If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly…Macbeth
Macbeth was a villain, but he was right about that…
We’d known it was coming for months. She was getting weaker all the time. She was just plain old. There was nothing more to do. The details are irrelevant. It was simply time to let her go. I’m confident in that decision.
Life is a clock; it finally winds down. While I was waiting for the vet to come this morning, every minute was a year. And the ten years Melanie and I had were only a minute.
Now, I am alone…Hamlet
I have plenty of support. My best friend, Stephanie, who gave Melanie to me when Melanie was 6 or 8 weeks old (we bought her from an ad on Craigslist), and her boyfriend, Tim, who has the distinction of being the only man she’s dated in the last decade that I like, came to sit with me.
I cried a few times while I was waiting. Then I would sigh, put out my cigarette, and then go sit by Melanie again. I didn’t want Melanie to see me crying. She didn’t. She was as happy as she could be.
This morning she couldn’t get up. She couldn’t get off the floor. I had to move her food to her. She was done.
And, in the end, she made sure I got lots of kisses to take with me forever. One of our last is in the picture above. While I was petting her, she looked curiously around the room, as though she’d never really seen it before. She seemed to absorb it all, as though she knew… and I think she did… that she would never see it again.
Melanie was simply Love. She was nothing more, and nothing less. She never knew a single trick. She used to leap across the kitchen floor to cover me with kisses when I came home from work. She cuddled with me every night, until she couldn’t get on the bed anymore, and I could never get her to use the steps my old roommate made her that would have helped her up there. She slept on the floor in my room.
Since we moved here, she had been much happier. There were no more stairs for her to climb. She had a huge backyard. And she got her own couch, and her own blanket. And in the end she got to the place where she couldn’t get off of them.
I’m about to discuss my restroom habits. If this is too personal, please skip to the next paragraph. “There is little or no offensive material apart from….” oh never mind. If you aren’t a complete Monty Python Geek that joke will fall flat… but… I got up to pee just now. I walked from my Library to the bathroom. And I walked past Melanie’s couch. Her fur is all over the floor from where she was lying at the end and everyone kept petting her. And she wasn’t on the couch. And she won’t be again. And that sucks. That’s what I have to say about my restroom habits…. except that Melanie is still on the couch for less than a second whenever I walk by. And I can hear her claws on the wood floor whenever I go to the door.
The girls had evidently been preparing for this for the last several weeks. Hilary had done the research, and she knew exactly who to call. They came out to the house. Melanie left being completely loved. I believe she was thinking about Lenny’s rabbits.
When it was over, I went outside. When I came back in, the room was emptier than it’s ever been, regardless of the fact that I was surrounded by people I love and who love me. It will be that way for a long time.
I cost us a ton of money, today. It’s not cheap to get people out to do this, and I spent the extra to get Melanie’s ashes. I can’t justify it financially, and I know I hurt the family, but it was emotionally necessary. We were almost going to be even this month…
And, of course, there is the difficulty of deciding whether to tell my mother. She’s 88, has almost no short term memory left, lives in a group home she’s not allowed to leave, and she would never really have to know. She loves Melanie as much as I do. I nearly hyperventilated this morning. I can’t imagine how this will affect Mom. There is also the possibility of not telling her at all. I don’t feel right about keeping it from her, but I don’t see the Good in hurting her this badly. I haven’t decided what to do yet. It will require thought.
Melanie was the best Love I’ve ever had. I have three cats, one of whom insists on cuddling me whenever I go near my bed. I have roommates who are family. I have friends all over the place who are here to support me. And I am grateful to all of you for all of that. And none of you, and none of the Love I get, as incredibly valuable as both you and your Love are to me, can be Melanie. There never can be another Melanie.
She made my life better for more than a decade. She helped me through the worst times, and she celebrated the best with me. Her fortunes rose and fell as mine did, but she never complained. She just gave me kisses.
When I brought her home, she fit in the palm of my hand. I put her on the bed with me that first night, and it was way too far down for her to consider jumping off, so she bounced around the bed all night long like a tennis ball on crack. I remember wondering if I was ever going to get to sleep with her in the bed.
Over the years, I learned to sleep without her in the bed. But now I have to sleep without her in the world. I don’t know how well I’m going to do.
What I am going to do is, I’m going to keep going. I sat down to write this less for you than for me. I have to get some of this out, so I apologize that I am speaking too personally. I have to know I can still write. I think I can.
Melanie, you were the best. You’re never really gone, as long as I remember you, as someone once said. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid. I love you.
Don’t tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.Holden Caulfield