With that said, let's talk about pets! This is Orange.
Orange is old, not a spectacular age for a cat, somewhere between 16 and 17 and certainly geriatric. She eats special food and takes medication twice daily for a hyper-thyroid. She suffers from incontinence. Or should I say, I suffer from her incontinence? This little lady leaves a puddle wherever she sits, sleeps or walks. She also barfs. A lot. Like, a lot a lot.
At a mere 4.7 lbs per her last checkup (pre-thyroid meds, I think she's upwards of 6 lbs. today), Orange takes up more than her share of my time, my space and my cash. But I do love her, I swear.
|Are you kidding me? This photo always cracks me up.|
|Softest kitty. Never needed a brush.|
|Like a sack o' potatoes.|
|Just another nap.|
|You shall not pass.|
|Don't make any sudden moves.|
During my pregnancy it was Roosevelt who was most concerned. He curled up with my belly every night. And once Thora was born, well, I had never seen him more careful all his life. He kept his distance, I think he sniffed her head once or twice. But he also kept a close watch. He was her personal gargoyle.
|Gorgeous boy. Photo by Aubrie Pick|
Eventually Roosevelt got sick. Almost instantly, he became lethargic, jaundice and thin. I was pregnant, we were in the middle of the kitchen reno, life was stressful and I could not, would not, lose him. Our vet narrowed it down to something in the liver and sent us to a specialist in Concord. Roosevelt had a blood transfusion that saved his life. However, they could not determine a true diagnosis and tests were costly and uncertain. The following year is very foggy, with the new baby and lack of sleep that that entails, but we did everything for him. SAMe medications, liquid steroids salmon-flavored at the local lab, emergency meds when his appetite would drop, grain-free food or baby food if desperate. He would get better for months, then have a lapse, we'd rally the medical troops, he'd get better. It was a cycle. The last cycle the meds didn't work. His body, HE didn't respond to all our tricks and I could see he was over it. Then he was gone.
Wow, what a quick synopsis of the past 16 years of our lives with pets. I'm glad I'm recording it here. These guys are all so precious to me. I can't believe we use to have 4 cats, in a 500 sq. foot apartment no less! When everyone was healthy, it was a lot of fun. A lot of fur, but a lot of fun. What I hate though, is the great loss. For as much love as they bring, there is always an end. And I'm looking at Orange...
|Don't hit me, Rosie. Photo by Aubrie Pick|
Orange and Marlon got along fine, but when Roosevelt moved in, she didn't like it one bit. Upon introduction, she gave him a good smack. Of course, Rosie was small at the time. Little did she know he would soon tip the scales at 20 lbs. That smack sealed her fate and she became prey. To my surprise, Marlon joined Rosie in this reign of terror! Poor little OJ (her nickname) became the butt of every joke, the victim in every rumble. They would stalk her side by side and I served referee.
I suppose it's only fair she gets to live out these last years in peace and quiet. If only she weren't so old and so sick. At this moment I am waiting. Waiting to see if she gets sicker, if I need to make the dreaded, drastic and merciful move of letting her go. But I wish with all my heart she will pass in her sleep. I do not want to make this decision. So she takes her pill, and I clean up after her, and I give her a nice place to rest. She spends all of her time in the back addition. I simply cannot have urine all over the house. It's decent back there and it's where I work so we spend time together every day. Thora is gentle with her and loves her despite her funk. She has access to the yard, a bed, her food, her litter and a pile of toys she barely touches anymore. But I don't think she feels well. How can she?
|Mom, sorry for all the barf.|
Watching your pets get old and get sick sucks. But it does not mask the joy they bring. I used to be lonely and they made me less so. And for that, I go to great lengths for their comfort, health and happiness—even at the cost of nice furniture. Little OJ, whatever you need, you tell me. And I will try not to get too mad when I am greeted with yet another barf at the foot of the stairs. We got a deal?