Please pardon the pause, which was due to persistent pussycat problems.

I think they call that “alliteration”, though if you have been following the story of my patchy (to use another “p”) education, you will realize that I ended up knowing a little bit about a lot of things and not a lot about about anything.

Cats are something I ought to know a bit about, after all these years. I think I would call it opinion rather than knowledge. I’m not sure anyone can really know cats or perhaps any other species, for that matter. I don’t believe we can know what is in any other creature’s head. Half the time I wonder about my own.

But we can try to know about their bodies and do our best to keep them healthy. Sometimes things flow along smoothly for months on end without so much as a sniffle, but once one cat gets sick, you can be sure we will be in for another lengthy phase of “pussycat problems”.

When Willow suffered her last attack of whateveritis, we loaded her into her carrier and drove her to see a neurologist, which our vet had advised was the next step we should take.

Without actual MRI scans, of course, there is no way of knowing for certain what is happening to my poor girl’s brain. It’s not that I am too cheap to consider this expensive test. It’s that it involves putting Willow under anesthesia and having once lost a cat in this manner, I am paranoid of that whole process.

I may still have to go that route, but in the meantime I have accepted the neurologist’s “best guess” which is that my poor pussycat has epilepsy.

She now runs to hide twice a day when she knows that I am thinking of administering her medication.

We rather hoped Willow’s episode would be the end of our cat woes for now, but sadly they continue. Of course, in such a multi-cat household, this is likely to happen. One has to accept it.

Penny is one of our more elderly cats. Like most of the others, she was abandoned, left behind when her owner moved on. The shelter we took her from described her as “temperamental and snappy”, which for a black cat is an almost certain death sentence.

We promptly discovered that she was suffering from severe arthritis in her back legs and if anyone touched her there, she was quite understandably going to strike back. In fact she is a very sweet cat.

Now she has a bladder issue which is not an infection, meaning it could be a tumor or something else that may or may not be treatable.

Grant said this morning that he can’t deal with losing any more cats but the sad fact is that he will certainly have to, sooner or later. I just hope it won’t be soon for Penny.

In the meantime I heard that another of the cats we fostered and re-homed some years ago has died.

Ella and her mother Cinder were part of a group of cats that came from Eastern Washington to a shelter in West Seattle. They were full to capacity, so we agreed to take 6 of these cats, including 3 other grey kittens and a big tabby.

The big tabby had been called “Useless” by the owner who gave him up. I don’t remember what his temporary care givers called him, but we re-named him Toby.

Toby was wonderful. We loved him to bits. And so did Cinder and Ella. They bonded to him as if they had always been a family. Until they arrived in my foster home, they had never met each other.

It was the sweetest thing, how Cinder looked at Toby and how he always sat with them. The pictures still melt my heart.

The other grey kittens treated Toby as Dad too, and he had a calming effect on all of them, but Cinder and Ella were obviously special to him.

Fostering animals is a guarantee of heartache.

Sometimes if you are lucky, you can get two cats adopted together but we didn’t hold out hope for three, so when a nice lady came to adopt Toby, we had to let him go.

The day Toby left, Cinder and Ella had been in another room while we loaded him up, and as soon as we opened the door for them to come back in, Cinder ran to the window, then searched desperately all over for her buddy.

It was heart-wrenching.

Cinder and Ella did get adopted together, by a very nice family. I don’t think I could have bared to separate them.

I got news a few weeks ago that Toby had died, so now he and Ella are together “on the other side”.

Anyone with common sense would not entertain all these reminders, but I have never been able to forget a single animal I have ever met and certainly not those I once cared for.

So I am very sad about Toby and Ella.

“Goodbye” has always been so hard for me.

So I pray that Penny will not have to leave us just yet.

3 thoughts on ““Catache”

  1. It never gets any easier, does it? I sincerely hope that penny has many happy days ahead for her. My heart aches a little for you, I know how it is to love them so much and how it hurts to lose them

  2. I know the feeling “catache” very well. Each time you lose one, a little piece of your heart goes with him/her.

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