What are you going to do?
I don’t know. I really don’t know.
You should try and save him.
I know. I want to but you heard what the vet said. $1500 – maybe more. And if it’s intestinal cancer, the outcome is poor even after surgery.
Yes, but this is your family pet. This is Zeb. You have to try.
I know. I want to. I do. We just can’t afford it. We really can’t.
And money is the only factor here?
What do you mean?
I mean, could there be something else influencing your decision?
Like ever since you had kids you don’t give either of your cats the time of day.
I don’t give the time of day to half the things I’d like to. I’m fucking run off my feet as it is.
No time even just to give your cats a pat now and again.
I do pat them.
Rarely. And even then you’re worried about getting fur on your clothes.
Only because I wear so much black…
It never used to bother you.
You used to spoil those cats. They were your babies.
Exactly. They have always been very well loved and looked after.
Until LD arrived. And then, you started chasing them out of the room, wanting them outside all the time.
I know but I just didn’t want cat fur all over the baby things. I was worried LD could have been allergic or something.
But he wasn’t allergic, was he? And even if he was, the cats didn’t understand that, did they? All they knew was that practically over night, they became second class citizens.
I was distracted with a newborn!
But your poor cats didn’t know that. You just fucking neglected them!
I KNOW! I fucking know, okay?
Oh my god, are you crying?
Yes, I’m crying.
Because of Zeb?
Of course, because of Zeb.
What do you mean, right?
I just think it’s a bit hypocritical, that’s all.
Zeb is the family pet. We’ve had him for nearly nine years and very suddenly we discover that he may have cancer. I’m sorry but I find that upsetting. Where’s the hypocrisy in that?
This was the cat you didn’t want. The cat you wanted to try and rehome.
Only because I thought maybe I could find a new home for both cats where they could go back to being the centre of attention. Maybe with an older couple or someone who lives on their own and would love the company.
Oh yeah, you were doing it for them. Nothing to do with the fact that you find them inconvenient now.
Yes! Alright? I find them inconvenient now! Are you happy? I have enough demands without worrying about cat litter and whether Zeb is pulling up carpet in a rental property. Fucking hell, it’s not easy trying to juggle everything and yes, the cats have become a burden! Don’t you think I hate myself for feeling this way?
Not enough to put up the money to save your pet.
The vet told me I was better off putting him to sleep! The fucking vet advised me to do it! I would love to be able to say, “Do whatever it takes” but we just can’t afford it. I feel sick about it but if he has cancer, then maybe this is the best decision.
The best decision for YOU. One cat down, only one to go.
That’s a hideous thing to say. I never thought that.
I know what goes on in your head. I could hear the relief.
I’m not relieved that he’s sick but yes, it might be easier to find a new place if we’re not putting down two cats on the rental application.
No! That’s not it! My decision is based on the vet's advice and because Zebby is not himself. You can see how sick he is! I’m not making that up. But I can’t help but think of the things that might be easier…
But what if it’s not cancer? Unless the vet operates, you’ll never really know. What if it was something treatable? You’d be killing your cat for nothing!
Don’t you think I realise that? I've agonized over this but no matter how I look at it, I don’t have $1500 to find out. I just don’t have it!
As long as you can live with that, Angie.
Well, I don’t have a choice. But it must be nice for you, sitting there in judgment. I hope you’re enjoying your righteousness.
Not righteousness. It’s about what’s decent.
Fine! I’m the fucking devil, okay! Just leave me alone. Please…I’m begging you…. just leave me alone.
This piece was written in response to the writing prompt:
Write about a fight – the reasons behind it, the repercussions, etc. Show us. Use description.
My piece does not really fulfill what is being asked of me in this prompt, I know. And I well and truly blew the word limit. But I needed to write this post and it just happened to fit with the theme of the prompt. This is NOT me trying to write well but rather, it's me using writing as catharsis. Because this is really happening. Only today, after preparing ourselves for the euthanizing of our much loved Zebby, the vet made a last minute change of diagnosis which finds us now in a terrible kind of limbo. I don't know what is going to happen. And so, the internal war rages on.
Thank you for reading.