It was one of those nights. Five had asthma attacks, so I was up giving him aerosol therapy, and then checking on Lou, who hadn’t eaten all day and was uncharacteristically sprawled out on the couch in my office, one of her usual spots.
The couch has been covered in plastic for days because of her kidneys. She drinks and drinks and pees and pees, and most of the time, because her kidneys have not been functioning, she can’t think straight and pees wherever she happens to be.
I could have taken her to the vet and ended it, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I figured as long as she was eating and didn’t seem to be in pain, it wasn’t time. Last night, as I stroked Five’s hair to the monotonous hum of the aerosol machine I decided the time had come.
This morning she was a grim sight to behold, still sprawled out on the couch, and Nine said his goodbyes before we left to take him to school. Five stayed home with me and we arranged her as comfortably as we could on a towel, until the vet’s office opened and I could call to see what they recommended.
I sat down next to her and saw that she was barely breathing. By the time I could call the vet, she’d died.
Five minutes later the new people renting the offices downstairs rang the bell to say there was a pretty serious leak coming from the laundry room in my apartment and could they come in and check it out with the plumber?
Then it was time to take Five to the pediatrician, then Lou’s body to the vet, then home to work and wait for another plumber.
While fixing Five’s lunch, I kept glancing down at the space around my feet to make sure I didn’t trip on Lou. She always stands right next to me, or behind me, whenever I am in the kitchen.
We knew it was coming, and she hadn’t been herself for a long time.
Five will be fine, my work will get done, Nine has comic book class tonight, which he loves.
I took the plastic off the couch but I will leave her water dish and dry food out another night.