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Monday, June 14, 2021

Mark Monday

TBT:  Yeah, me again. I mentioned Ayla and Marley getting older yesterday, and I didn't want to leave it on such a negative note.  It is hard to speak about our cats dying and I generally avoid it.

But I have had some cats "leave" while "youngish" (10) and as old as 16.5.  I divide my "cat life" into 2 parts.  Those who came before I moved to a house and those after.  I don't know why my apartment cats tended to leave early.  But Ralph, Sport-sport, and Mischief left at around 10.  

Tinkerbelle came with me to the house.  She often stayed out at night and would be napping on the front steps in the morning.  One day, I let her out in the morning and she wouldn't return when I called her when I was going fishing.  I never saw her again.  But she was 15.  She didn't like Skeeter or LC so maybe she just decided to go off on her own.  Maybe she found a new family.  But I will never know.

If I ever stand before a Deity that offers me the answer to one question, I will ask what happened to Tinkerbelle.  She vanished in 1999, and it has bothered me ever since.

In the "house" years, I have gained and lost Skeeter, LC, and Iza.  Those losses were painful, of course, but both Skeeter and LC lived to 16.5 years and there are limits to lifetimes.  The 16+ years were a joy.  But even then, I was away at work almost all their lives.  Skeeter lived his last few years with me around after I retired and maybe that is why he lived longer that the previous ones.  

LC died a year after Skeeter and maybe from missing him.  She was actually Skeeter's cat, as odd as that sounds.  She was devoted to him.  After Skeeter died, she sat around for months.  Ayla was there, but LC didn't want anything to do with here.  LC finally came up on my lap her last few months and she had never done that before.  

I happily gave her all the attention she would accept.  But I think she just died of a broken heart, missing Skeeter.  I found her in the basement comatose one morning and rushed her to the Vet.  She died there after briefly regaining some conciousness.  

So, I accept that my cats will die at some age or another, and that I will be around when they do.  I will cry deeply when they do, but will remember the good times.  It is that I see more partings coming that causes me to write this.  

I mentioned I see Marley getting older fast.  He is only 10 but looking arthritic and slower.  Well, if he lives a long elder years life, great.  I was kind of getting used to cats that lived to 16, but if that is not his longevity, I'll accept it.  Not all people live to average life span either.  

Ayla turns 14 on the 17th.  And purebreeds like Siamese tend to have shorter lives.  If she gets to 16, I will be thrilled.  But there WILL come a day when I hold her mortal remains and decide where to dig a deep hole and build a new memorial box to set above the spot.

Iza's death was a shock.  I knew she was laying around on her beloved heaty mat more often.  And she wasn't eating as much as usual.  So I scheduled a Vet visit for the next day for a "wellness check".  I was up and about, ready for the visit and discovered Iza laying on the heaty mat with blood all over her backside.  

I immediately called the Vet and they said I could bring her right in.  I did.  They had a "no entry" policy due to covid.  But after 5 minutes, they handed me a mask and said "come in".  She was within a couple hours of death.  And they asked me what I wanted them to do.

"To do" when she was obviously suffering something horrible?  OK, yeah, I understand.  I had to make the call.  She was actually slightly awake.  I held her head in my hands and told her she was a Good Girl and a joy of my life and I would never forget her.  I saw her eyes focus on me.  Then the Vet pushed the shot.  I had my ear to her chest, hearing the purrs.  And I heard when they stopped...

So I am in a thoughtful contemplative mood lately.  Ayla is normally aging and Marley seems to be aging too quickly.  I sadly suspect I will be saying my goodbyes to them both in a couple of years.  

Laz is a good cat with me.  He really likes ME!  And I am waiting on a Tonkinese female in August.  Not an Iza clone, of course, but a kitty like her.  Tonkies are naturally attached to people.  That's all I ask.

The individual members of The Mews will change, but there is continuity.  Someday Lapis Lazuli may be the senior member and peacekeeper of the family.  Or not.  One never knows...

I often think of the Roman God Janus, who looked both behind and before.  We can do that, for happiness or sadness.