KongI’m a cat mom. I never set out to be a cat person. Was 100% a dog person growing up. But then, our friends asked us to watch their cat for a few months. A sleek black cat, with a white patch on his chest and six toes. A panther. With the disposition of Kim Jong-il.
And we did. And we didn’t give it back. (They later said that was okay.)
Most people don’t like our cat, Kong. I think there might be a total of three people, plus me, who do. That doesn’t bother Kong though. He likes me. I like him. And that’s enough for both of us.
It dawned on me in year two with Kong – when he started sleeping next to me, curled in my arms – that he was going to have to be an immortal cat because I would never be able to part with him.
Kong isn’t a cat that you can take to the vet or to get groomed. The drive for all passengers to those destinations is excruciating. It’s a miracle to all of us how we actually made it from Seattle to Calgary with him in the backseat. So I was ecstatic to find a veterinarian that made house calls.
Kong hates her too. She knows this now and we have a nice system that gets the job done. For the past few years, the yearly exams have been smooth sailing. Much of her advice is that he looks fine, is acting fine and there’s nothing to worry about.
When she arrived on Thursday, I fully expected all of the same routine. And then she felt his belly. I simply nodded when she mentioned a “lump”. Blissfully ignorant, and more concerned about the fact we were sedating him for the visit. I held him as she shaved his front legs, found his vein, and took blood. He was the most unhappy I’ve seen him, even sedated.
None of it really took hold until she started talking about chemotherapy. My heart started sinking as I tried to keep my mind’s eye clearly focused on her words. Nodding, um-hum-ing, but not really letting it register.
It almost sounds silly. It’s just a cat. But the possibility of not having Kong around hit me like a bus. And the emotions and thoughts that followed were saturated with the weight of how life can feel. The things which we must bear.
Over the past three days, the heaviness has lifted a bit and I’ve found refuge in my blissful ignorance. We’ll know more on Monday. Kong hasn’t let any of this affect him, still full of his piss and vinegar – and still curling up in my arms each night.

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