Ever since we lost our beloved Ciro in February we’ve been a pet-free home. It’s been a hard adjustment. I’ve had pets since 1990. Susan had Ciro and a ferret when we met in 1997. Our home has felt particularly empty since Ciro passed.
We have known since before Ciro passed away that Abby would be coming to live with us in May for anywhere between 4-12 months. Her human Sara, a former co-worker of Susan’s, is on a big travel the world doing work-for-stay adventure. We were concerned that cranky old Ciro may strongly object to another cat in the house. Sadly he is not here to “welcome” Abby. But it does make a nice, quiet temporary home for Abby. She’s 15 years old and was not keen about being taken out of her home and dropped off at ours. It was a sad good-by. Since last Friday she has lived in the back of my closet only to emerge to eat and use the litter box. The fact she’s doing that is a good sign. We’re confident she’ll warm up to use soon enough.
She emerged from her hiding place at bed time last night. She boldly joined us on the bed, settled in for 10 minutes and then disappeared back into the closet. We’re getting there.
I call him “Old Man”. His name is Ciro. He’s 90 years old in human years. He was a 10 week old kitten when I met my wife. That was nearly 19 years ago. She’s had him longer then she’s had me. But not by much.
Back in December we didn’t think he’d see the new year. His health has been rapidly declining.
His kidneys are failing. He’s losing the use of his back legs. He falls over a lot. He’s lost 1/3 of his body weight. His eyes are runny all the time. He doesn’t play anymore. He stopped cleaning himself a few weeks ago. He’s lost most of his hearing. He’s going blind. He’s completely blind in the dark. We discovered this a month ago when he kept walking off the edge of the bed at night. Now we leave lights on throughout the house for him at night.
He gets pampered. He gets our complete attention and lots of lovin’ when he isn’t sleeping. When he is sleeping he’s on his heated bed with lots of comfy blankets and the cat quilt my sister made for him.
My wife has been a Hospice Social Worker for most of her working life. So we’ve had “The Discussion” about “if it’s time yet” three times in the last two months. Yes, he hurts all the time. No, we don’t believe he’s suffering unreasonably. He still has that strong animal instinct to survive. He has not given up. We’re taking it day by day. We love him. It’s really hard to watch. He’s always had so much personality. We feel he’s had a good life with us. Many wonderful memories. It’s difficult to think of our home without him. That day is getting closer.