So I take a few moments to write the story of the little black cat.
I write this story because, well the story's not over yet. Frankly I don't know how it will end.
There's a rather unusual story about this cat, as background.
Currently she is about 15 years old. She's not young. Her name is Lisa.
She was a beloved cat to my husband, who died this past April. The only thing he asked of me before his death was to please take good care of the pets.
Billy loved cats and we always had at least four, most times six, once we had eight cats. Thus I am quite experienced in the dynamics of cats and this background has been very helpful in dealing with Lisa.
First, there's Lisa's hair.
I just do not know what to say about this cat and her hair except it's about the weirdest thing on the planet. Her hair is like cotton candy, I kid not. To comb it is almost impossible as it sticks together, gets tangled and hurts her. She tries desperately to groom herself and the other cats also helped her groom but alas even with human brushes, co-cats' tongues and her own ministrations, this cat's hair formed huge mats on her sides and belly and in due course she was like a burro, walking around with two "packs" of piles of mats hanging down each side in one big impossible to untangle mess. It looked exactly like foam.
We did everything in our human power to groom this cat but first, for whatever reason her hair was weird, so weird that even she could not groom herself even with the help of a bevy of cats.
And please do not think that Lisa herself tolerated a lot of human tugging and pulling in attempts to clear her mats. She bit and scratched and clawed and after a while we gave up.
There were times I used a craft straight razor to gets those mats off of her. Which, again, is not easy because that's a dangerous tool and her mats did get stuck to her very skin so sharp instruments often caused her as much harm as most anything. Once I even sliced open her entire belly region in an attempt to tear off a huge piece of foam-hair. It was a thin cut but fully six inches long. She spent ages in a corner licking and coaxing the sore to heal and eventually it did.
For most of her life Lisa has walked around with over three pounds of cat hair affixed to her and only when she began dropping turds all over the place due to the hair trap did I wrestle with clearing her up, at least her hind quarters.
The only thing to be done, seriously, about this cat's hair, was to have her put to sleep and rid her of the mats while she was under. Don't think a cat groomer or any other animal expert could get those mats off of Lisa but despite she's lived a very happy life despite her strange affliction.
Eventually Lisa began to lose weight and the big mat packs on her side began to disappear. The ministrations of the other cats evidently helped to clear her ageing mats. An old cat losing weight is nothing new. Cats often have teeth issues as they age and can't chew certain foods properly. We usually switch them over to a soft food when this happens and keep an eagle eye on the elderly feline to keep them as healthy, and comfortable, as possible.
After my husband died I had to establish a new relationship with the cats -before I'd always been the bad guy, the human who poked their ears for mites and combed the tangles. Now I was all they had and, tentatively, they approached me for food, love and care.
One morning I noticed Lisa weaving in place with a huge drop of….well snot I guess it was, hanging out of her nose. I picked her up and cleaned up the snot, then put her down. She could not walk hardly at all, in fact she walked sidewise and kept falling down, as if she were drunk.
I believe she had some kind of stroke.
I spent that day tending to Lisa, praying what to do. Snot kept hanging out of her nose, she kept walking sidewise, could not even stand up….I had to consider putting her down.
Anyone who's had pets has had to face this decision and so I pondered. Intriguingly, Lisa still was hungry and thirsty but was totally unable to walk to the food or water.
I decided I would tenderly deal with Lisa and come the time, we'd go to the Vet for the needle.
Because she was unable to walk I had to bring her little bowls of water and food by her cat bed and she did, God Bless, crooked and confused, manage to sip water and eat some Temptations.
Only something else was also very wrong with this cat.
She seemed unable to eat or drink.
Now my considerable experience with dying cats is once they become very ill they often go off into a corner and just sit till they die.
Old and crippled by a stroke and with obvious eating and drinking issues , Lisa meowed a soft croak every time I walked by. She ate the temptations and drank some water but I could see she was having trouble.
She was always hungry.
I did not want her to suffer so I decided, hey, I'm going to do everything I can for this cat and comes the time….well comes the time. Billy loved his cats but we knew when we had to end it. We've a backyard full of our beloved cat pet grave, even two dog graves.
Suddenly, just the strangest thing. Lisa, all her life, fifteen years, she begins to….well I know yon reader shall think me nuts, but she began to SING!
For 15 years Lisa never uttered a sound. Oh she had a raspy kind of whisper meow, we never knew why she couldn't make any noise but it was no matter. We recognized her rasp and often made fun of the sweet little thing, rasping to her owners for something or other.
Now the house was filled with …..hand to God, just the strangest, most beautiful, melodious sounds one ever heard coming from a cat, it was weird. Both daughter and granddaughter have heard Lisa with her new singing voice so I got witnesses. Her sounds were angelic, celestial, once she sat on my lap and made a sound exactly like...well like a butterfly, if a butterfly could make a sound.
I plopped Lisa on the counter and removed the rest of her mats, yes I did, for now she was so weak she couldn't fight me. Her poor tail was encased in some kind of mat mess and she couldn't even lift it. I figured out how to removed her trapped tail and combed her thorough.
