Ingrid and I have some sad news. Our cat Violet died today, of cancer in her lungs and her thoracic cavity.
This both was and was not sudden. Violet was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, so we always knew that a recurrence was a possibility. But the treatment went well, and she was in good health for a long time. In the last few months, her energy has declined somewhat, and in the last few weeks her appetite was somewhat off, but nothing that indicated that anything was seriously wrong. But Wednesday night when Ingrid got home, she hadn’t eaten anything all day, and her breathing was labored. We took her to the vet, and the X-rays found fluid in her lungs and a mass in her chest. They were able to stabilize her long enough for her oncologist to see her Thursday morning, but it was clear that there was no hope for treatment or even palliative care. We had her euthanized Thursday afternoon. We had hoped to bring her home first, but her breathing and general condition were not strong enough for that to make sense for her, so we stayed with her while she was euthanized in the hospital. She went very peacefully and very quickly.
Ingrid and I are obviously extremely sad about this. Violet has been with us for fourteen years, and the house seems very empty without her. It also comes at a bad time for many reasons (not that there’s ever a good time for this). But knowing that we have the support and understanding of our friends, family, colleagues and community means a great deal. I may not be my usual self for a little while: I may not be able to blog on my usual schedule; I may not be able to respond as quickly to emails and comments and tech issues as I normally am; and I’m likely to be less cheerful and more short-tempered than usual. I hope you all will understand and will be patient with me. I’ll be posting photos and a proper obituary later on; right now, I just don’t have it in me.
And finally: It pains me that I have to say this, but past experience has taught me that I do.
If there are any religious or spiritual believers reading this blog: Please, please, please, do not say that you’re praying for us. Do not say that Violet is looking down on us. Do not say that we’ll see her again someday. Do not say that this is part of God’s plan. Please do not offer any “comfort” of a religious, spiritual, or supernatural nature. I do not find these ideas comforting. I find these ideas profoundly upsetting. If you wouldn’t tell someone who’s Jewish that their dead loved one is in the arms of Jesus Christ their personal lord and savior, please don’t tell an atheist that they’ll see their dead loved one in the afterlife. I am happy to discuss and debate religion at another time and place, but I do not want to do it in my cat’s obituary. Any comments of this nature will be disemvoweled, and the commenters will be banned. (And to the rest of you: If anyone ignores this request, please do not engage with them. Please ignore them, and let me handle it with comment moderation.) Thanks.