He's not dead yet…

I got my call from the vet today. She said he’s looking well, but he still refuses food, and vomited once, sometime yesterday. She’s not surprised, but was hoping he would be eating before being sent home (or something to that effect).

I did a whole bunch of research yesterday and got my hopes up. From what I read, when a cat’s urine output increases, the chances of the kidneys healing themselves increases considerably. Banjo didn’t stop producing urine until the nausea made him dehydrated.

Unfortunately, I will not know until tomorrow (when they do the first post-treatment blood test) if he is improving. The fact that he still had some nausea increases my concern.

So, it is time to start thinking about euthenasia. Let me tell you, don’t think about it if you don’t have to – it is a rough concept to consider.

When I was in high-school, my girlfriend’s family had a cat that I was quite fond of (Keekers was her name). Her organs started shutting down, and everybody knew her time was coming… Except for me. I tried to argue that they should perform dialysis… In retrospect, I was a fool. Dialysis in pets is prohibitively expensive, and not worth the extra couple days it could provide.

After she was euthanized, the girlfriend was devastated. She was extracting some comfort from the thought that Keekers was in heaven.

But, animals don’t have souls – that feature is exclusive to humans. And of course, lacking the proper understanding of grief (or when to keep my mouth shut), I tell her this. True or not, it wasn’t important.
Thankfully, the pastor at my church – much older and wiser than myself had a good explanation – heaven is the perfect place, and if a pet’s presence there is required to have a perfect existence, then the pet is there.

I continued to believe this was a cop-out answer – not truly backed by scripture, but I had learned my lesson after the damage my original statement caused and changed my tune.

And now, in a sad twist of fate, I am placed in almost the same situation she was. If Banjo dies, how do I come to grips with it?

When people die, I take a very great comfort in the fact that they have moved on to a better place (or at least the hope that they have). To some extent, I see my mourning as selfish – we should celebrate the person’s release into God’s hands. Let our happiness for them overshadow our grief at their loss.

The prospect has thrown me into a bit of spiritual turmoil. If Banjo has no soul, then what actually changes when he dies?
When a human dies, the body is nothing but an empty shell, and the spirit is free, and lives on.
What about a cat? Banjo IS his body. The specific wiring of his brain determines his personality. When he dies, nothing is freed, his consciousness ceases to exist.

Much of what Iam feeling doesn’t jive with my interpretation of life. What I feel is violently opposed to what I know. I hate it.

What a comfort it would be if he had a soul. If he was going to move on to a better place. So much of a comfort that I might silence my inner pharisee and believe it for a while.

Sometime tomorrow I will get news of the blood test from the vet. I don’t know what to expect, but I am hoping for good news. I REALLY want to be overreacting.

Leave a Reply