She is by now of the beautiful singing, extremely thin, very, very thin, and I prayed for guidance. I wanted to keep her alive but not in a life filled with pain. Her sounds were not pain sounds, just an old cat finding out she could sing.
Lisa got better and better and now can walk fairly straight. It helped getting her tail out of its hair case. The snot kept coming out of her nose for a couple of days but in due course it stopped.
For many years this cat could not jump up on anything and, indeed, husband and I had to set up a special feeding/watering station for her on the floor, hidden, as we put up cats' food so dog won't get. Lisa could not jump to the cat food and water station.
All of a sudden Lisa began jumping everywhere! She jumped up on tables, she jumped up onto my bed, to my surprise for Lisa never came into my bedroom but now she jumped up and snuggled next to me, even PURRING!
She still has trouble eating but it gets better and better. She gets plenty of water and, hurray, she can now get up to the cats' feeding station and does not need a special spot on the floor.
As of now I think Lisa's going to live but I don't know how long. But she can eat and drink, though it's tough and her head still tilts sideways and she does still walk a little crooked.
The other day she even joined the other cats in a cat game and last week she had a bit of catnip.
I do think Lisa had a stroke or some kind of event.
I will keep her alive and comfortable as long as possible and I will know that I kept my promise to Billy to take care of the pets.
Meanwhile it's like I got a new kitten, jumping and singing and Lord help me, I have to lock the bedroom door at night to keep her out as she keeps me up all night with her "songs".
Lisa is not going softly into any good night.
I will do my best to take good care of her.
This is not to say she's going to pull through. I have to give her quite a bit of extra care plus keep doors closed that never was required before. The time may come when Lisa will have to be taken on a final trip to the Vet.
I'll know when the time is right. Meanwhile she gets better every day.
I call her the crazy little black cat.
Notice in the picture below, what looks like ugly skin or lumps on Lisa's side is really her matted fur that I cut with a garden shear to get off.
Note, Lisa stopped eating, the surest sign a cat is going to die, on 11/1/13. Two days later she died. Her time had come, she went fairly gently into that good night, with the exception of those few weeks above when something weird happened to her.
She with Billy now at Rainbow Bridge.
As usual, things are moving so fast here I can't keep up, and you're behind on news. One thing, apparently, wasn't moving fast enough, though. More on that in a bit.
Garage update: The floor is done and tomorrow cabinetry goes in. That just leaves the blinds on the window, a couple of lights and some touch-up paint. After we catch our breath, we'll sign up for the frequent flyer discount and have the driveway and front walk redone. (And after that we'll be out of money.)
Health update: My diabetes is doing fine and my numbers are staying stable, which I think is a good sign. I have a third pair of eyeglasses coming, which should allow me to see without switching every time the focus range moves. My current pair let me see close up really well, and the pair before that allow distance vision. If I'm driving, Ineed to have the right pair on my nose. It's a nuisance. And, of course, if I didn't take that pill with my meal, I don't take it at all. Lesson well-learned!
Company news: We have purchased my husband's mother's business and are incorporating it. I haven't seen so much paperwork since we bought this house. Feels good but a bit scary, all at the same time. So many things to be done! No major changes in day-to-day operations and we didn't fly in and fire all the staff.
New news: Harry and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage on Saturday. We're planning a romantic getaway, so be warned - cell phones will be OFF, no calls accepted on Saturday. I will Drivel that trip after we've been.
And today's news: On our way to order new business rubber stamps, my new Toyota was rear-ended by a Cadillac CTS. I only have a little over 2600 miles on that car. :-(
It's not too badly damaged and neither Harry nor I are hurt. We had just crossed the intersection by our house when this guy blazed through the light behind us (which should have been red by then), smacked us in the rear, and sent us off the road. Harry is an excellent driver with really good reflexes so he was able to get us stopped safely. The guy then looked like he was going to keep on trucking but we stopped him and got the insurance company info for the Cadillac, and the guy's driver's license.
The guy's first comment was that we were going too slow. Ha! That doesn't give permission to hit someone! Plus, we weren't going *that* slowly. The speed limit on the west side of the light is 25mph and on the east side it's 45mph. We had just crossed from 25 to 45 and were accelerating, but not like a race car. It's likely we were doing 30 to 35 when hit. A neighbor was coming home and saw the incident so he drove back by to give us his name and number. He said the guy was doing 75 when he went by and through the light. I'm sure that's an exaggeration but it tells me the guy was *not* doing 25 in that 25mph zone.
We have already started the proceedings for the repair - a scraped spot on the bumper and the bumper panel itself (it wraps around pretty far) is sprung out a bit on the left side. Harry thinks it's bad (mostly because the car is new, I think) but I had some trouble evenfinding the owies. Still, it needs fixing. Estimate came in at just over $1,000.
I'm always telling folks that my car can't be heard. The Hybrid is very quiet and we have to be careful when kids are playing in the street and such because they don't hear the car coming. While I know it can't be heard, I thought surely it could be seen when it was on the road.
The Desk Drawer writer's exercise
Ending With a Smile