Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Reluctant responsibility

Cagney is dying.

She's been trying so hard to hang in there, to be around me I'm sure - but it's becoming so sadly clear: 19 years and eight lives later, it's time for her to cash in #9.

CagneyShe actually got her own Christmas card from Tom - so perhaps she thinks life is complete. Tom indicated I should put milk and *tuna* out for Santa Claus ...

Life gets complicated when one's brother starts commisserating with one's pets ...

She drinks a little water and eats almost nothing - even her favorite things. She's lost considerable weight and can't really afford to lose a gram.

I *hate* that we as humans have to declare any final date, but that's the responsibility we take when when we adopt them, isn't it, since we've taken them out of their natural wild habitat?

When I got Allie, I told Cagney beforehand that I brought her home to put a little fun in her life - and she actually has. The kitten follows her around, playing as much as Cagney will allow, and has taken to sleeping next to her near her favorite heating vent, which I know brings her comfort.

Missy and the kitten sleep against her at night on the bed as well; I've taken to carrying her around more during the day.

But I said I also wanted to let her know that I'm taken care of by another animal spirit .. she can let go if she wants. The next three days will tell the story. She either snaps back or .... she lets go. We can't do anything more for her medically, nor would I want to. I don't want to keep her alive to keep my heart from breaking because it is already breaking, knowing what is coming.

She is such a good sweet kitten; she's curled up in my arms now. She is a success for me; because the family from whom I rescued her had kids who set off fire crackers in the closet with her mom and her siblings before any of the kittens had opened their eyes.

It took me 6 years for her to stop being afraid and aggressive and to start enjoy being held and cuddled and snuggled and simply loved. When she realized she didn't have to protect herself all the time, it was as if she found the most wonderful experience in the world -- and decided she wanted it ALL the time!

We finally worked something out because she generally doesn't appear when others are here; that's changed over the past several months as well. Life has become all about gettin' the love.

I have no idea how many people have been surprised to see her enter the room in her slowly sauntering way, sure to be noticed. "You have a cat? Wow. I had no idea you had a cat!"

She would then sit next to them regally, as if she is now OBLIGATED to receive their adulation and caresses. Um-hum.

I try that ... and nothing. Except strange looks. Raised eyebrows. Yes, I'm afraid my animal magnetism is, indeed, confined to .. animals.


Allie is so healthy with so much energy I now clearly see how poorly Oscar is doing with his arthritis. He doesn't *seem* to be hurting, and I'm giving him medication to make him more comfortable, but he's still so very rickety, it's clear he struggles to get around.

Li'l OHis heart condition is managed, but it's getting more difficult to watch him push himself to get around.

My first response is that he's still so happy, loving, and of course watching my every move as always. I can't imagine taking that away from either of us. But ... but...

I don't know what on earth I shall do about him or without him at this point. Even the thought of him not being here - especially if I lose Cagney this coming week - is nothing short of unbearable.

It took two years to socialize my little guy after his suffering such an incredibly difficult first 8 months of life - expecting him to reach that typical Pom age of 16. It will be hard to appreciate all the sensational time we've had without feeling cheated out of those last five years.

It's been difficult taking a couple weeks off work because of my surgery; but I know I'll have to take time off if I have to let go of both of them the same week.

You know, overall I think I've been a pretty good caretaker for these little guys over the years .. but today, even though they're bunched up on or next to me, I feel like the worst caretaker ever. I definitely could have done better here and there.

Miracles happen, but sadly, the road ahead appears clearly marked.

A compassionate vet will come to the house. Surrounded with love and all the smells and comfort of home, I'll hug my furpals tightly as we say merci et au revoir -- Thank you; 'til we meet again.


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