Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sanity is in the paws of my animals

Those paws hold a great power over me. They give me a reason to get out of bed. Plaintive meows tell me that they want their breakfast. I'm still Momma cat to them.

And I'm quite sure that they know something is wrong. But that something isn't more important than the rumblings in their bellies.

Almost every day, I'm up feeding these critters. And my 4 parakeets, my Eastern box turtle, my hermit crabs. These guys all bring a forced normalcy to my life that I dearly welcome. I'm able to take care of the animals despite the painkillers that I'm taking all day long.

My younger cats have caused the bird cage to be moved about 1 foot from the ceiling. I can handle the seed and feed cups but not the water. I have just about lost the range of motion in my right arm from the lymph node removal. It's coming back but my arm is weak. Can type but my arm gets tired writing.

Back to the story.

My dear old kitty, Maui, was so bent out of shape with my hospital stay that she stopped eating. She's a little thing, so thin and so old. 4 days without me and she was just a whisper of what she was when I left. Bill and I rallied her with forced water and dabs of food and finally, placed a bowl of cooked dark meat chicken and bland broth in front of her. We stroked her appetite with this for 2 days, got her strength up and then started antibiotics to deal with whatever was ailing her. It worked.

Her appetite is that of a roaring lion right now. She's eating small amounts about 6 times a day. She's sassy, stealing food from the boy cat's bowls, and talking to me again. She's sleeping better and drinking as she should. Thank the Good Lord. We don't need another tragedy in this house right now.

My birds still hold their "Town Hall Meetings" whenever the seed cups are filled. There's a great debate over who will visit what, and if there's a millet treat in there, it's like a meeting of the UN. They carry on so much we need to shush them to hear ourselves think. Happy bird chatter is a balm for the soul.

Critters are a joy. Always. But especilly now because their antics are a great distraction every day. Clyde the ragdoll is a character, a true-to-life trickster who's into everything all day long. He's great at playing pitiful when he gets in trouble and he's so stinking cute, he never really gets reprimanded. The squirt bottle I bought weeks ago sits unused on the hutch!

O'Malley is my gentleman; the handsome orange tabby pictured below. He's so very tolerant of Clyde's rambunctious self. I'm glad we adopted Clyde though, because these two romp and play for hours on end. Maui just isn't able to be a playful companion for O'Malley. He's now got a partner in crime. I'm on to Clyde though. He tries to cook up ways to blame O'Malley for things but it doesn't work. My antenna are up!

There's a peace that these animals bring me. Their daily drama is on a simpler level than my children. It's basic. It's food, it's water, it's gentle reminders that I'm here to care for them.

It's just totally normal. And I need normal.

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