Thursday, February 02, 2006

Living in the present

Click to enlarge

Up until last November I hadn't given much thought to the fact that I will probably outlive the cat. Then he was diagnosed with the beginnings of kidney failure and suddenly reality hit and I've needed time to readjust. He's on a special diet now and has to go back to the vet in a couple of weeks for more blood tests to see if he's responding to the treatment, and if not to start him on a course of drugs. As well as drinking large amounts of water, he is slowing up and sleeping a lot more. Tempus fugit for cats too.

We've been companions for almost 9 years. He arrived in my life in July 1997, the same month that, with a huge amount of stress and anguish, I ended a relationship that should have finished at least two years previously. In retrospect I think of his arrival as new light shining in a dark place, and since then his gentle, affectionate, quirky presence has been a source of comfort and delight.

Being a rescue cat, we're not sure exactly how old he is, but the vet's guesstimate is 12 or 13 so I shouldn't perhaps be surprised that his health would start to become an issue around now. Fortunately his physical problems haven't affected his sunny nature and he is still seemingly enjoying life.

He is beautiful. Slim, with a long oriental body, his yellow-green almond eyes, like agates, regard the human goings-on around him with what seems to be faintly amused tolerance. Purring - something he does frequently - is a whole body experience, he simply vibrates noisily from top to toe. And that soft, thick fur is just made for stroking and burying one's face in. Opinion is divided on whether his colouring is pale ginger or red tabby, but frankly neither he nor I care too much.


He has never had any problems with living in the present. I aim to follow his example.


Anonymous beth said...

Oh! He is truly beautiful. I hope you have some more good years together, enjoying the present moment in that wonderful cat-like way.

3:15 pm  
Blogger MB said...

He is gorgeous. Those eyes, those eyes... I have wondered what it will be like when our dog begins to fail, as each of us must, but that's (I hope!) far in the future for he is still fairly young. He's also a rescue pet, we think he's about 6. Mary, this post gives me a sense of the delight and calm and love this cat has brought to your life and that makes me smile. May you have many present moments together still.

3:43 pm  
Blogger Tamar said...

Oh what a beauty he is! He looks so much like my Molly Mabel I gasped out loud when I saw him! I will hold him in my thoughts as he weathers this period of his life ... and later today when Molly returns from sitting under her bush looking at the birds at the feeder, I will tell her the story and show her his picture.

8:52 pm  
Blogger zhoen said...

Beautiful cat. You've given him a home for nine years, happy and loved. I hope our furred friend stays with us at least as long. Still, however long, it is never long enough. I hate to even think how my dear spouse will take it when Moby goes.

I read somewhere that in the wild, an average cat lives about two years.

2:14 am  
Blogger rdl said...

I think blogger is eating my comments. I said earlier, he's handsome and that reclining pose reminds me of my cat, who's 16 and has the same diagnosis and symptoms.

3:59 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Thank you all. He's actually at the vet's today having his blood tests and also a tooth removed. Am keeping my fingers crossed re the results ...

9:37 am  
Blogger Sonia said...

He is gorgeous. Her eyes is just amazing, a pure jewelry.
I hope he will better soon.
What is his name?

10:31 pm  
Blogger leslee said...

Oh, so sweet. I'm suddenly teary - any of us who've had beloved pets have gone through their final illnesses and seen them off at the end. Their lives are so much shorter than ours. I hope you have many good times together yet. He sounds and looks like a wonderful one.

12:28 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Sonia: thanks so much for this and your other comments. His name begins with "O" (don't want him/me tracked down via google)!

Leslee: Thank you - yes, saying goodbye is hard. The good news here though is that he seems to have responded well to the change to a special diet, so the inevitable may have been delayed for a while ...

4:38 pm  
Anonymous ginkgo said...

A very handsome fellow, and a good companion, I imagine. I'm sorry about his health.

5:06 pm  
Anonymous Apples said...

He's a beauty, Mary...

1:14 pm  

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