Some more musings about Twinkle, as time passes.
It seems to me now that probably what I was seeing on Saturday was a pair of heart attacks. I think the first one lasted just a few seconds, and was triggered by the stress of me trying to give her her eye drops. The second, and I hope there were only the two, was the spontaneous one that ended her life. Blood clots may have been involved in it; in fact, that makes sense to me as the likely trigger. In thinking about it, I suppose this is the best indicator that she really was not going to recover. There were just too many strains on her body with whatever disease she had... it was depriving her of oxygen and nutrients to begin with, and the treatments and two weeks in and out of hospital among strangers who were constantly doing things she couldn't understand took their toll on her as well. If having to put up with being dosed with eye drops was enough of a strain to cause a heart attack, then Twinkle had really reached the limits of her strength, reserves, and endurance. She really wasn't meant to live that long, I guess. Something in her genes, I think, just meant she'd live bright and short.
I was speaking with Michelle yesterday, and I asked her what she thought from the times she saw Twinkle in the last little while. She told me that the times she saw Twinkle in the hospital, she seemed viable and like she had a shot. But she formed the opinion, on her Friday night visit to my home, that Twinkle was a cat who had used everything up, and that the next thing to put a strain on her system would probably be the last. That turned out to be the case.
This morning I'm in a new office and location (same job) and trying to get arranged, and the place and experience are largely tainted with "this is life after Twinkle died". It won't always seem like that, I know, but right now it makes it hard to be comfortable here.
I'm all over the map about how I should be feeling. I'm sad, of course; I miss her; I ache to hold her again. But I'm trying not to screw that into myself. I know I could really mess myself up for a few days if I did. But what would that achieve to torture myself? I did all kinds of worrying about her when it made a difference, and now it can't anymore. It won't help Twinkle, and all it would really do is make my life so much harder for a while. And there's the rub—there's this part of me that feels like that's Twinkle's due; if she meant s0mething to me, shouldn't I be prostrate with grief? I feel guilty that her death hasn't incapacitated me. But I keep coming back to the realization that, as cats go, Twinkle lived the latter half of her life as a queen. For much of her time with me, she lived with two humans and two other cats; she never wanted for attention and affection, and she could have them on her own terms. She was never hungry or thirsty, never cold or wet, never in real danger. And when the time came, she was given every aid we could muster to help her recover. She just didn't have the means to make a go of it. It's very sad, but it's also a comfort, I think. I'm trying to see it that way. I keep trying to massage that into the wound. She sure was better off for knowing me and finding her place in my heart. And so was I.
Twinkle's passing has, somehow, also made me more aware of the hole in my life. Maybe it's because I had Larry for a roommate for two years, but I find myself wishing there were someone in my life. Not to belittle Bonnie and Max, who are pure joys, but there are other social aspects of being human that I'm beginning to feel aren't being met. Michelle found her fiance on a dating site and suggested I use that as my starting point, and so I'm looking into it. She's convinced there's someone for everyone, and that it's a big city. It's a hopeful thought. I guess the last couple of weeks have triggered some sort of fear of mortality and loneliness, or something. Anyway, I'd like to try to address that feeling. There may be someone out there, like me, who feels the same, and... who knows?