Who’s been in the window well?

If I start with something funny, maybe I will get myself going. It’s a little hard today.

One of the reasons I have not been all that fond of Summer, particularly in these parts, is that they are “buggy”. I haven’t changed my mind about that, as I am apparently highly allergic to some particular local creature. It brings me up in large lumps.

These itchy lumps have not been all that bothersome, but flies, frankly, get on my nerves. I hate the way they dive bomb their way around the house, annoying the cats and, as my light is always the last to go out, the damn things always congregate in my bedroom. Sometimes I leave a light on in the spare room to divert them.

These days I will not deliberately kill anything, and in any case I find fly swatters to be ultimately revolting. So I chase the little perishers with a tall plastic tumbler. I trap and release them. Sometimes I swear they go out one door, buzz around the corner and come back in.

Grant’s “emporium” is in the basement, and because he needs a bit of air, he leaves the window open. I gave up hope, recently, that he would ever screen it, so I obtained the perfect solution at the local Ace hardware store and saw to it’s installation.

As it so happened, that same morning, Grant called me downstairs to evaluate a “smell”. My opinion, “dirty laundry and fish”. When I worked at the airport, one of our oh so glamorous tasks was to open misdirected baggage for Customs. Believe it or not, some people pack dried fish in their baggage, along with their dirty laundry. That was the smell in my basement. I raised an eyebrow and left Grant to deal with it.

Later on that day, however, we experienced a positive invasion of flies. They were suddenly everywhere. Even the normally immune African acknowledged it was a bit much.

The dim bulb in my brain suddenly came alight. “Grant”, I called out, “couldn’t it be something dead outside?” After all, we know that Pancho kills everything in sight, and cats do bring “gifts”. The stink must be a present from Pancho.

Yes, it was obvious. Good thinking. Only it wasn’t.

Grant took back off the newly-installed screen and a moment later I heard a moan.

“Some creature has been shitting in the window well.”

As a matter of fact, if you make those words into an Internet search, you will find a collection of amusing tales.

Not so amusing to the owners of said window wells, of course.

...............................................Are these the likely suspects?.......................................

We shared a laugh, since what else can you do? Grant removed the offensive substance and cloroxed the area liberally, hoping to discourage further deposits……tbc…

Tom and “the blue planet”

Today, however, we are a bit subdued, particularly Grant.

He will soon be helping his senior and most beloved cat, Tom, to pass to whatever is beyond this world.

Tom is a middle-aged “Maine-Coon”. He began to take on the look of an older cat some time ago but recently his weight loss became alarming.

We have seen the same in a number of our older cats, so we had a pretty good idea what was going on.

In the past I have had cats scanned and poked and prodded to no avail. In the end the option was exploratory surgery, and I would never do that to an elderly cat.

It is so sad to see an animal you love turn into a shadow of the creature that was and to know the only thing you can do is decide the moment to end it’s life.

Animal lovers know this awful routine. How do you make it about the animal’s best interest and not your own? When is it too soon? When is it not soon enough? How can we know?

You make the awful decision and at the last moment the animal rallies and seems suddenly better. I’m sure many of you know the torment of that experience.

We took Tom to our wonderful, kind vet yesterday, because he suddenly seemed so frail and lethargic. We got slotted in to an already over crowded day before a holiday, because they didn’t want to risk having an animal suffer over a long weekend.

There is no doubt about Tom’s diagnosis. The vet’s knowing fingers immediately found a lump in his belly.

I was busy yesterday and I wasn’t going to go with Grant but then I realized I might never see Tom again. As we left the house, Grant asked me to grab the car keys. I picked up his set, then put them back and picked up my own. It was one of those ridiculous things I sometimes do. As if, by taking my own keys, I could change the outcome.

I was not ready for Tom to leave us yesterday. I just had not made the mental adjustment. But Tom is not my cat. He has lived with me for a long time and I love him dearly, but he is Grant’s cat. It was not my place to have any input and I did not offer an opinion, but I was very relieved when Grant decided it wasn’t quite time yet.

Tom had a very endearing habit of picking up one of his favourite toys (he has several) and as he carried it to wherever Grant was, he would sing to the toy, but with his mouth full, it came out as a funny almost gurgle, “aaah, aaah” and so on, all the way through the house sometimes. One of the signs that he is withdrawing into himself is that he stopped doing this a week or so ago.

Tom also stopped taking lunch with me, at about the same time. He was always hungry and he always wanted a bit of whatever I was eating. If it didn’t include cheese, he would be very disappointed. I don’t know how this got started, but now he doesn’t come begging anymore, I miss it, and I shall miss him boxing with Toby every night, while we put their dinners ready. We would always scream “Stop it!!” Now I wish we could do instant replay.

But Grant has a special bond with Tom, so there will be many more things for Grant to miss. He and I are really bad at these goodbyes, but if you have animals, it’s all part of the deal. We can’t imagine life without animals, so we accept the heartbreak when it comes. It just sure doesn’t get any easier.

.......................Tom and the toys he sings to and with cheese on his nose.
........Dear lovely Tom......you will always have a place in my heart, with all the rest......

4 thoughts on “Who’s been in the window well?

  1. I know this pain that you speak of.
    As you say, we would not want to miss all of the joy, that they bring to our lives.
    I am so sorry……

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    1. Thank you Catherine. At 3 o’clock this morning my special cat Willow sang a kitty 911….something wrong with her legs/balance. Just got back from the hours of waiting at the kitty E/R . Conclusion, hopefully that it is a middle ear infection. I’m relieved to say she does look better at the moment. She is only 4 and I shall not be ready to lose her…..ever?

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  2. I will be thinking of you, Grant and Tom during this difficult decision-making time. It’s never easy, even when you know there is no other alternative. I fully support both of you in not going forward with invasive and painful tests and/or surgeries.

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