My Weekend of Euphoric Highs and Crushing Lows

My weekend was a rollercoaster of emotions, but let’s begin with the euphoric high.

This past weekend one of my best friends threw a surprise twentieth anniversary party for his wife. He pulled out all the stops, called in every favor, employed every guilt trip, to get as many people to attend as possible. Friends and family from opposite coasts showed up and the party was a blast. What made it especially enjoyable for me was seeing members of my friend’s family I hadn’t seen in decades. We grew up together and I saw them almost as often as I saw my friend, so seeing everyone again was great for my heart. On top of that, my eight-year-old son had a great time hanging out with my friend’s son, and seeing our kids get along so well is a level of pride I can’t really put into words. There was a lot of love expressed at this party, the mood was joyous, and my spirits soared as old friends remembered me fondly and I got to see my dear friend pull off a remarkable party for his wife.

And then there was the crushing low.

The day before the party, my cat began acting strangely. I barely saw him all day but didn’t think too much of it because he’s a cat, but then I came to realize he hadn’t eaten all day. That was a red flag. He was lethargic all day, and combined with his lack of an appetite we immediately knew something was wrong. The next morning, the day of the party, he’d not improved. My wife took him to the vet while I attended the party, and we thought his condition was diagnosed and treatable! He didn’t respond to the treatment. So we took him back to the vet after a day of watching him find various hiding spots around the house and tuck himself away. He’s an old cat of fifteen years, so he was exhibiting all the signs of “an old pet going off on his own to die.” We were prepared for the worst and found ourselves having the pet death talk with our son. But a second look at his examinations from the first visit provided some new insight, and we’re trying another treatment to kickstart his appetite.

As of this writing he’s only partially responded to the new treatment, getting himself some water when he’s thirsty. Sometimes. It’s a baby step forward but we’re holding on to hope that he’ll actually, finally want to eat again soon. We want to give our beloved cat as much of a fighting chance as we can, though we continue to steel ourselves for the worst. It’s been a very tearful few days.

My rollercoaster weekend has reminded me of the value of expressing your love to those who are important to you. Whether they’re family, friends, or cherished pets, take every moment you can to share how grateful you are to have them in your life. Make a habit to do it while they’re healthy and happy, because there’s nothing worse than feelings left unsaid, especially when it’s too late.