Amblin' Alameda: Life with Cats
Amblin' Alameda: Life with Cats
I just gave one of our cats her morning shot of insulin. Tiny syringe; tiny, tiny needle; and a small dose of insulin, delivered twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart. In her case, once at 10 a.m. and again at 10 p.m. Not an unbearable task. but one with layers upon layers of effects.
The first effect is that our sweet Bessie no longer drinks as though she's parched and is more active, more friendly and much more interactive than when the disease took over. The second effect is the one this regimen has on our lives.
We are planning a one day trip to Chico next weekend with an overnight stay. Oh my. Thankfully we have an experienced friend who has agreed to perform the delivery of the medicine to its rightful home in the nape of Bessie's neck. This is a great help and comfort to us as the alternative is overnight at the vet's with the veterinarian's assistant administering the doses. Expensive and much more trouble for us.
There is no leaving home without thinking about the cats, their welfare, their food supply and their litter boxes, which have to be cleaned before leaving. These are the children who never leave home and in a sense never grow up. They always need our care and attention, for they cannot live on their own in the world any longer. We have introduced the wonders of modern medicine to their lives, which means we must remain caretakers until forever.
Cats are among the most well designed animals for survival. Their size and athleticism is overwhelming to their prey to the point that cats are famous for using their prey animals as toys for their own amusement before killing and devouring them. Here in America, in Alameda, we generally don't allow our cats out lest they decimate the bird population and contract all sorts of expensive-to-treat injuries or illnesses. Instead, we reduce their survival gifts to shadows of themselves and encourage play instead.
We also - those of us who are petters - train them to be insistent about receiving pets. From something done to calm them down - and calm ourselves at the same time - it has become something they think is their right and due. Bessie, in particular, loves to wait until I'm in my easy chair with a newspaper spread before me to climb into my lap, trampling the paper if I'm not quick enough to move it, insisting on being stroked while she enjoys the scent of fresh newsprint. In the interest of harmony in the household I suspend reading until she has had enough petting at which point, without ceremony, she rises and leaps to the floor.
Whatever one's opinions on pets and the people who dote on them, it is obvious to us that once having taken these animals to our bosom we cannot abandon them. They are inescapably part of our family and we would not easily let them go or allow them to suffer - which means twice a day injections, twice a day food and once a day cleaning of the litter boxes. On the other hand, it also means receiving love and devotion and the deep purrs of contentment when being petted.
Science has conclusively proven that a cat purring deeply on one's lap confers undeniable boosts to one's immune system. Love, the great healer.