“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” ― A.A. Milne
My cat scratches at the door, my dog rubs his paw against his bowl, the dog stares at the door, the cat paces back and forth between our legs, the dog’s ball rolls under the couch and he stares longingly at it, he barks and shakes his backside when he sees a friend, the cat nudges my hand when he wants to be petted. These are ways they talk to me!
Our cats were our first children, they came to us from our wedding photographer when we returned from our honeymoon. “You said we could get a pet,” I said trying to convince my husband that these two sweet little furballs who had been playing with us as we looked at photos from our wedding should come home with us. He agreed, but not excitedly. “I’ll take them back tomorrow if you really hate them,” I had said as I walked out the door to purchase a kitty litter box. When I returned, they were both cuddled up in bed with him and I gave a little fist pump in triumph.
19 years later only one survives, Amos, our very skinny, senile, arthritic, hungry, old man. He meows to tell us he is hungry, he sees you with food and rudely jumps on the table to see if he can get some. Apparently when you are as old as he is, you don’t remember your manners. Not everyone listens to him, but I know he likes to sit in front of the fire and warm his old bones on chilly nights. I also know he is starving even when I have just fed him. Recently, I told my family it might be time for him to say good bye to this world. I think something isn’t right, he is always starving and drinks so much water and he has lost so much weight. The youngest called me a cat killer. The oldest said,”Yep, you are probably right, but you know my sister is not going to be ok with this.” My husband pretended he didn’t hear because he wanted no part in this big decision. After a few more weeks, each of them quietly told me they thought I was right, and we took him to the vet. The vet convinced us that he probably had diabetes or a thyroid problem, that would be a quick and easy fix after an expensive blood test told us which one it was. So we took him home, and I felt like such a mean mama for misunderstanding and thinking his time had come. A few days later the vet called me and said, “hmmm…. I really thought it was one of those, but it appears to be something else, most likely cancer. We can do a sonogram and see and then come up with a treatment plan from there.” I reminded him that this little kitty (who now only weighs 5.8 pounds) is 19, and most likely would not survive any things we tried to help him and told him that we didn’t think it was right to put him through so much when the end result might be the same. So… He is still is a resident in our house, who is still hungry, enjoys the fire, drinks the dogs water when he has emptied his and we haven’t noticed, and loves a good snuggle sometimes. I’m waiting for him to tell me when he is ready, I’m listening and hoping he understands that I can hear him.
To be continued tomorrow… The ways my dog talks to me are numerous!