oyal followers of this blog might have noticed I’ve been spotty at late with my postings. Well, it’s because I’ve had horrible news, news that rocked me back. Our ten year old feline, Mookie, just suffered a kidney disorder. She’s still alive (just) – we’re having to coax food and water into her (and take her to the vet every week for hydration). And so this vivacious sleek friend, the little girl who rushed to the door to meet me after work, is now a withered thing, small and pathetic, disinterested in food.
God, this is killing me.
So today I decided to get through The Man in the Iron Mask, the conclusion of the Musketeer’s epic.
Porthos, he died when his aged body failed him, his legs spasming while he was trying to hold a stone ceiling up. That was sad. But the worst was Athos, whose beloved adapted son Raoul, broken irreparably by love, has gone campaigning to Africa to die.
Athos, the morale core of the group, the fellow who kept things together, who drank the hardest and lived the best – with his son gone, he withered. I just read of him walking less every day, of not caring, of detaching from life in his aching sorrow. And I read this and had to force myself through – after all, I’ve got deadlines and other books to read. And I’ve gone 4800 pages in this saga – I had to finish. And so I read, my heart heavy in my chest, as I pushed through every declining word.
I probably shouldn’t. I’m depressed enough as it is. And if you are waiting for me to come up with some sort of “on the other hand” twist, I can’t. I’m depressed that my little cat is dying in mid-life, that for every little success, there comes a greater failure, and that this can only end one way.
Perhaps I am a writer because I am empathetic (I know enough writers who are not). Dumas wept after he’d killed Porthos. I feel the same way as I write this.
Sometimes writing can show up a greater purpose and higher calling. Not this time. I ache.
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