The reason I say 'far too late' is because in a way for me Arun died last September. The affectionate, curious, loving-the-outdoors Arun I knew for so many years, anyway. Between treating the inflammatory bowel disease, my moving, and my vacation to Virginia for the family reunion--all that came together in a bad way, and when I got back, he had gone sick in the head with a ceaseless, uncontrollable all-encompassing craving for food. I couldn't leave him loose unwatched lest he eat Shado's food (which would make him sick again very quickly), get into the garbage cans, on the counters, or find the cockroach poison. The outdoor enclosure was his favorite place to be every summer, but after that he had no interest in it, because it was not food. His exercise was tearing around looking for food, and I almost never saw him sleeping, though of course I couldn't prove he did not sleep because I'm at work so much. And he spent many, many hours in the trunk of my car with a litterpan and a meal devoured in seconds because otherwise his howling for food would keep me and my neighbors from sleeping.
It felt easier to be at work, less stressful, anyway, than at home because of what he had turned into.
So it's a bittersweet relief now. Looking at photos and stirring up the memories. Wishing I might have done a thing or two differently, though it might not have changed the outcome. Dreading what the effect of his passing will have on Shado. I've kept them separate for weeks in anticipation of this day, and because Arun couldn't stand any play from Shado, or attention, since it was not food.
It's something it will take time to get used to, knowing I can open the cabinet where the cat food was kept months ago and not set off a spate of howling. Or turn on the microwave--I have no idea why he expected to be fed whenever I turned it on in the morning. My routine, I guess, of warming up the heating pad for Shado. I won't have to try to be quiet on the stairs anywhere near the cat room. No more creeping around my home hoping the sound of the furnace or washer machine will hide the noise of my opening a cat of cat food. It feels very strange.
For all that, it was still hard to make that last parting. He was a living skeleton on Friday when I brought him to the Emergency Vet Clinic, but despite that so full of frantic life, not ready to go at all. Quite unlike Holly, in that way.
No decision feels like a right decision in a situation like this.
Farewell, Arun. May it go well with you on your journey hence.
Arun as a kitten
With Holly around 2-3 years old
With Shado in 2010