Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Honouring A Reading Companion

Like many avid book lovers, I do not often read alone. My life has been rich with cats, from Snooker in Ottawa, to Smudge and Tart through high school, to Manon, Syzygy, and Synergy. Manon passed away last week, but only after being the centre of a number of legendary stories. This is the story of how she spent her twilight days.

My elderly cat, Manon, has decided to spend her remaining days as Manon, Queen of the Balcony.
On the July long weekend, I took her out to soak in the sun. I get direct light from 7-9 a.m. We’ve done this for years.

But this time, when I brought her in, she hopped down, and like a kitten, scooted between my legs to go back out before I could close the door!

It was warm, I was home, and she wasn’t going to have heatstroke as the sun had passed, so I let her stay out. About noon, she started crying by the sliding door.

I went to check on her. She gave me a Look, and moved into Attitude Meowing.

I finally got the message: “Oh, useless Servant, bring me my repast!”

So she ate out there, napped, eliminated, napped. At dusk I brought her in and she vaguely remembered that her previous favourite pastime was sitting on me while I read.

But the next morning, after having her Iam’s with a side of yogurt, she was at the door, donning her Regal Ways. I let her out, and hours later had to drag her in so I could do errands. As soon as I returned, she went back out.

By the Monday night, when I brought her in, she did a sit-in by the screen door, wailing. I had to turn off the AC, and have the maximum screen door in use (with a temp litter box handy) so she could sleep by her Queendom.

Tuesday, I had to go to work. She belligerently threatened to have the SPCA called for animal cruelty if I didn’t let her out for the day.

She’s 19, diagnosed with oral cancer (the vet agreed we’ll just do hospice, with no intervention), so who am I to say she can’t spend her last days how she pleases? She does let me bring her in for the odd hour of reading, and a couple of nights she’s agreed to sleep with me. She is one happily retired kitty!

However, her Queendom and powers of persuasion are expanding. I think she has cowed the Weather Gods, as it has not rained ONE DROP since she took up her new residence. (3 weeks!)