It’s come time to think really hard about my dear 20-year old cat, Phinney. At this point, her future is looking really short, and as her mom, I have to make the awful decision of when to put her to sleep. How does one come to make such a decision? Playing God? This is really hard. The poor dear used to be an absurd weight of 16 pounds, and now she is down to just over 7 pounds, practically skin and bones. She has advanced kidney disease, and according the call from the vet today, she now has bad liver readings. Furthermore, I have finally come the realization that her quality of life sucks right now, and the meowing that she does as I go about my day busy with two small kids, is a sign that she doesn’t feel well and that she wants me to comfort her. My husband Alex and I have recently started scheduling Phinney Time into our day, in which after our youngest is put to bed we sit in the living room where Phinney lives and she comes to sit on my lap and I pet and brush her, but it seems to be a small consolation for her. On top of that, she is the only one of the three cats in our house that the kids are actually able to pet, because Olivia, the other 20-year old only lets me pet her, and Zephyr the semi-feral cat pretty much won’t let anyone pet him. The last time I was involved in a decision like this was 25 years ago. I’ve had Phinney and Olivia for all of their lives, and they and I have been through a lot together, most notably the death of my father. But I can’t continue to keep Phinney surviving for our own comfort over hers, and I’m afraid that I have to look at this from her point of view, which is not a pleasant one now.