The past few days have been an emotional roller coaster for me. My older cat, Patches, has been having a very rough time since Sunday. That night and most of Monday, he didn’t eat or drink anything, and he just stayed in his bed all day. So tearfully I was planning on taking him to the vet on Tuesday to have him examined. But then late Monday night he started eating again, so I started feeling hopeful. However, I did go to bed not knowing if he would be with me in the morning. Not only was he still here, but he was also eating and drinking and mooching treats. But his back legs weren’t working correctly at all, and he was having extreme balance issues. But he seemed to be getting stronger, so the Tuesday visit to the vet became a plan to go today. Today, he has continued to grow stronger; he’s still wobbly but not nearly as bad as yesterday. This is where the questions begin. Is he suffering? I don’t know, most likely in some ways, yes. Then there’s the whole quality of life versus quantity of life debate that’s been raging in my mind. I don’t want him to suffer, but I don’t want to cut his life short, either. It’s just so difficult to not be selfish and keep him around just so I don’t have to lose him. I mean, I know he’s 17 and nature is going to run its course, but man, that selfish side just wants to wring out every second I can with him. It certainly doesn’t help that the first anniversary of my mom’s death is rapidly approaching and the idea of a resurgence of grief over her swirling with fresh grief if I lose him is overwhelming. How much pain and sadness can I take before I crumble into dust? But then I think about how he depends on me to do the right thing no matter how much it breaks my heart. I just have to wait and see how he does in the next few minutes, hours, and hopefully days.
We had a few inches of wet snowfall in my area recently and, during the storm, I took my dog out. For some reason, he found a section of brick lying near the house and decided that it would make a fun toy. Yes, he’s weird like that, lol. Anyway, the snow started sticking to the brick as he moved it along the ground with his feet. The thickening snow on the surface made it hard for him to pick up, so he tried to get the snow off by rolling it. Unfortunately, his doggie brain couldn’t process the fact that pushing it, it only added to the amount of snow sticking to the brick. In a very short time, it was encased in a snowy cube about half a foot across and kept growing as he managed to push it down a small hill. Running down to catch up with it, he started pawing at it trying to get the offending snow off and then he resorted to barking at it frustratingly. By this point, I was laughing so hard I could barely stand up, and he looked at me with this expression of, “Mom, it’s not funny!” I was finally able to get him to come inside, but the next day when we went out, he went right back to that brick and continued to try to play with it again. I gotta hand it to him, he’s a determined little guy.
Dawn seemed to rise earlier than normal the other day. The rising sun illuminated a flock of turkeys that were grazing in my front yard and congregating in my driveway. They were gathered five feet from my dining room window. The window my dog monitors all day, and apparently the wee hours of the morning as well. I was alerted to them, from my cocoon of cozy blankets and quilts, with him barking his fool head off for what seemed like an eternity. As I rolled over, I noticed my cat sitting in the window that overlooked the driveway. He looked at me and then outside and meowed his “I’m hunting birds” meow. Curiosity finally got to me, and I left the warm confines of slumber and staggered sleepily to the window and looked out. My eyes widened, I had never seen the flock so close to the house and being able to observe them so closely would have been more interesting if I hadn’t been half asleep. My bed beckoned me back to its warmth and snugness, and after telling my dog to be quiet, I returned to it and went back to sleep. Later, when I went downstairs to start my morning officially, I found my dog sound asleep on his bed in the kitchen. Evidently, his morning had left him as exhausted as I was and even the temptation of going outside failed to rouse him from his slumber. I poured myself a glass of orange juice and sat at the table and waited for him to wake up before we could start our day.
Earlier this afternoon, I took my dog Watson out in back to throw the ball around for him. I had only thrown the ball once when we both heard crashing through the woods next to us. I turned and looked nervously because there has been a mother black bear with three cubs seen near where I live. I didn’t see anything at first, but then I saw them. Two deer bounding through the fallen trees. They were magnificent. Solid muscle leaping and running without any hesitation. Luckily, my dog was so stunned and confused by what he was seeing he came running back to me rather than after them. It was interesting watching Watson watch them. I could see his brain trying to process the information. He looked to me and back to the deer and then back to me. The deer disappeared around the back of my yard, and the spell was broken. Watson went right back to playing as if nothing had happened. I guess he knew they were not a threat and felt like as long as I was there, he was safe.
Today I took my cat Patches back to the vet for a follow-up appointment. We went into the examination room, and I let him out of his crate, and all he wanted to do was look out the window. The assistant tried to weigh him, and he was having none of it, he just wanted to sit at the window. She laughed and said, “Well, he’s friskier than he was last week.” As she said this, he hid behind a computer monitor so he could feel protected but could still look outside. This behavior made me feel better because this was his usual vet visit behavior. He has always loved looking out windows, and during the last visit, all he wanted to do was hide.
The vet said that he looked better, but his heart rate was still very rapid. They were unable to do a urinalysis on him today, but she said to just finish his antibiotic. She questioning raising his hyperthyroidism medication but then decided to wait and see how he did on it since he has only been taking it for a week. We have to go back in two weeks, and she will do further tests then. Until then I have to continue giving him his medications and, more importantly, let him eat all the food he wants to try and help gain some of the weight, he has lost, back again.
My cat, Patches, is showing signs of improvement! He has been out and about more than he has been over the past couple of days. Giving him his medications has been getting easier and this morning he showed that he forgave me by snuggling with me on the sofa right afterward. When he settled down, and I could feel him purring, I admit it, I shed a couple of tears. A few days ago, I honestly thought I was about to lose him, and now I’m hoping to have more time with him. And I’m not going to take a moment of it for granted.