Time Spent Wisely

My cat Chloe is 19 and in failing health, and our days together are precious.

By Susan Logan | Posted: December 25, 2009, 3 a.m. EST

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Chloe and Susan
This time of year is always busy. Our CAT FANCY deadlines fall just before the Christmas holiday, so I usually don’t have time to shop until just a few days before the 25th. This year is especially busy, because I’m having to give my 19-year-old Ragdoll, Chloe, extra tender loving care.

About a week ago I had to make the painful decision of not letting her sleep on my bed anymore, because she falls off. The arthritis in her hips and loss of nerve function in her limbs make her very unstable when she walks. She can’t get in the litterbox anymore, so I have puppy training pads on the floor next to the litter pan. I have to keep her downstairs now so she’s always close to her bed, the training pads and her food and water bowls. Occasionally, I have to bathe her because she can’t groom herself anymore.

She still shows signs of enjoying life, however. We still have our morning and evening rituals together. Every morning while I drink my coffee and slowly wake up, I have her on my lap. Every evening when I sit quietly and reflect on my day, she also keeps me company on my lap. She still rubs her face on my hands or on any book I’m reading and sometimes falls asleep. She also still softly purrs.

I don’t know how much time I have left with her, but I’m preparing myself because my vet thought she might not make it to spring. She’s been a source of comfort to me for the past 15 years when I went through some of the most painful losses in my life. Now that she is so frail, I hope I’m the same source of comfort to her.

Our pets know the value of just being with the ones they love. They don’t worry about what to say and often don’t say anything at all. No matter how busy this holiday season gets, let’s remember to take the time to just be together with our loved ones, those who communicate with words and those who communicate with purrs.

Read more of my blogs at Mewsings.

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Reader Comments

Peg    Columbia, MD

12/28/2009 6:15:00 PM

You and Chloe are so fortunate to have each other. How true that we don't always need words to be understood by those we love and who love us. I wish you both peaceful days and an easy transition for Chloe when the time comes.

Ingrid King    Herndon, VA

12/28/2009 1:29:48 PM

What a beautiful post - your love for Chloe shines through in every word. It's so hard when our babies decline and I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to not have Chloe sleep in your bed with you anymore - for most of us, that's such a wonderful part of living with a cat.

I think it's the ultimate gift of love to our cats when we can spend these special days towards the end of their lives being fully present with them. Yes, it's hard to see their physical capacity diminished by health problems and simply old age, but at the same time, I've always felt that there is such an incredible amount of wisdom and spiritual connection coming from these older animals, that to me, it's always felt like a privilege to be allowed to care for an older pet.

I wish for you and Chloe that you'll be able to enjoy many more of your special times together and that you'll both treasure each and every moment you have.

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