I was on set Tuesday night when I received a text from Akemi: “Jelly’s very very sick.”
That was one “very” too many. I jumped in the car and rushed home, bundled Jelly up and delivered her to the emergency 24 hour animal hospital. There she remained, overnight, while they ran a battery of tests. The following morning came the bad news. Jelly was suffering from a host of maladies: extreme arthritis, internal bleeding, antibiotic-resistant infection,dehydration, and kidney failure. She was not going to get better. Euthanasia was recommended.
Akemi and I went into visit her that night after work. She was atypically quiet. Her appetite was non-existent. A second doctor who also examined her informed us that she wasn’t going to get any better and that we should consider euthanasia as the humane option.
We visited her the next night and she was still unresponsive, lethargic, and not at all interested in eating. Over the past months, she’d been going downhill and had all but lost the ability to walk, managing the briefest of carpet runs (covering the distance from our apartment door the elevators in a blazing five full minutes) with the assistance of a harness for her gimpy hind legs – but I held out hope because she seemed to be in good spirits and she was still enjoying her food. But that was no longer the case. And so, after much agonizing, I made the decision.
Word had gotten around set and the response was swift. Melissa (TWO) texted me, Marc (ONE) called, and I even received an unexpected hug from resident Dark Matter bad boy Anthony (THREE). It was all very touching – but, of course, didn’t make what I was about to do any easier.
I picked Jelly up after main unit wrap on Friday night and brought her home for her last weekend with us. But I had decided that I would make it her best weekend ever! Akemi got her ground beef and vanilla ice cream and, Saturday, she joined us for a patio brunch and enjoyed mini blueberry muffins and the attention of a dozen passersby who stopped to shower her with attention.
I looked up a mobile veterinary service that would come to the house so that Jelly could leave us surrounded by the comforts of home (away from home). I was ready. Akemi was ready.
However, Jelly, it turns out, was not. She rallied. Like the Boston Red Sox in the ALC Championship series, she came back from certain death. She perked up. Her appetite returned. And suddenly, miraculously, she was back to her normal self. Today, she spent the afternoon sunning herself and chowing down on fresh chicken breast.
I’m sure she’s still suffering from the arthritis and the kidney failure and who knows what else – but so long as she’s clearly happy, why not let her enjoy her ground beef, blueberry muffins and vanilla ice cream just a little longer?
She’s in no hurry to go anywhere so who am I to rush her?