猫猫似乎一直是人们的宠儿,它们时而傲娇,时而调皮,时而慵懒。但是,时间的步伐不会停止,它们终将老去,记得曾经一起的美好时光是对它们最好的祭奠。Let's read the story of a boy and his cat.



I’m not sure how he got to my clinic. He didn’t look old enough to drive, although his child’s body had begun to broaden and he moved with the heavy grace of young manhood. His face was direct and open. 我不知道他是怎样来到我的诊所的。他看起来还没到可以开车的年龄,虽然他那孩童的身躯已经开始发育,举手投足间也充满了年轻男子的翩翩风姿。他的表情坦率而真诚。 When I walked into the waiting room, he was lovingly petting his cat through the open door of the carrier on his lap. With a schoolboy’s faith in authority, he had brought his sick cat in for me to mend. The cat was a tiny thing, exquisitely formed, with a delicate skull and beautiful markings. She was about the boy’s own age, give or take a year. I could see how her spots and stripes and her fierce, bright face had evoked the image of a tiger in a child’s mind, and Tigress she had become. Age had dammed the bright green fire of her eyes into faded lace, but she was still elegant and self-possessed. 他的膝盖上放着一个猫笼,当我走进候诊室时,他正把手伸进敞开的小门,亲切地爱抚着他的猫。带着学生对于权威的信任,他将他那生病的猫带到我这里来治疗。猫的个头不大,身形纤美,有着精致的小脑袋和美丽的斑纹。她的年纪和那男孩差不多大,偏差不超过一岁。我可以从她的斑点和条纹,还有她那野性机灵的脸庞上看出,在孩子的心目中她就像是一只老虎,所以她的名字就叫虎妞。年龄的衰老使得她眼中明亮的绿色火焰黯然失色,但她依然优雅自若。 I began to ask questions to determine what had brought this charming pair to see me. Unlike most adults, the boy answered simply and directly. Tigress had had a normal appetite until recently, when she’d begun to vomit a couple of times a day. Now she was not eating at all and had withdrawn from her human family. She had also lost a pound, which is a lot when you weigh only six. 我开始问诊,了解为什么这两个可爱的家伙会到我这里来。和大多数成年人不同的是,男孩的回答简单而直接。虎妞的胃口一向正常,直到最近她开始每天呕吐好几次。如今她完全不吃不喝了,还躲避着她的人类家庭。她已经瘦了一磅(约0.454公斤)——如果你只有六磅重的话,这就瘦得很厉害了。 Stroking Tigress, I told her how beautiful she was while I examined her eyes and mouth, listened to her heart and lungs, and felt her stomach. My fingers found it: a tubular mass in mid-abdomen. Tigress politely tried to slip away. She did not like the mass being handled. 我抚摸着虎妞,一边对她说她是多么美丽,一边检查她的眼睛和嘴巴,听她的心肺,轻按她的胃部。我发现在她腹部的中部有个肾小管团。虎妞客气地试图溜走。她不喜欢被人摸到那块东西。 I looked at the fresh faced boy and back at the cat he had probably had all his 1ife. I was going to have to tell him that his beloved companion had a tumor. Even if it were surgically removed, she probably would survive less than a year, and might need weekly chemotherapy to last that long. 我看了看男孩稚嫩的脸庞,然后又看了看那只或许从小就陪伴着他的猫。我将不得不告诉他,他挚爱的伙伴得了肿瘤。即便做手术摘除了,她可能也活不过一年,而且可能还要每个星期做化疗才能维持得到。 It would all be very difficult and expensive. So I was going to have to tell this boy that his cat was likely to die. And there he was, all alone. Death is something we push to the background and ignore as long as possible, but in reality every living thing we love will die. It is an omnipresent part of life. How death is first experienced can be life-forming. It can be a thing of horror and suffering, or a peaceful release. 这样治疗难度颇大,且费用高昂,所以我将不得不告诉这个男孩,他的猫很可能会死去。然后,就剩下他孤单一人了。我们常常刻意漠视死亡:尽可能久地忽视它的存在,但实际上,我们深爱的每个生命都会死去。死亡是生命中挥之不去的一部分。第一次直面死亡的经历会影响往后的生活。它可能会是一件恐怖而痛苦的事情,或者也可能会是一种安详的解脱。 So I would have to guide the boy through this myself. 1 did not want the burden. It had to be done perfectly, or he might end up emotionally scarred. It would have been easy to shirk this task and summon a parent. But when l looked at the boy’s face, I could not do it. He knew something was wrong. I could not just ignore him. So I talked to him as Tigress’s rightful owner and told him as gently as I could what I had found, and what it meant. 所以,我将不得不亲自指引这个男孩度过难关。我不想背负这个重任。它必须做得尽善尽美,否则最后他可能会遭受情感创伤。要想逃避这个任务而找他的某位亲人代为告知很容易办到,但是当我看到那个男孩的脸庞时,我实在不忍心。他知道有点不对劲。我不能就这样无视他。于是我向虎妞的合法主人——小男孩——道出了她的病情,尽可能温和地告诉他我的诊断,以及这意味着什么。

