Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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Just a Dusting

cat in back yard with dusting of snow
Just a dusting of snow for Cookie's visit to the back yard.

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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11 thoughts on “Just a Dusting

  • Pingback: A Little Bit of Sunshine « The Creative Cat

  • Everyone, thank you so much for your wishes for Cookie and me. Her care did take extra time and effort and take me away from my computer, then my own little health issue yesterday, but she and I are both on the mend today and glad to be back on the computer.

  • Am thinking of you and Cookie, Bernadette, and hoping that you have more days together.

  • Karen Lucas

    Oh, I’m so hoping Cookie turns the corner again… is always so very painful and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you have been together for 2 months or 20 years. I see that you have tweeted that Cookie is hanging in there so I will continue to pray for you both.

  • I will keep you and Cookie in my prayers. We just lost one of our cats and it is never easy. And like Susan said earlier, thank you for sharing your pictures and stories. I look forward to them every day. Stay strong, Barb

  • Anita

    Holding Cookie and You tenderly in my Heart.

  • Susan Stoltz

    Bernadette, you and Cookie are a wonderful team. You’ve been through ups and downs together, loving and supporting each other all the way. That’s what makes one so close to the other – the sharing, the trust and the unconditional love. Cookie gets to have her favorite spot in the sun twice a day, a loving home and very special mom. What could be better than that? Thank you for sharing all the pictures and great stories about Cookie. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. Susan

  • Linda Chapman

    Bernadette, I do know a bit what you are going through at this time as I too am watching my Bandi who has cancer but has been going along well for the last 2 years. Just this last two weeks seems to have been a noticable slow down. Trying to be prepared as well. I wish you strength and will say many prayers for you and Cookie. We will both have to be strong but it is so very difficult. Sincerely, Linda

  • You know that you and Cookie are in my thoughts. This is a hard time, when our beloved cats get to the end of their journey with us. I think you’re wise to prepare yourself, but I hope that you can stay in the present, and find some peace in just being with Cookie and treasuring every moment you have left with her.

  • Anonymous

    Bernadette- Cookie is in my thoughts, as are you, I’m terribly sorry for her current health situation and wish her and you my best. I know what its like as I remember Dick and his health scare not too long ago (will talk to you very shortly about btw.. tax season yayy!!!) …. but I can’t imagine losing DIck and can only imagine the sadness you might be feeling. Stay strong for Cookie and the other loves in your life. <3


    • Lindsey, Cookie and I have a little more time as we found some treatments that will get her back on her feet most likely. She’s my best friend in much the same way Dick is yours with his big stripes and big personality, and it’s always impossible to imagine life without them. I think the boys really miss him here!


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