We are doing better. It helps knowing we did the right thing for him, and while my feelings about God or other higher powers are somewhat fuzzy, I'd like to believe that he has gone on to a place where the shrimp buffets are endless and there are more than enough laps to go around.
I will share this, which proves either that we were recovering already or that we are sick, strange bastards:
It started to rain as we pulled out of the vet’s parking lot. The baby was asleep two blocks down the road. The rain quickened on the six-minute drive home, until we could barely see the turnoff to our street. We pulled into our driveway and Ryan turned off the car. We waited, the only sound the metallic noise of rain pounding the car roof. Piper emitted a baby snore from her position strapped into the car seat. The “biodegradable casket” that held Gandalf Mack-Max rested on the seat next to her. It was cardboard, a little bigger than a shoebox, with a rounded top and handles in the sides. Cut out handles with a backing behind them, so you couldn’t see inside. The vet had taped the lid on with white surgical tape wound completely around the box.
We sat there, in the driveway, with sheets of water pouring onto our quiet, still car. We waited for a break in the rain, so we could all get from the car to our front door without getting soaked. We would have to leave the small box on the front porch for the moment; we had no garage to keep it in, and we couldn’t bury him in the rain. And anyway, we didn’t have a shovel. Tomorrow one of us would walk up to the hardware store around the corner, but they were closed now.
Ryan glanced into the back seat. “I kind of wish we could give him a Viking funeral,” he said. “It seems somehow appropriate.”
“Well,” I said, “the Catawba River is right over there.” I pointed behind me and to my left.
“So it is,” he answered.
“Although they may have some ordinances about setting your dead cat aflame and sending him downstream.” I surprised myself and chuckled.
He joined me. “I dare them to prove it was us.”
“And I don’t think Joon will want to travel with him.”
“Screw her then, she’ll never get to Valhalla.”
And we both laughed in our quiet car as the rain poured down outside.