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Another Gus post


It’s been a while since I posted about Gus. I do it again with a little trepidation, feeling like “the boy who cried wolf” since on several occasions over the last four weeks I wrote that he was in his last days. Well, he’s still here. But these really are his last days. There’s no denying it.

Until now I was able to tell myself, and believe, that he was still enjoying life. After all, he had a healthy appetite—more than healthy, actually, since the Prednisone made him even hungrier than usual. He liked going out and meeting other people and dogs. He loved having his belly rubbed, and the back of his ears. He wagged his tail a lot. Yes, the tumor was getting bigger and bigger, but despite it he seemed to be doing okay.

Well, he’s gone downhill noticeably in the last few days. The mouth bleeding has become intense; I have to do a laundry every day to clean the white towels. Gus is lethargic. He sleeps almost all the time. And it breaks my heart when he rubs the left side of his snout—the side with the tumor—on the carpet. Does it itch? Gus can’t tell me. But that damned lump doesn’t belong there, and Gus doesn’t like it.

I haven’t decided when to euthanize him. I’m waiting. For what? I don’t even know anymore. There are no miracles. My healing powers evidently are feeble, since the tumor hasn’t been absorbed into his body, as I constantly envision. I’m certainly not looking forward to the drive down to San Leandro, where the euthanasia vet is. Gus will probably throw up in the car. He’ll know that something’s up. How these pets always know when they’re going to the vet is beyond me, but they do. It kills me that on the drive down Gus will be in my lap but on the drive home he won’t. His body will be with the vet, waiting to get cremated. Then I’ll have a lovely wooden urn with the name “Gus” and I’ll have to figure out where to put it.

Actually, that will be my second pet memorial. When Poo Poo died in 2004, at the age of twenty, I had this cushion made and stuffed with his fur.

Poo Poo had very long hair which I brushed a lot, and for many years I kept the brushings in a plastic bag, so there was plenty of material for the cushion when the time came. Poo Poo was a great cat. He was feral when I got him and didn’t want to have anything to do with me or anyone else. I had to work on him for months but eventually he realized how good life could be if he just stopped fighting and started loving. He was a wonderful lap cat, although at 20-plus pounds he sometimes got a little heavy. I miss him to this day.

Will Poo Poo and Gus know each other in Heaven? Will they know me? I don’t really believe in such things. I understand how comforting these concepts can be but, really, they’re just superstitions, aren’t they? Count me in with John Lennon:

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

It doesn’t bother me if others want to believe in things that aren’t real, but it does bother me that we have religious fanatics on the Supreme Court, including this latest travesty, Coney Barrett, who put their theological beliefs before the Constitution because they think that’s what Jesus wants them to do. Well, this was a post about Gus, and I don’t want to pollute it with politics, especially with Trump on the way out. Life without Trump! Imagine that. It’s almost enough to make me a believer.

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