When a crisis happens in my family, all roads always lead to me. Its just the way it goes. I have the inherent gift of Smoothing the Way. Today is no exception.
Grandad’s cat had to be put to sleep today because he was dying of a nasty tumour which was stopping him from eating. Mum was angry with Grandad because in her mind he was being selfish and didn’t want to put the animal to sleep before Christmas, and Grandad was adamant the cat wouldn’t be suffering and thought Mum was interfering.
Grandad was worried about being on his own, though he hadn’t said as much, and mum was worried about the cat suffering unnecessarily. In the end, the Vet helped to break the news that the animal wasn’t having much of a life now, and he would starve to death over the coming week if we left him.
So mum helped Grandad decide it was best to have him put to sleep, and she persuaded him to bring the animal home afterwards, and they buried him in the garden properly. Both were very upset. I was glad I wasn’t there, because though I didn’t have any time for that bloody cat, other people being upset makes me cry, and I’d never have held it together.
Still. Mum rang to ask me to ring grandad, and I knew what I had to do.
I got him talking and we chatted about today’s sad events. I asked him questions, and steered him through his own emotions, and eventually, though he’d never tell my mum, he admitted to me that he’d been glad to have her there with him today.
Its a sad day. A lonely, elderly man who has very little in the way of nice things to say to most of his family, lost someone who meant a lot to him; his cat. Mangy, fat old moggy that he was, he meant the world to Grandad. And now he’s gone. And Grandad knows he did the right thing, even though his conscience is pricking and his heart is aching.
And all is well, really. Mum is better for knowing she did the right thing too, now that I’ve told her how Grandad was when I spoke to him.
Even with my foot in plaster, I’m still precariously negotiating difficult relationships. I don’t need crutches for that.