Each day dawns but once


Today I take comfort in the maxim “Each day dawns but once.”  Last night I woke frequently, every time Toto stirred or breathed unevenly.  I wasn’t sure she would make it through till dawn.

When I took her out before supper yesterday, she could not walk, seeming in such discomfort that I picked her up and carried her back to the apartment.  When Gale and I went out to a concert after supper, I put Toto in her crate.  She was still sleeping there when I got back, and did not come out to greet me as she usually would.  She stayed in the crate all through the night.  When I woke up, I found her on the floor near where I was sleeping.  Not moving.  She hadn’t tried to scratch on my blankets to get me up as she usually did.

Toto has been failing more and more this past year.  Practically blind with cataracts.  Not able to hear me.  Within the past week her legs collapsed under her twice.  Then, as I said, yesterday evening she could not take more than a few steps.  She also didn’t touch her supper, which was totally unlike her.  When I carried her over to her water bowl this morning, she just fell into the bowl.

So I called the vet, who said to come in about an hour.  They would squeeze her in.  When we got there, his experienced nose told him immediately that she was suffering kidney failure.  That can cause what he called “uremic rickets,” and her inability to stand or walk.  She was dying in much discomfort.

I was with her when she died peacefully.  Stroking her head and wishing her ease.

I’m glad I don’t have to wake again this morning to find Toto shivering on the floor.  This saying, “each day dawns but once,” is a loose English translation of the title of the movie All the Mornings of the World, which I mentioned in a recent post.  It’s taken from an expression in the novel on which the movie is based, “Tous les matins du monde sont sans retour,” meaning literally “all the mornings of the world are without return.” When this sentence was uttered during the story, the subtitles flashed “Each day dawns but once.”

I thought and think that the English rendition has more dramatic punch.  I certainly feel that way today.

When they were both much younger, Anne Mei liked to take lots of pictures of Toto.  That’s one of her close-up pictures taken more than 10 years ago at the top of this post.  This is a picture of the two of them on the Jersey Shore on Christmas Eve 2015.  I called Anne Mei on my way to the vet to warn her of the situation.  We were both in tears when I called her on my way home.

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