In my mother-in-law's last days, she started hiding bits of food in her cheeks, like a chipmunk storing peanuts for later. Except that, for her, there was no later. Her body had just stopped needing food. It had enough energy left for what it needed to do, which was, simply, to wind down. And so, her sons sat patiently at her side, spooning chicken soup into her mouth, and watching the broth trickle down her throat while she tucked the noodles into her cheek.
It's this memory which came to mind this past week, watching the Mister dripping water into our sweetheart cat's mouth, doing what little we could to keep her hydrated (poorly) until her appointment this morning.
The next page of this story has not been written yet - as I type, our dear snowflake is at the veterinarian's office, being hydrated via IV and treated to try to bring her appetite back while they wait for tests that will tell us what's causing her illness. It's been hard through this process not to spend all of our time berating ourselves - and each other - for our mistakes. But we are trying really, REALLY hard to have compassion for our girl-cat, for each other, and for ourselves.