow is the day, but I see it coming soon. It scares the shit out of me. That is why I am sitting here writing this. Maybe some day someone will be just as scared as me, and they can find comfort in my words. Maggie is still enjoying life, but rather than eating out of a bowl, she prefers her food on a flat surface. She doesn't follow me around like my shadow anymore either. Stuff like this, the so-called little things, tells me the day is nearing.
I don't know if we'll pick the "right" day, but I know we won't pick the wrong day. Almost every site discussing this issue states something along the lines of "Better a week too early than an hour too late." I've found peace in this statement. I'd rather take away a few good days than give her even one extra bad day. Maggie cannot recover from this. So all Jeff and I can do is give her the best life in the time she has left and trust our instincts. We know Maggie. I've given her permission to let go, and I'd like to think that when she is ready, she will tell me. I told her (yes, I actually verbalized this) to just let me know. Sometimes humans need permission to let go, so I gave the same respect to Maggie, and I know that someday soon I'll get a look, one that doesn't go away.
For now, I am soaking up all the cuddles I can get, and I'm ensuring Maggie gets the most out of her last days, checking off as many bucket list items as possible. On Monday she got organic tuna served on a good plate. Maybe it's silly, but as humans we talk about our last meal. So Maggie at least deserves organic tuna on a good plate!
Jeff snapped this picture. Clearly we made a solid choice because this was the clearest shot he could get. Maggie has a few other items on her list (Taylor Swift has yet to get back to us, and her trip to the park has been delayed because of the heat-- if nothing else, she'll get one more trip to our back yard), but I'm really looking forward to her reaction to the TARDIS cat condo. I've always wanted to get her a cat condo because I thought she'd enjoy being perched up just a bit higher than normal. Sometime this week, we will find out what she thinks!
If she's not a fan of the TARDIS, I know she'll love the toys that I got to go with it. Both cats practically mauled me to get to these as soon as I opened the box. Wet food is usually ranked above catnip and toys. So they must be made with some strong nip!
No matter what happens--with the TARDIS or with Maggie-- I know everything will be okay. We've given her a good life, one filled with good food, toys, treats, sometimes human food (I'm pretty sure she's getting ham and gravy this week!), laughter, and lots of cuddles. She'll always reside in my heart, and I know she'll always be with me. I always thought she'd be here to watch my future human children grow up, at least part of the way, but I know she'll keep an eye on them from above. I don't actually know that, but in a way I do because if Maggie can't be with me, she has to at least be laughing at and watching over Jeff and me while lazing about on her catnip and tuna filled clouds. A life without at least her spirit is just too sad to even consider.