The big news this month is KITTENS. Meet Criminy and Crivens, whom FunkyPlaid and I adopted in mid-November from Cat Adoption Team. These stray tabby brothers were expertly fostered, so it took them no time at all to adjust to their new home with us. At their fourth-month veterinary check-in this month, they had nearly tripled in weight! Their foster names were Walnut and Chestnut, and they had two more siblings we never got to meet: Cashew, who was adopted right before them, and Almond, who is a bit of a mystery to us.
About a month ago, we had yet another health worry with Butter Bib (a/k/a Zen). Since then she has bounced back and is in fine form, still going up and down the stairs, and also going up and down the little plastic steps we have by our bed. Now that the weather is colder, I often wake up in the wee hours with her cold nose pressed against the inside of my elbow, like a tiny ice cube melting on me.
Last night, sleeping on the floor of my study with my hand resting under the chin of my aging cat, I had a visitation dream. You know the kind, the dreams we see in movies or read in books, during which all of the details are so vivid that it seems real, it must be real … and then we wake up. Our other cat came to me in this dream, our beloved mackerel tabby Torgi, and head-butted my face repeatedly, just as he did while he was alive.
I hear a piercing cry from somewhere in the house. It’s a small house, but sound carries and bounces and hides. I do a full circuit, glancing in all of the usual places, and get halfway around again before I hear another cry, this time from upstairs. “Zen? Zen?” She can’t have gone far; she’s almost twenty-one years old, and “running” isn’t in her repertoire anymore. I reach the top of the stairs but she is not in sight, so I walk down the hall into the bedroom.
[caption id=“attachment_97138” align=“alignnone” width=“2448”]Zen, August 2017.[/caption] Born and forged in hothouse Alabama, Zen is a creature of heat. Throughout this week’s heat wave, she has sought out the warmest parts of our home. Like the corner of the eaves which — despite sounding like a place of great magical power in a children’s book series — is an infernal pocket of breath-sucking dryness. When not upstairs, Zen lounged on her heating pad during our 100°+ days.
Life That was quite a week, wasn’t it? Someone’s been busy. All I did was go to work, get a haircut, and try not to lose my damned mind over every New York Times app notification. Even my trusty Lamy 2000 fell apart. At least Zen has had a great week. In between “spa treatments” (read: subcutaneous fluids) she’s been hand-fed baby food and otherwise fussed over pretty much non-stop.
Life So many things were disrupted this week that I don’t know where to start. I’ll start with the most important: despite a health scare, Zen is okay. On Thursday morning, Zen started to show signs of discomfort due to constipation, and by the early afternoon her health appeared to have deteriorated rather quickly. Despite our vet being closed due to the weather, we managed to get her an appointment with an emergency vet six miles away.
Zen didn’t get up to say goodbye as I was heading to the airport, but that’s okay. She has a new hiding place: right in front of the register, underneath the nesting tables. I tried to move the tables and put her bed there, but she just folded herself up underneath the tables and looked disappointed. Message received. I’ll miss this little weirdo but I’m looking so forward to seeing FunkyPlaid for a few days!
Box: check. Crinkly paper: check. Proximity to me: check. Yep, Zen’s happy. Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: an episode of “Broadchurch”.
Zen can be a great cuddler when she wants to be. Luckily tonight was one of those nights, and we drifted off together for an excellent nap. Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the heater kick on. It’s only 30ºF out there tonight!