Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Everything today is coming through a filter of "I'm sick".  I came down with a bad cold when I got home from my week-long class.  I'm not surprised since I was anxious about it and didn't sleep well for much of the week and I'm sure that took a toll on my immune system.  Last night was the worst so far - tried to go to sleep, woke up with a much worse sore throat and having trouble taking deep breathes because of the phlegm that had collected in my throat and was so fatigued I didn't want to get out of bed, but I felt too horrible to stay like that.  Finally,  my sweet husband got up and set up the humidifier which helped enough for me to get some choppy sleep.

But that's not the worst of the badness.  Last night after everyone else had gone to bed and I was putting off lying down because it made me feel worse, I heard a *thunk* right behind the couch that sounded like something fell.  I looked around to find out who it was and found my old cat, Buddycat struggling up into one of the chairs in the living room.  I picked him up and he started yowling at the top of his lungs, so I sat with him a few minutes until he stopped screaming.  But then he started having spasms in his belly so I took him in the bathroom and put him on his bed in there.  He's nearing his nineteenth birthday so we know he's not long for the world but this all seemed very sudden.

I put him on his bed and he tried to crawl behind the toilet, so I pushed his bed back there and put him on it.  Then he puked all over himself and when he was done was lying there, literally covered in puke and totally listless.  I tried to pick him up as gently as I could but he cried every time I moved him, so I put him in his litter box (because it was softer than the floor) to clean the puke off his bed, and then tried to gently clean it off him as best I could.  I put him back on the bed and he lay there panting and listless for awhile until he pooped all over himself and the bed.  I cleaned it up as best I could, moving him as little as I could, then slid a clean towel underneath him between any poop that was left and the bed.  Then he puked on himself again, I cleaned that up as best I could and slid another layer of towel under him.  I found an eye dropper and got some water into his mouth so at least he stopped panting, and then he fell fast asleep.  I finally turned off the light and closed the door (the other cats would not leave him alone otherwise - Nermal was confused and curious and Snow was very worried) and he slept through the night.

He's sleeping on our bed as we speak (yes, we cleaned him off more before letting him do that) but we're waiting to see if he's going to bounce back or if this is it for him.   I have a feeling this is it for him.  And I'm very worried about him suffering for very long.  If he won't eat or drink today I'm thinking we should have him put down before it gets any worse for him.  Afterall he's had a much longer life than most cats get to enjoy.

I got him before I was dating my husband when I lived down by the Seattle Center in what I guess is the junction between Belltown, South Lake Union and Lower Queen Anne.  I worked at Pima Medical Institute and one of the vet tech. students had a cat who'd had kittens so I too him.  I actually met him the day after he was born.  I had another cat named Zooey from the book Franny and Zooey and I could either name this kitten Buddy or Seymour after one of the brother's from the book.  But Seymour went crazy and may very well have been a pedophile so I chose the name Buddy.  We weren't allowed to have pets in our apartment building and a couple times when the elderly manager would come up to fix the sink he would pass Buddycat who would sit on the coffee table and meow at him and the manager would point at him and say "No pets," and then never bring it up again.

Before he was even a year old after I started dating my husband he rode cross country with me when I moved to Atlanta.  So, he's been in almost half the states in the U.S.  He got so big that our old neighbor, Kinnon (after they had a baby) used to sing (to the tune of Winne the Pooh) "He's Buddy-the-cat, Buddy-the-cat, you wouldn't call him skinny but you might call him fat ..."

If it is time for him to go I will definitely miss him, but I don't want him to suffer like our old dog, Boone did.  We waited till the very last minute with him and we even had an appointment to take him in and put him down but he died in our laps an hour before the appointment.  I think in his case that's what he wanted, to die at home with us.  But I don't think BuddyCat wants to wait and suffer that long.  I'm not feeling able to deal with this very well while I'm sick either.  Blah.  I'm supposed to be taking it easy so I'm well enough to go to work on Thursday to teach my classes.  Blah.  Well, it will be what it's going to be.  I can only do what I can and just accept the rest.

Here are a couple of my favorite photos from the old days.   First one is of him sleeping on the windowsill at our old house in the city.  Second one is my daughter and Buddycat having a picnic on the front porch of our old house in the city.

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