Saturday, January 10, 2009

If I had words

They say that cats have nine lives, and today I'm inclined to believe it's true.

On Thursday my husband pointed out that Ashleigh was crouching bent over in an odd position. She didn't want to be touched, and when I opened the cat food can, she didn't race to her food dish like usual. In fact she didn't go near her food dish at all, or her water.

This cat, who turns 18 years old in a few months, seemed to be in the process of checking out. If you had seen her, you would have thought so too. Every breath seemed like it would be her last. I kept her warm, but gave her her space. I considered the vet, but didn't think she'd survive the car ride.

I wept. Most of the day. Ashleigh is a sweet cat and has been part of the family longer than my children. It pained me to see her failing before my eyes. When the kids came home from school, I gently explained what was happening. We've talked about our cats aging and moving on before, so they weren't overcome. They each soberly said their goodbyes to her.

But that evening, when my husband came home, he sat with her and stroked her and talked to her. The tip of her tail flicked. She purred faintly.

Then in the middle of the night, she went to her water dish and drank. I know because my husband woke me to tell me. Yesterday morning she raised her head and focused her eyes.

As she seemed to rally, I took her to the vet. I was going to let her slip away quietly, and told my husband blood tests and everything else would be expensive, but he was the one who insisted we do whatever was necessary.

I don't know today if she's going to make it. We're giving her antibiotics and she's eaten a small amount of freshly cooked chicken.

What I do know, is that I feel like I'm living a scene from the movie Babe. Where the stoic old farmer takes the pig who refuses to eat and sings to him

If I had words to make a day for you
I'd sing you a morning golden and true
I would make this day last for all time
And give you a night deep in moonshine
Thanks dear husband, for inspiring Ashleigh to eat. That'll do.

17 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Patty said...

You have me crying now too. I hope Ashleigh continues to rally.

Cheryl Lage said...

Oh ThreeUnder...will be wishing health (and continued appetite) Ashleigh's way...and calm and peace to all of you. Hoping for the legendary "9th life"...

Hang in there...you'll be in our thoughts.

Laura said...

I'm sorry. Pets are so special.

What A Card said...

Sorry to hear your kitty is struggling. I'm glad to hear she's been such a wonderful part of your family for so long.

Lisa said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your kitty. It's so hard to lose a pet, especially one who's been around so long.

Monkey Memories said...

Good thoughts for Ashleigh!

Catherine said...

What a difficult difficult time! It is so unbelievably hard to lose one of the furry members of a family. Hopefully she'll regain her appetite and hang in for a while longer.

The Glamorous Life said...

Such a hard time. So difficult to be a witness.

Most cats go away and 'hide' to die. But maybe if she is indoor only she had no where to go.

I hope she passes in peace. Or rallies and stays with you a bit longer. Whatever is gods will.

Raggedy Girl said...

Now I am so sad. My old dog has down days and I get all sad and then he perks back up. What a nice hubby who puts the pet before money. I like that.
Roberta Anne

noble pig said...

Oh no! I hope she ralley's, the poor girl.

Alisa said...

I hope she's getting better! I'm so sorry. I'll be thinking of you guys.

angie said...

Oh, I'm so very sorry......

Widney Woman said...

Oh Lit, I'm so sorry to learn of this. I too am tearing up. Pls keep us posted. Even though she is an elder cat person, I'm praying she pulls through. If it is her time, I hope she will pass in the arms of someone she loves. And for the record, I DO believe most cats go to Heaven. Not just all dogs.

Cynthia said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! I'm thinking of you...

krissy H said...

Oh Ashleigh. . .this made me cry and made me inspired. I know what a part of the family she has been - she has a beautiful spirit. I'm praying for her!

sarah said...

I hope she's okay. I had to say goodbye to my little old lady kitty a few months ago and it was agonizing. I hope you get more time with Ashleigh--she's beautiful.

Jocasta said...

I hope she pulls through - we just lost one of our old boys a few weeks ago so hoping she doesn't suffer the same fate

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