Change of plans.
I took some time to reflect during a bath. Jerry was at the edge of the tub, looking miserable and staring into the wall. He looked at me, head low, eyes sad and tired. After I got out I tried to feed him again with the syringe and he wasn't really interested. And it hit me that after a biopsy in his mouth, if he doesn't want to eat now or can't, then he's really going to suffer tomorrow.
I can't do that to him, not for my own peace of mind.
I sobbed and held my cat. And then I called the vet, cancelled tomorrow's appointment and asked for one on Friday to end Jerry's pain. The Dude was beside me, crying and supporting my choice. I felt helpless and sick.
I hung up. And then Jerry jumped up from the foot of the couch with more ease than I've seen in days. He walked over to me, and sat in my lap and gazed at me. I stroked his face and it was the moment I had been waiting for. He didn't look pained or sad. I felt like he was letting me off the hook. He then walked down to my legs, curled up in a ball and fell into the most peaceful sleep I've seen him had in days. He even started to purr.
I don't know how cats know what they know. I don't know what they understand. But Jerry, I'm sure of it, knows I love him and that I'm going to do what I need to do to end his suffering. I feel a growing sense of acceptance about this, though the actual pain remains. We'll have our last day with him tomorrow, the Dude will come with me Friday, and then Jerry and I will go through this together.