As I spoke, the boy jerked convulsively away from me, probably so I could not see his face, but I had seen it begin to twist as he turned. I sat down and turned to Tigress, to give the boy some privacy, and stroked her beautiful old face while I discussed the alternatives with him. I could do a biopsy of the mass, let her fade away at home, or give her an injection and put her to sleep. He listened carefully and nodded gravely. He said he didn’t think she was very comfortable anymore, and he didn’t want her to suffer. 当我说话时,男孩抽搐着猛然扭过头去,认为这样我就看不到他的脸了,但在他转头时,我看到他的脸开始扭曲。我坐了下来,转向虎妞,给男孩留点私人空间,并轻轻抚摸小猫那衰老却依旧美丽的脸庞,和他谈论别的处理方式。我可以给肾小管团做切片,让她在家慢慢死去,或是给她打一针,让她长眠。他仔细地听着,沉重地点着头。他说,他认为她身体状况不大好,他也不想让她再受苦。 I offered to call a parent to explain what was going on. He gave me his father’s number. I went over everything again with the father while the boy listened and petted his cat. Then I let father speak to son. The boy paced and gestured and his voice broke a few times, but when he hung up, he turned to me with dry eyes and said they had decided to put her to sleep. 我提出给他的家人打个电话,说明这件事情。他给了我他父亲的号码。我把整件事情又对他的父亲述说了一遍,男孩边听边抚摸着他的猫。接着,我让他父亲跟他通话。男孩边踱步边比划,他的声音中断了好几次,但当他挂上电话时,他转向我,没有流泪,只说他们决定让她长眠。 No rage, no denial, no hysteria, just acceptance of the inevitable. I could see, though, how much it was costing him. I could not control the tears streaming down my face, or the grief I felt welling inside for this boy who had had to become a man so quickly and so alone. 没有愤怒,没有拒绝,没有情绪失控,只有对无可避免的事实的接受。但是我看得出,这有多伤他的心。我无法自制,泪水滑下脸庞,或是感觉到男孩心中满溢的悲伤,他必须要成为一个男子汉,虽然一切来得这么迅速,又这么令人孤单无助。 He held her head and reassured her while I administered the injection. She drifted off to sleep, her head cradled in his hand. The animal looked quiet and at rest. The owner now bore all the suffering. 当我进行注射时,他捧着她的头,让她安心。她渐渐沉睡过去,她的头枕在他的手中。她看上去宁静而安详。而此刻,她的主人背负了所有的苦痛。 Something was missing, though. I did not feel I had completed my task. It came to me suddenly that though I had asked him to become a man instantly, and he had done so with grace and strength, he was still a child. I held out my arms and asked him if he needed a hug. He did indeed, and in truth, so did I. 但是,还有事情没做。我觉得我还没有完成自己的任务。我突然想起来,虽然我让他赶快成为一个男子汉,而他也优雅而坚强地做到了,但他依然是个孩子。我伸出了双臂,问他是否需要一个拥抱。他确实需要,而且说实在的,我也需要。




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