My 20 year old cat Joey is falling apart. He's so far sighted and has to literally put his nose into his bowl to find his food. His breath is terrible. He's losing weight at such an accelerated rate I can feel every bone in his spine when I pet him.
He is battling two fatal diseases -- an incurable virus and Stage 3 kidney disease. He is never going to get well. His entire life can now be measured in weeks.
And yet, and yet ... here he is, curled up beside me. He luxuriates in his naps and he loves to be petted. Last night he played laser tag. This evening, he joined in with the other cats as they battled and then captured some shoelaces. While these playtimes are short, they demonstrate that he's still social and isn't isolating himself.
He doesn't seem confused by what's happening, so I believe he understands that his body is failing. Yet his spirit remains joyous. Moment by moment, he's content. He's a dear soul and he's teaching me something about death.
It will be very hard to lose him.