Love's Routine


My routine seems normal enough. My digital clock flips to 4:00 am, still dark outside.  As if on cue, I am prompted by my captors to rise and start the day.  I quickly hop out of bed and enter the kitchen. I pull out from the fridge the last of Maus’s food in a can from the night before and place it under the stove vent light to slowly warm. I prepare two feeding syringes; one for Maus, the other for Jake to wash down the morning meds. For Jake, it’s Alprazolam, ¼ pill to keep his mood even and to give him an appetite. For Maus, it’s a tiny, piece of Pepcid to reduce her stomach acid and allow her to eat well. Moshe Moshi, while he was on medication for his IBS symptoms, I am reevaluating his diet to combat his allergic reaction to his food. For now, he gets a little yogurt to balance his gut bacteria.  All my cats, with a minimal chase to make sure I am awake, take their meds well.

Then the 30-minute countdown begins, giving Maus’s medication a chance to do its job. In that time I warm feed dishes, scoop soiled litter and replace with fresh, make-up my bed and start the coffee machine. At the right moment, I prepare the morning sustenance. Jake gets a 3oz. can of Weruva’s Peking Ducken, processed to a smooth mush since he has no teeth to chew it. Moshe Moshi, the 1oz. of Dick Van Patten’s Venison and two nugget of Primal Venison Raw mixed in. The Raw diet is the only thing I’ve found that doesn’t give him diarrhea, but he’s not keen on Raw, so I have to mix it with the LID (Limited Ingredient Diet) food. Maus gets her Solid Gold Turkey/White Fish and Liver with just a little of Jake’s food to give it flavor. I had a difficult time trying to get her to eat the prescription diets for Kidney Disease, and she refuses the food. Though the Solid Gold is not the best, she eats it.  For now, it keeps her weight up, and she can hold it down.

Meals eaten and dished cleared and cleaned, my first cup of java finished and a piece of bread scarfed down, I’m off to the bathroom for my morning void and shower. The crew has already taken their positions of ritual supervision. Jake is at the sink, first lapping up faucet water, then up atop the supply cabinet. Moshe Moshi is on the shelf above the commode. Maus has taken the coveted spot atop a lamp above the medicine cabinet. Unbeknownst, my roommate, replaced my energy saving bulbs with regular 60-watts he hides in his room. My energy saving LEDs do not give off heat; his does which are why she loves it up there, who wouldn't? I’m going to disappoint her soon when I change them back. Besides, the steam from the shower is usually enough to satisfy and stayed off the morning chill.  

After my shower, while they linger in the steamy heat of the bathroom, I start my second cup of Joe and dress. While News of the world events drones out from the TV, I place the thick, folded blanket on the bed, reach into my closet and take out the Ringer D 5% with B12 and a 20 gauge needle. When ready, I pull Maus down from her heated delight and place her on the blanket to receive her fluids. To her credit, there is no struggle, only the occasional “Ack” or a subtle turn of her head to acknowledge the stick. Then we sit as the fluids flow between the layers of skin, no attempts to escape, just a sigh of acceptance of the situation. When finished, I withdraw the needle; she receives a rub, and a kiss on the head. In return, I get a head butt, a gentle lick, a look that seems to say she understands and forgives me and then she is off to find her favorite toy and play into the glow of the sunrise. I pour my second cup of coffee, bring it and my cell phone onto the balcony, stare out as the sun rises and wait for the van that will take me to work.  Yes, this is normal for me now.

I cry at least once a week knowing that this damage will eventually take her from me, that her days of traveling with me are limited, and she will not live to be an old cat. Jake too will meet the same fate eventually, and luckily Moshe Moshi, having not eaten any of whatever Maus and Jake got into, will survive, albeit alone from is friends. The Veterinarian says Maus will succumb within a year at best.  Despite the medication and the food restrictions, they are all doing so well with it.  I wish I could take some comfort in this, but I can't shake the notion that I've failed them.

For now, though emotionally I'm shredded, I smile each day I see them, especially looking at Maus. She is by far the bravest creature I have ever known and given what I must do to her every day, twice a day I am in awe she still trusts me. Each day is a gift now, and I have to make sure the rest of their days are comfortable, happy and safe. I never imagined my life would look like this.  Though I'm regretful about the circumstances of how this happen, I'm surprised that I'm not unhappy to abut the necessity of this regiment.  It's my honor as well as my obligation to them.  This is Love's Routine.


8 comments:

  1. Sometimes the routine is so comforting at a time like this, being able to do something, something tangible, and see it helping her. Sometimes it's the best part of the day when she's all hydrated and fed and happy, even though you know it will wear off. These are the sweet days.

    I believe I have photos of the two of you from BlogPaws--was she one of the ones with you? You both looked so pretty in your matching garlands.

    ~Bernadette, The Creative Cat

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    1. Yep, that was us in our garland. She is doing well. She goes in for a check-up in two week to see how we are doing with managing toxins and keeping her phosphorus count down. her Vet calls her the miracle cat, I'm also really lucky all the Staff at that office really like her and fought hard to keep her alive last year. For as long as she wants to stay, I'll fight with her.

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  2. Love and hugs to Maus and company!

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  3. Oh, very sad to know about the disease. Be brave as she is and love from my side to her

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  4. What a tough way to start each day, but we know you do it with love in your heart for little Maus and your other two kits. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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    1. Thanks, G*d knows I do love 'em all.

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