Sunday, April 14, 2024
catsfeline healthpeachespet loss

Bastet and Freya, Do Us a Favor

peaches with facebook messages
"Thanks everyone!"

Peaches says thanks for all the good wishes this afternoon! She’s looking pretty relaxed after she spent some time reading them.

Her mom decided to take action and write a letter about Peaches, but deciding which omnipotent being would receive it was a quandary. Appealing directly to one who either was a cat or who likely lived with cats would probably be more successful than appealing to one of the other beings who had more general interests.

So we’ll see what happens.

Dear Bastet and Freya,

As the main cat goddesses, I’m appealing to you on behalf of Peaches. I’d like to know if we could have a little more time together. I have many reasons for wishing this—the anniversaries of several losses happen around this time, things are changing in my business, other things are happening, and I’m just not ready yet—but most of all, Peaches and I just haven’t had enough time together. I know she’s 20, but she’s only been with me for five of those years, and Peaches and I don’t feel we’ve done all we can together yet.

Peaches has seen me though quite a bit in the five years she’s been with me, including the losses of six other feline family members, and that including her sister. She’s also been instrumental in contributing to my work as a painter, a photographer, a writer and a merchant. I’m just beginning some new ventures, and since Peaches is responsible in no small part for getting me to this point, I want Peaches with me on the rest of this journey, still inspiring me every day with her sweet, gentle demeanor and petite beauty.

Please see if you can do something about this. Peaches and I have an agenda, and I think you’ll be pleased with what we do with the extra time you’ll give us.

Bernadette and Peaches

If only it was that easy. We never know when the time will come, and it may not be immediate for Peaches, but I feel it will be soon.

We’re not sure what’s wrong, but she’s just felt tired and had little appetite since last Friday morning. Usually, especially if it’s her renal failure, I can turn her around from this in a day or two with some aggressive fluid therapy, special foods, and a variety of naturopathic and homeopathic treatments. But this has been nearly a week and I’ve needed to resort to some steroid use to make a change.

We’ve always suspected she had something deep in her right ear, a polyp or infection, that affects her balance and breathing and swallowing. She’s often shown irritation in that ear, scratching it and shaking her head, but the stuff that builds up down in her ear canal never tested positive for anything, and short of an MRI no one can see anything. A polyp or infection can flare up and in that tiny sensitive area wreak havoc on balance and swallowing especially, but disappear just as quickly. However, now that she’s a little weaker she just may not be able to compensate, and the condition itself may also be growing more aggressive.

She was on the bed with me this morning, then left and came back, thinking I’d follow her the first time, very normal. She’s been eating but swallowing is a little difficult and sometimes distressing. She’s walking around but with stiffness in her hips and hind legs, and she’s not jumping onto things as she was even yesterday; she’s capable, but I don’t think she can see well and doesn’t want to take the chance. Confusing and distressing to me, she’s kind of wandering, walking from one room to another, considering the basement, circling the table in the kitchen, as if she keeps forgetting what she’s doing.

peaches at the gate
Peaches checks the gate.
Peaches at the fence
Peaches at the fence.

And strangest of all, she wanted to go outside through the basement door. She’s never even acknowledged that there is an outdoors unless I’m in it and she wants me to come inside from it. She walked around the yard but the grass wasn’t comfortable, but she kept heading for the gate, then along the fence, to my side yard, even walking into an overgrown area at the end of my lettuce bed. I turned her around or I’d have had a difficult time getting her, and she walked back to the gate and eventually back to the basement door and we went back in the house. Perhaps she was actually looking for the way back into the house, and perhaps she was looking for something else; my intuition tells me it was the latter. It may be the “outdoor remedy” that has helped to heal and comfort many other of my cats—simply being outside livens their senses and brings back their emotional immune system.

If Peaches is anything, she is definite in her decisions. There is no equivocation that she does or doesn’t like something, or does or doesn’t do something. She lost her person, she came here, and she accepted the new home as her own and me as her person. I don’t even remember a questioning sniff or expression.

peaches behind monitor
Peaches gets up behind my monitor--a good sign!

Her health condition has been the same. She goes day to day then suddenly she’s in kidney failure, or she had no need for fluids and suddenly she’s dehydrated, or she’s been “going” fine then she’s constipated. I’m pretty perceptive, having been trained by the lives and losses of many other cats, but Peaches gives no warning, compensating as cats do until they can’t.

