Sunday, March 3, 2013
Of the Feline Persuasion
I have two old cats, both of whom are nearing their end and unwell. One has a thyroid condition; the other kidney failure. Both suffer from a seizure disorder though my kidney cat is much worse (and a few years older). My oldest cat also is deaf and has dementia. She forgets where her litter is and forgets that she has been fed. She still gets pleasure from sleeping in the sunshine all day and sleeping on my head all night. She does not appear to be suffering. Dealing with the nursing and loving duties for these old friends is increasingly hard work involving administering meds and subcutaneous fluids, but nothing I can't handle. More importantly I know what is needed, what to look for when my help just isn't enough...when it's time to give them the ultimate gift of love that we are unable to give to our human companions. But in this medical facility that used to be my home, we are also mired in the miasma of Alzheimer's. Last night he asked me if I had a husband and where I lived. He thought I was a wonderful person but didn't know more about me than that. Guessed that I was maybe a teacher. (He often thinks we are in a school.) My son suggested that maybe he was asking because he was interested and wanted to date or even marry me!) The next morning he wanted to know who all the people were in the house during the night. (There was no one.) He still didn't know who I was. For all my rage, this kind of loss taps into a very deep well of sadness. This is real loss.