The Death Watch

It begins. He has gotten so thin he can barely walk, his hind quarters giving out weaving to the side in a direction away from his body. He doesn’t seem to notice. He walks and stops, moves himself into a ball. I try to keep the others away. The black dog, the tri-color squeek. Hush, I say, he’s sick. Leave him alone.

But they don’t understand. They watch me for what they can and cannot do, insensitive to the fragility that is the orange cat.

He has stopped eating. But not drinking–that he’ll do, still putting one orange paw inside the bowl and then drinking from on top of it. It still piques his interest when a water bowl is set near him though he will not search it out. Water has always excited him–from the dripping faucet to a recently completed shower (so much left at the bottom above the drain) to some unfortunate party’s drinking glass. (Unfortunate as the paw also goes in there, regardless of where it has been previously.) We ask someone to guard our glass if we leave the room.

I’ve stopped his thyroid medicine. I’ve begun leaving some lights on at night, to still the cries and howls. I find him and put food and water nearby.

He hides.

We wait.

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