My cat is depressed.
I took him to see a vet up by Grand Lake a few weeks ago because he was acting strangely . . . sleeping in places he wouldn’t normally sleep, acting lethargic, not coming when I called his name. He didn’t even care when I tried to give him food.
Yes, and I held him while the nurse stuck a thermometer up his ass, him looking up at me with eyes that said, “I can’t take it anymore, man. Any of it.” And I said aloud, “I know.”
When the vet came in she said Dante was perfectly healthy and that he just seemed bummed as hell. She told me to spend time with him and make sure he wasn’t lonely. On the car ride home I told Dante that, of the two of us, I was relying on him to keep his head above these terrible storms and to this he closed his eyes and rested his head on his folded paws.
For the last week or so I have been sleeping on the couch with him in the living room. It reminds me of the month before my parents separated for the last time, when I would sleep in the living room with my father out of solidarity. Nothing on this earth says “I’m with you, dude” like sharing an uncomfortable sleeping arrangement with a friend who needs your presence to remind them that someone still gives a damn.
There is a message on my phone from my grandmother that I have not yet listened to. She called me on Thanksgiving while I was drinking alone on someone else’s porch. She told me recently that there is little reason for her to be alive any longer, and that she doesn’t like being here anymore.
I haven’t really talked to my mother in months. She visited me in California a month or so ago and I barely saw her while she was here. We ate at Golden Lotus and I told her I didn’t want anything and that I was in the “endless self-perpetuating black hole” phase of whatever this is and said there was no coming back from it. The next day we walked around Berkeley and I complained about the people there and then I went home.
And where is my father? Or my sister? Or my brother? I haven’t seen my brother in over two years. God, maybe it’s been three. The guy has a wife and two little girls and I’ve never met any of them. An old X-ray of his chest showing a broken collar bone is taped to my bathroom window and I see it lit up every afternoon when the sun shines through it.
There is no one back home to write to. I have no friends there anymore. Either they don’t like me anymore or they’re dead.
I will just stay here on the couch with Dante until something better happens to us.