No big snows here, we just got a dusting in our back yard and Cookie is glad not to have to plow through snow to get to her favorite sunny spot, winter or summer.
Despite our visit to the back yard this morning, Cookie is not well today, but that’s one of the reasons it was so important.
Cookie turned 19 last summer and after her difficult kittenhood and some early health issues and physical limitations I’m a little surprised that she has gotten to be 19 without any problems. She’s never had a lot of strength or flexibility in her hips and hind legs, never been able to run and leap but she’s always happily improvised in every way she can find.
I’ve been watching her slow decline for most of this year, most intensively since mid-summer, struggling with renal failure along with general geriatric issues, sleeping more and more and eating a little less, but for the most part acting well. After all these years and all these cats, I know when it’s an act, and I also knew Cookie would happily act every day until one day she couldn’t pull it off any more, and her end would likely come quickly. Well, who wouldn’t want it that way? Remember determinate little Peaches last October?
On Christmas Eve morning I found her limp and lethargic in front of a heater vent; later that day I saw the abscess developing in her chin again. I increased her occasional fluids from supportive to therapeutic and began antibiotics. The abscess ruptured (yuck!) by Sunday night and though she never lost her appetite she had lost more strength and balance. But she did get back to many of her daily habits as you probably noticed in my daily photos and sketches. Well, I probably featured her a little more often, and have for the past month or so, just to bring loving attention to her, knowing what is coming.
I’ve brought her back to general wellness a few times before, but I think I may not be able to turn her around this time. She had a long-distance reiki session earlier today with Ingrid King, whose abilities I thoroughly trust and whose comments have given me guidance through the past year, and where Cookie has just had a low spot prior to now this time it’s more serious.
So Cookie had her morning session outdoors, then a late-afternoon session as well, which we’ve been doing for the past month, an important part of her wellness plan. Right now she is curled on my lap, a little more limp than usual, sleeping and purring. But I know that tonight and tomorrow will be pivotal—if I can turn this around she will have a few more weeks or even months, but if not, she will continue to decline and we will have at best days. Much of it will depend on Cookie, who survived her early experiences because she has a strong will to live, and that has never faded. In either case, I feel I’ll know by tomorrow morning. I’ve already called to make my “arrangements” just in case.
And after all these losses, 13 so far, I’d be a fool to not begin preparing myself for this final walk together and life without Cookie. Little Kelly will be lost.
Just last week I walked into my house and was greeted by all five black cats and as much as I love their rambunctious greeting I also thought that someday, perhaps soon, this greeting will be the way it is, just five black cats, no tortie girls.
But not just for the sake of our 19 years together, Cookie has been my guardian kitty, my best friend, always sharing my ups and my downs, sometimes to her detriment, and my life will be less without her in it.
And we thank you in advance for the love and strength you wonderful people who love animals and their people will automatically send our way. Depending on what happens, I may be absent for a while, and please understand if I don’t respond to comments right away.
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