Children of Dune:

Children of Dune:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Misty the Cat: Biter of Mice.

Gerda and I noticed one day that our Misty could no longer leap onto the lowest chairs without two or three determined attempts. We began to lift her gently onto the couch. She would pine if she were not allowed out of doors, but she no longer strayed far from the kitchen door.

Rose Digression:
We have a number of sturdy roses lining the Cascadilla Creek driveway. They are rugosa roses, a primitive rose with a few large soft petals, a large yellow center for the bees, and a "stop and smell the roses" smell. Gerda just loves rugosas, and I quite like them myself.

Misty's favorite spot was under the largest of the bunch, a rose which we call the Frankenrose for its size, energy, and thorns.

There came a time when she had a stroke. We had no idea what was wrong with her, but rushed her up to the veterinary facility at Cornell. They were extremely nice to Misty, and to us. They gave us medicine. They used the dreaded euphemism: quality of life issues. We hoped that she would be able to die in familiar surroundings in reasonable comfort. We were doubtful, but fed her the stuff, and she did get better. It seemed to me as though she enjoyed being brushed and flea-combed more than before. She was very tottery, and her gait was irregular. We began to watch her for signs that she was in pain, or that sort of dull resigned look. After a few weeks, she either regressed or had another stroke. And another. She still wanted to go out, but I never saw her go further than twenty feet or so, to sleep under the Frankenrose, or sit by the carriage house out of the wind.

At this stage in her life in her life, she slept even more than normal; that is, she was either asleep or eliminating. She could no longer get into her cat box, so we laid out a very large area in the same room with a lot of newspapers taped to it. We cleaned a lot. We bought her favorite treat, sardines in olive oil; my son would coax her to eat small bits while lying on her side.

One night we realized that Misty was neither in the house, nor sleeping under the Frankenrose. After a while, Gerda thought to phone the SPCA. They were sympathetic. Neighbors or passers-by had apparently seen a decrepit old cat, and thought that she was a stray. The folks at the SPCA saw after observation that she was in fact dying and put her down. So much for our plan: she ended her life with us where she began.

Perhaps we should have put an explanatory collar on her; though she always hated the things.