We’ve decided not to keep the stray we took in and it absolutely breaks my heart. My dear sweet Mal-Mal has a sooner than expected expiration date because of congestive heart failure so we don’t think the stress of introducing a new cat into the mix is in his best interest. I am not only losing one cat but two. He had to spend the night at the hospital in an oxygen tank this week. I’ve spent nights away from him before, like when we go camping or when we got married, but he’s never not been home. It is, somehow, much much worse. While he was getting an echocardiogram, I sat in the lobby and noticed an issue of Backpacker magazine on the coffee table. I’ve actually never read it. I browsed through some gear makeovers – a dayhiker turned first time backpacker, a backpacker after a spinal injury wanting to go ultralight – and thought it was great … until I started crying. It is one thing being selfish with my family who can give me not only their generous consent but their full on support. My cat has no say in anything and I suddenly felt extremely guilty about it. My cat has an estimated 6-12 months left and I was sitting there reading this magazine thinking about how I haven’t been on a single day hike in the three weeks since I left my job. Our traditional Christmas camping plans have been cancelled because we don’t want to ask someone to come to the house twice a day to give him his medication. Now I’m not sure if I can leave for my thru-hike when I was planning to, if I’ll have to postpone and convert to SOBOism, or if he’ll even still be alive by then. Then just like that, I stopped crying. He is, no doubt, my very best friend and I won’t sit around and impatiently wait for him to die so I can go for a walk in the woods. I plan to spend as many Caturdays on the couch with him as I can before he can’t. I won’t worry about tomorrow. Things may not work out the way I planned but they will work out. There isn’t any other way.
So in the spirit of looking forward to tomorrow, I made a Facebook page for my blog and I am super excited about Christmas (The cats are getting new beds and a whack-a-mole game!) and especially New Year’s Eve. I don’t really drink and sort of dislike most people so I’ve never really cared for New Year’s before. This year is special though. After New Year’s Eve this year, when people ask when I’m going to hike the Appalachian Trail, I can confidently say, “Next year.” Next year! Not … “Well um ya see so like not this March but next” … “No not next summer but the one after that” …. “Okay, look. 2015, okay.”
Next freaking year. :)