My mom Cathy has been feeling sad lately. Our housemate, Tiger the tabby cat, has been walking around on her last paws, as they say. She’s getting ready to cross the bridge, my mom says. More likely, that great sandbox in the sky.
Tiger has been the dominant force in our household since I joined up. She gets into my crate. She takes over my favorite dog bed. She bosses everybody around.
But Cathy says, “Tiger has been with me for just over 14 years. That’s a large chunk of my life. She’s just such a great cat.” She pats Tiger and says, “It’s okay, Tiger. You’ve served your mission. You can go peacefully.”
I’d like to say Tiger is past caring, but in fact she’s pretty alert, especially for a cat who’s probably close to 20. (Cathy adopts only older animals. At three, I barely qualified.) That’s 91 in human years. Tiger still jumps up on the couch. She snoozes in the sun. She finds the litter box (thank goodness).
But she’s not eager to eat her dinner. She might nibble a few bites from a freshly opened can. And then she gets that look in her eye like, “I don’t need this anymore.”
Cathy was telling someone, “Intellectually, I know it’s time to say good-by. I know she’s had a great life. Most cats would give their right paws to have a life like Tiger’s. But…she’s so special.”
So Cathy’s giving Tiger sub-Q fluids. She’s waiting for her regular vet to get back for a final opinion.
My job is to insist that we carry on. We must continue to go to the Dog Park as often as possible. And I bark at Tiger, just to keep things normal around here. Tiger still hisses but she’s lost the spark.
Luckily Cathy has a new teleseminar series — lots of work. It will be good for her. And I have to admit, she’s a pretty darn good seminar leader.