Beginner's Heart

Kali eating cheese on desk Even a year ago she still ate. Not so much lately. Her fur — once sleek as a seal’s — is dull. I haven’t seen her groom herself in years. My petting does that, bringing up clouds of silvery fur.

Today was her last one at home. She’s no longer able to maneuver the stairs easily, so when she needs the litter box, it’s where ever she happens to be. She doesn’t like that. Neither do we.

And she hates having the food bowl on the floor, angry she can no longer leap to the counter where we used to keep it. Sometimes she hisses, and flat won’t eat, standing at the cat door into the room where the food bowl. Hissing at her age, at the ways things change. She’s never been patient.

Leaping to the counter has been  beyond her for months — she can barely make it on to our bed, her safe place. Often she falls between the end table and the chair arm where she likes to perch. It hurts to watch her. She doesn’t understand any of it. Nor, really, do I, although I know aging does this. Believe me, I get it, Kali.Kali with toy

So today we made that difficult decision. Each time we’ve made it, we’ve made it a bit earlier, trying hard not to let our emotions — our want for more time — colour when pain is present, when life is harder than it should be.

But it was no easier because she looks okay, some of the time. If anything? It’s harder.

Change is so very difficult. And so is love.  And sometimes it doesn’t help at all to be Buddhist. Because it all just sucks.

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