Recent focus on Prissy has forced me to realize something I haven't wanted to acknowledge-she's no longer a baby. Moreover, she's 5, and Dottie was the only dog in this line that lived past 6. The difference between Prissy and Greta is startling when you realize they are only a few months apart in age, and Greta has had a rougher first year than Prissy or most dogs.
So yes, Prissy is slowing down, and maybe that's why Lily was attacking. Or maybe it had nothing to do with it, but the fact is, she's slowing down and I am going to have to watch another thing I love fade and die.
Yet, when I apply my test to it "would I change it if I could"....meaning would I chose never to know Prissy if I could avoid the pain of loss, no, I wouldn't even consider it. We are curled up in the daybed with the cat, her chin resting on my leg like Dottie's did before her. I can't imagine how awful and empty it would feel to have never known this feeling.
The cat is chewing my hair and kneading my neck, like she's done for 14 years or so. How can people survive this world not having that kind of kinship?
As a child, I used to pretend I was trapped on a tropical island with all my many animals. In addition to dogs, and cats, I had horses, zebras, wolves, lions (Born Free was big when I was a kid). Each animal got along with the others, and each was loyal and devoted to me. How we all managed to eat without eating each other was a detail that I never got around to considering.
As an adult, I have created a version of that. (Carnivores eat from the freezer or kibble, and that's how THAT question was answered). And, watching Prissy fade is the grown up version of what happens when you have and love a lot of animals. But, how many people get to lie in daybed and realize they made a childhood dream come true.
Why clutter up the realization with "should have worked harder on career, etc."? In the end, we get what we choose, not what we want or think we should want. In the end, it's the choices we make that lead us to where we are.
I am glad I've realized who was in control before it was too late to consider choices. And, like Prissy, I'm no longer a baby either, and I thank my lucky stars that I've come to THAT realization before it's too late as well.
Middle age-love it, hate it. Whoever said teens have a lock on the angst market was a fool.