I saw Ned.
Fifty-five days I've been alternately avoiding running into him or, on difficult days, hoping I do. Fifty-five days I've been obsessing, and being angry, and then missing him, then feeling determined and OH HELL THIS IS RIDICULOUS.
I was driving to work yesterday, and there's one point, right near work, where you have to get in this left-turn lane and it takes for fucking ever to turn. You could live whole lifetimes waiting to turn. I was about 12 cars back from the front, so I looked at my phone.
There was an email from Ned, addressed to both my personal mail and work.
Dun dun DUNNNNNN.
"You must have me blocked on your phone. [I did.] It's about NedKitty." Of course he didn't SAY "NedKitty," as that is not her name. But we had a deal, made long ago, that if anything ever happened with that cat, that I'd go with him for the, you know. The meeting of the maker.
"Oh, god," I said, feeling weepy about NedKitty. Girlfriend is 17. Last I'd seen her, she was getting mighty bony and not running around much. She was mostly kind of in a ball in a corner. Somebody puts NedKitty in a corner, and that somebody is the march of time. Naturally Ned had taken her to the vet, because see: Helicopter Dad/Ned's photo. Her kidneys were not doing well, last I'd heard.
So I called him. He was a wreck. "I'm taking her to the vet right now. She's not good," he said.
"Do you want me to come there?" I asked, mentally reviewing how I looked. Skirt, little sweater, boots, full makeup. Hair, not that bad. Maybe a B+.
Fat? Yes, still.
"Yes," he said.
So I did a U-turn, an illegal one, at the stupid left turn, called work to tell them and got to the vet.
There was his car, the car I'd been worried sick about seeing for the last 55 days. I rushed in and they showed me to the room. There was Ned. And poor, oh, poor NedKitty.
She weighs 5 pounds now. She was all bones and she was in her ball, her new position of choice. "Why's her head wet?" I asked him.
"She took a shower with me." We both laughed. NedKitty loves to stand on the bathtub and stick her head under the shower. It's her thing. I was glad she was still being herself a bit.
Ned told me about all NK's symptoms, and finally the vet came in, looking grim. She wanted to run some tests on NedKitty to see "where we are" in this poor cat's decline. She took NedKitty, who went with zero fuss, and that in itself was worrying. She has a Mr. Yuck sticker on her file, with a big warning about how you need hawk gloves and a strong disposition to deal with her. And there she was, gentle as a lamb.
Ned was a mess. It was alternately bizarre and totally normal to be in there with him. Mostly I just felt like I was gonna hurl. The whole thing was upsetting.
He told me some good and some very bad things that have been going on in his life. Naturally I took time out to tell him about my dust mite allergy. Boy, did he feel stupid about his dying cat then. I also told him that Edsel was depressed without him. "Oh, no!" said Ned. "You want me to visit him?"
Oh, god. Do I? I hear all 10 of you screaming, "NOOOOOO!"
We kept it light, as light as you can keep a situation like this. I mean, he's apologized to me 700 times about that fight, sent me roses at work. And I continue to say, You can't apologize for that and have it be okay. So there was no need to rehash all that.
I told him how I watch the beer aisle at the store, and he said he has very specific times he'll go there, and he certainly never goes when he's coming from a direction that requires passing my house. "I didn't want to see your car not there and wonder where you were, or see some man's car in the driveway."
This led me to wonder how he'd determine it was a man's car. Would it be, like, a tank or something? Maybe a pickup. A pickup would have to be a man. Or a really big woman. I guess some sort of vintage sports car would definitely be a man. But let's say a Honda was in my drive. That could be anyone. Well. Not Hulk. But anyone else.
Apparently one of his friends told him I'd been on a date, so I guess in his mind I've been whooping it up all over town. Getting more chins than a Chinese phone book. I realize that's not a euphemism for having a lot of sex but I can't think of one. All I can think of is a vaguely racist joke about chins.
Also, who's sort of a little delighted that she got one of his friends to read her blog? June's blog for the WIN.
The point is, the vet came back and said IF Ned wanted to hook this cat up to an IV three times a week and IF he wanted to shoot this syringe of stuff into her mouth twice a day and IF he would give her this special food, they could keep going.
"You mean I get to take her home with me? Okay," said Ned, weeping.
Here was the inside of my head: !!!!!????!!!
But look, it's his cat and his decision. So he put her bony old self back in the carrier and off he went with $848586775 worth of medication.
So. You can judge me all you want for going. I went because I said I would, and because I know how it feels to lose a beloved pet, and because of course I could not resist seeing Ned. So how you have all the reasons. I told one friend and got The Judgement immediately, so I expect nothing less from the rest of you.
But remember. When your friend confides in you and you loft from your perch with your happy life, and offer no words of empathy or comfort or understanding, there's pretty much a 100% chance that friend won't confide in you again.
Here was me at the end of yesterday, sort of depleted. I kind of wanted to be in a ball in a corner like NedKitty. So.