Hiatus

These days I find myself checking on Mist with frequency; I watch her and check to see if she is breathing. She is slowing down, and walks stiffly for the first few minutes after rising from her frequent naps. She is happy, when I sit beside her on the sofa she begins to purr. Both Attila and I spend time interacting with her every day; petting and brushing. Every day I spend some time head to head, whistling and blowing little puffs of air at her; she loves it. She is more affectionate than ever.

She is fussier than ever. Every morning she ensures the routines are followed by sitting in strategic places and staring at us. First she sits beside her milk bowl, quietly watching us as we pour our morning coffee, waiting as we add milk to our mugs, and milk to her bowl. Then she wanders over to her water dish below the hanging plants, we call it her jungle juice, waiting for a top up. That done she sits patiently in front of the blinds at the sliding glass door, waiting for them to be drawn open. After we have performed all the daily routines, she wanders off to who knows where to have a little nap, satisfied that the supervision of daily chores is complete.

When we shut down the masonry heater for the summer season it took her a few days to give up sitting in front of it. Eventually she conceded that it was no longer needed, and allowed us to drop the daily firing from the morning routine. She is a generous cat at heart.

Mist and I are having an extremely quiet day. She sleeps, I type, I clean, I putter. The sun shines, the leaflings flutter in the breeze just outside the windows. If I miss anything about our country house, it will be the natural setting, the trees, the owls, the pileated woodpeckers, the foxes, the wild turkeys, the robins, the crows, the deer, the sounds of birds and breezes…

On such a beautiful day I am tempted to regret selling the country house; then I remember November, and December, and January, and February, and March, and April… and the move suddenly makes perfect sense again. Life in the bush isn’t all sunny days and gentle breezes.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Tuesday 27 May 2014
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 24.1°C
Dewpoint: 16.4°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: W 18 gust 32 km/h
Humidex: 29

Quote

“Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.”
John Keats
1795 – 1821

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8 Responses to Hiatus

  1. WendyNC says:

    Those elder years can be a special time with a kitty who chooses to be agreeable. Glad Mist is going that route.

  2. Bex says:

    It’s funny (not ha-ha funny) how a cat knows to slow way down near his/her end-of-life time. I’m not saying it’s Mist’s end yet… but they are so wise – those little furry creatures. They have us all trained to cater to their wants and desires and they delight in receiving that attention and love. I hope Mist makes it through the big move, though. I know our dogs and cats always were very nervous when we packed to go away to England for just 2-3 weeks.

    I can’t even imagine leaving my dogs for that long now, how ever did I do it then?

    xxxx

  3. Tom McCubbin says:

    My last cat was eaten by a coyote, and I have a hard time with animal hair in the house, so I just feed the wild birds any more. I think me and Mist could get along well together.

  4. Maggie says:

    Wendy, it does seem to be a golden time of life for Mist. I think that the absence of pain is crucial to her sense of well being. We are enjoying our relationship with her as long as we possibly can!

  5. Maggie says:

    Bex, I do not know where we are going yet, and since the offer to purchase is conditions, I am not even sure we are going! However, I have had a few thoughts just in case we do go. I think I might take Mist down to the little house in the city and stay there with her until the move is accomplished, the surroundings there are familiar to her and comfortable for her. When we do introduce her a new home though, it will be crucial to spend extra time interacting with her for the first few days, so she will remain confident that we are there with her.

  6. Maggie says:

    Tom, how traumatic, for you and for your cat in particular. We do not let Mist outside at all, ever. She occasionally tried to escape through an open door in her younger years, but lately it has been less of an issue. We have coyotes here, and foxes, and owls, and fishers… she would be just a morsel to them.

    We have decided that when we lose Mist we will not have another pet. We like to travel between our properties, and pets do not like long car trips.

    You and Mist would get along like a house on fire Tom, she is a philosopher at heart!

  7. I LOVE cats, but at this juncture and probably forever, I can’t invite one to be my roommate because of my illness. Two winters ago I was able to find a fabulous new home for my beloved Roger. He was a faithful companion. Rarely left my side. Would spoon in bed with me. He was so sweet and brought home so many *presents* for me.

    Pileated Woodpeckers are the BEST. I’d never seen one before I moved to the mountain to my home in the middle of a great woods. One day one zoomed into my woods – it was startling – so prehistoric and majestic with an intent mission.

    Mist made my eyes a bit misty. Please write more about her even if her days now seem predictable. Through your words, I feel her movements. Read her thoughts – that routines change and we don’t let go at first… and not necessarily out of stubbornness. Change arrives so quietly sometimes, we don’t realize it’s time to downshift or change course. I found it oddly comforting to picture her curling up in front of your masonry heater though it wasn’t operating – because I would’ve done the very same thing.

  8. Maggie says:

    Reenie, cats are excellent company! When we decided on finding a cat to live with I made a list; short hair, clawless, spayed etc. I then found an organization that helped pets find new homes, reviewed the pets they were representing, made some calls, and arranged a few first meetings. The first place I went to was a situation where Chris, a young man, had just gotten a dog, a big dog. His cat did not like the dog, because the dog kept sitting on the cat. Not a happy situation, so Chris was looking for someone to offer his cat a new home. He invited me at the arranged time, gave me a cup of tea, and invited me to sit down. As soon as I sat down Mist came out from hiding and crawled onto my lap and began to purr. She left with me. I cancelled the other appointments.

    On our trip home she was unhappy in the cage, which I placed beside me in the passenger seat of the car. I sang to her during the entire drive home. It took her a while to adjust to her new surroundings. Eventually she began to relax, to play with ribbons, find her favourite spots. Every year that goes by she is more relaxed, happier and happier; as we are with her.