Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fading Frieda

I hate to watch Frieda enter the last days of her life.

It has been a long life, filled with adventures and companionship of family and friends and lots of love. But cats live in a faster time than human memory. I can so clearly recall the robust, sassy red cat with the proudly perpendicular tail who brooked no nonsense from cat nor beast.

Her spirit is still indomitable but her poor body has aged and betrayed that bright spirit. She spends most of her time now on the plush bed I put on the heated slab of the shop, near the corner she claimed as her favorite resting spot. Food dishes are brought to her and there is fresh water every morning. I know she gets up and moves around to attend her feline hygiene chores. She still makes what has become a long walk for her to the feeding station where we feed the other shop cats. An unnecessary journey for her--since we offer her her first dibs on the food at her own feeding station near her bed. It has become increasingly challenging to find something that pique's her failing appetite.

Each morning I weight the quality of her life. Is she in pain? Does it hurt to move? To eat? Are the fluids I give her under her skin comforting or a burden to her? Does she enjoy the warm washcloth on her face and paws or is my attention a nuisance?

We do not confuse these dear companions with human children but we are in loco parentis to them, charged with caring for and protecting them. And, alas, we cannot protect them from time. We want to. We want to stop the flow of years and keep them forever strong and vital but time, relentless river that it is, wears them away before our eyes.

Our fiery red cat--I hate watching that dear spark glimmer and fade....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Sometime the memories come on me suddenly.

The glimpse of a tabby-colored ear or mackerel stripes and the memories rush in on me and for a moment I am transported back in time.

Johnny has been gone for several years now. He had a long, full life and although I shed tears when he left us, I knew he had had a good life. He was a simple, uncomplicated cat defined by affection, not intellect or a complex personality. I did not share a deep spiritual bond with him as I do with some of our cats.

But Johnny was special.

I thought of him today for the first time in weeks. His essence came upon me and my mind was filled by our scrawny, stripe-y boy. Big ears, big eyes and big feet--and a heart full of loving trust.

He was a gift out of time, sent to us in days of darkness and loss. A little, kitten-shaped ray of sunshine that brought back light and laughter and love into our house after Kisa's death left it cold and empty.

It had been years since I had raised a kitten. I don't know if Denny ever had. And it turned out that a kitten was just what we needed at that point in our lives. A simple, trusting kitten unaffected by his abandonment, open to the world, having no doubt that he would be provided for by the people who had brought him to his new home.

As I said, that unfearful love was a balm to our souls.

Johnny didn't need to be deep or complicated to win our hearts. He just needed to be himself.

Johnny's Memorial Page

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cissy's Teeth

We took Cissy into the vet for dental work this morning. One of her teeth had begun to bleed during her acupuncture session last week so Denny got her scheduled for today.

Poor little Cissy lost several teeth. (Some broke into several pieces while being removed so there appear to be more in the photo.)

She came home with antibiotics and three injections of pain reliever to get her through the next few days. She is feeling pretty subdued this evening but I trust she will bounce back with the vigor she has shone in all her trials past. And I hope that with the bad teeth removed, her mouth infection can be controlled and she won't have to live with that soreness any longer.

I sure feel sorry for her tonight, though.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Talking Cats

Found on You Tube:

Thanks to my sister-in-law, Sharon, for pointing this out to me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Homer Cat

I had to laugh when I heard myself saying, "I have to leave work on time today because my cat has an appointment for acupuncture."

That seems like such a Homer thing to say.

Our little community is rife with New Age whimsy but I have complete confidence in our vet and if she wants to try acupuncture as an adjunct treatment for Cissy's mouth infection, I am willing to go along for the ride.

Believe it or not, our little girl was purring the whole time the pins were in her. It is still early in the course of treatments but Cissy is holding her own without antibiotics now.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Bathroom Company


They just don't understand why I would want to soak in a tub of water....