not (yet) a cat lady, but a cat nurse

  • Giving a cat pain-medication, then catnip, is equivalent to giving a heavily-sedated person caffeine. I’m sleepy…I AM WAKE!!! WAIT, no…I’m sleepy…
  • Regardless of how sick a cat is, she still doesn’t appreciate gratuitous butt-cleaning. This came about because the pain medication has a side effect of constipation and, for all of my pleading, I couldn’t will her to have a bowel movement. So, when she finally had a bowel movement for the first time in four days I was so excited I didn’t care it was at 4:21am or that it was not the best sort of bowel movement. For hours after the clean-up I smelled like cat poop and Pine Sol.
  • My less than bodacious bosom greatly facilitated the many sessions of me squeezing under all of our furniture to fetch the cat to feed her pain-killers. Otherwise I would have gotten stuck and the cat would have mocked me in her pain-killer induced stupor. Cancer hasn’t impeded her ability to be a complete ham.
  • It’s difficult watching her watching the birds on the windowsill, and to think that she has very little time left. Anne Lamott wrote in Bird by Bird, about the time when her friend was dying of breast cancer:So I am watching her, carefully and helplessly and gratefully, and living consciously because she is teaching me about living. I still have to live my life, as close to normal as I can. It’s easy to be completely engrossed by her sickness and taking care of her, but I have to carry on with everything else, and not just the mandatory obligations. I’m still trying to do the things I enjoy and trying to not feel too guilty about not spending that time with her. I think the hard thing about cancer is that you don’t have a tangible enemy to fight: the enemy resides in you, in your cells, and when you take care of your body you nurture those cells and when you destroy those cells you damage your body. I used to dislike the phrase “battle against cancer” because it feels like an unexpected, extra burden one has to put up with. I wonder if cancer, like aging, this slow and inevitable wearing down of our bodies, is just a different, and yes, more difficult road to walk. And we keep putting one foot in front of the other.
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