“Gracie, you haven’t changed a bit!” my mom says, over and over. She says I act exactly the same as I did in Seattle … except that I now like to sleep under a table instead of on the sofa. Well, there’ a reason. Our housemate Ophelia has cornered the sofa, literally.
As we were coming home from the airport, my mom gave me the scoop (!) on our new life here.
“The city is bigger than Seattle,” she said, “and there are more ways for dogs to get into trouble. So we’ll be looking into obedience classes. Won’t that be fun?”
I can think of another word for obedience but hey, you never know. Hopefully my mom will choose a class that believes in training with treats. But then she said, “And Gracie, you’ll have to go on a diet and we’ll go on LOTS of walks together. I’ve been eating too much Philly food myself — pizza, bagels and even a muffin now and then. So you will be motivating me to go on walks and stay fit.”
Did I mention that my mom works out in a gym? She’s got great muscle tone. But she does love to eat. “If I had six months to live,” she says, “I would say skip the surgery. I’ll eat a big steak dinner with a baked potato and pie with ice cream for dessert. Every night.”
So now I realize I’ve flown here to be my mom’s fitness motivation coach. Great. Do I get a raise?
Then she told me the sad news about Ophelia, formerly our fattest housemate. “Ophelia hasn’t been eating,” she said. “We went to Penn for an ultrasound. She’s got something going on but I’m not going to do the surgery and chemo, if it’s cancer. She’s at least 13 years old and frankly, I wouldn’t want this for me.”
So Ophelia is getting treated with meds. My mom force feeds her 4 times a day, gives her fluids and even adds a B-12 shot every week.
“When she gets more of the meds,” my mom said, “she’ll be eating again. We had to get a dosage in liquid form because the pills are so tiny they turn to crumbs when I cut them in half. And then I gave her the wrong dose of meds for a couple of days. But we are back on track now.”
Hey mom, just give me Ophelia’s food. I love cat food.
“Maybe you can talk to Ophelia,” my mom said wistfully. “After all you both spent several hours in the cargo hold of a cross-country flight. She likes you.”
Great. Now I’m my mom’s fitness coach AND I have to play social worker to a cat.
What I really don’t understand is Ophelia’s love for my mom. Even though my mom forces food down her throat and sticks needles into her skin, Ophelia responds with love. She jumps up on my mom’s lap and sits there, purring so loudly I can hear her across the room. My mom says, “See, Gracie – that makes it all worthwhile.”
If you say so, mom. Time for another nap.