And even without renal failure and other conditions, I can’t avoid the fact of her age and that sometime soon we would have to part. As I’ve learned before, I’m not afraid of losing her, only of not listening, seeing, hearing what I need to in these last days, weeks or months, and of not honoring her needs and doing my part for her in her transition.

peaches and giuseppe
Giuseppe comforts Peaches.

Right now she’s actually sleeping comfortably on my desk and I can be happy with that. Giuseppe, her protector, carefully curled himself behind her.

robin fledgling
Robin fledgling.

And I need to move the injured fledgling robin to a safer place. It was nestled in the grass while Peaches and I were walking and held completely still as we approached, but I could tell it needed assistance. Sometimes an injured animal is part of the process or a sign. I’ll see if I can do this right.


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

13 thoughts on “Bastet and Freya, Do Us a Favor

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  • Oh Bernadette, my heart goes out to you. Sending lots of good thoughts to you and Peaches. I have no doubt that you will listen to Peaches every step of the way – you two are so connected, there’s simply no way you’re not going to do this “right.” Wishing you and Peaches much, much more time together, but even more than that, wishing both of you that you can enjoy and treasure each and every one of those moments.

  • Peaches really appreciates your love!

    Renee, tell Eva that Peaches isn’t ready to give up yet! She may still come back to work!

    Azar, we’ve done everything short of an MRI, but it’s in one of those difficult places that scopes and x-rays can’t reach. We’ve tried the prednisone and an antibiotic as a shot-in-the-dark diagnostic tool, and the symptoms are relieved equally well with both, which usually means swelling, so it’s likely a small polyp. There may be better ways at this point to take care of it, though.

    Roxanne, Peaches loves greetings from other kitties! My Stanley lived to 25 but I missed his first three years, and the last three were treating him for kidney failure. I really thought he’d live forever.

    Laura, Peaches is the essence of one of those pretty, delicate Victorian kitties you have on your cards! It was interesting that she wanted to go outside, though today she has no interest. Who knows?

    I’m just glad that today the major symptoms are relieved and she’s much more comfortable. I truly believe in the power of everyone’s good wishes and positive energy!

  • That is very interesting, indeed, that Peaches wanted to go outside and walk around a bit. I do think it means something, and I’m glad you were able to capture the moment in pictures. I loved your letter you sent to Bastet and Freya, and I hope it – and all of our thoughts, good vibes, and prayers, continue to help Peaches along. Hugs, Laura

  • Dear Bernadette:

    Please give Peaches a smooch on the top of her head from me. Sweet little girl. The first photo on your blog entry says a lot. I’ve had a couple of kitty friends who came to look like that, with skinny legs and rag-tag fur.

    My Martha passed away at the age of 22. She had lived with me for half of those years. Her departure was still too soon. There’s never enough time or “long enough.”

    I pray that Bastet and Freya work to keep Peaches as comfortable as possible. Give your little Fur Girl tons of hugs and kisses and scritches from me and Mat, Abby, Annabelle and Ren.


  • Has the vet scoped that ear? Sometimes what we attribute to old age might be a health problem that any cat can get, at any age.

  • Bernadette, I’m thinking of you and Peaches, and Eva sends her regards to her special little friend as well. Sending all the best and lots of kitty hugs up your way. I’m chasing myself around in circles but will try to keep checking in to see how things are. Keep those fluids flowing. ~R

  • Thanks, guys! Peaches and I are VERY lucky to have such friends, and especially on those questionable days it’s nice to be able to send a message out knowing it will be read by someone who understands.

    Peaches is still having a little trouble swallowing but still eating a little at a time and feeling quite comfortable, even more than earlier today.

    The robin would not let me pick it up, so I shooed it to a protected spot under a bush. Darned independent little thing, just like Peaches.

  • Peaches has my prayers, Bernadette, as do you. You’ve written about this bravely & thoughtfully, & I don’t question whether you’ll do this right. In the meantime, I’m hoping that all the signs are in your favor & that you & Peaches still have a good stretch of the road together ahead of you.

  • Oh Bernadette, I was so touched by your sweet letter. How Peaches was to find you. Really. I know she has been a blessing for you as well. I was sorry to learn that she has hit a rough patch. She is fortunate to have a mama like you-an animal whisperer for sure. Loving your posts. Even the ones that aren’t very easy to read. Best, T, Kip, Petie (and yes, Haddie too – for now!)

  • We wish you much wellness Peaches. We hope you can hang in there for a little longer. It is so hard when one gets older. Sending lots of purrs and prayers. Hang in there Peaches.


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