Friday, June 24, 2011

Cats, dogs, and grandchildren

My cat is 19 years old. Last weekend, son Jamie who found the cat as a kitten and brought him home, was here and asked why his breathing was labored. I realized that I'd seen his sides really heaving and when he sits on my desk, I can hear a squeak as he breathes. Put my ear to his chest--scientific, no?--and heard rattling. A call to the vet resulted in a likely diagnosis of asthma or allergies but they should see him. Nothing so simple, although no pneumonia. He has a hernia in his diaphragm, so his intestines are all pushed up into his chest, making it hard for him to breathe. Solution is an expensive, difficult surgery, which we aren't doing for a 19-year-old cat. After all, he's the equivalent of 99 or so in our life span. The problem may be congenital but if so, how did he live such a long and happy life. I'm betting it happened recently, for who knows what reason? Something we'll never know.
My dog is also aging--12, but that's getting on for an Australian shepherd. Abused before I got him, he periodically develops new fears. These hot days I bring him in after lunch, so can nap in the cool. Suddenly, he's afraid to come in the house. Today was the worst. He looked at the door, looked at me, stared off into space. I left the door open and went back into the kitchen. He came in but when I went to close the door he beat me outside. I tried putting a treat just inside the door--he snatched it and went back outside. I left and forgot about it for a while. Finally when I tried again, after much coaxing and loving talk, he came hesitantly up the stairs and in. None of this seems to bother him at night, when he comes right in. I wonder if the heat is making him crazy.,
I've had Jacob the last three evenings--at least he has no serious illnesses and no fears. Two of the three days I've picked him up at school--and woken myself from a deep nap to do it. Today I was so sleepy that when I got him home, I went back to my nap while he,exhausted from playing at day-care, watched TV. But we have peaceable suppers and good companonship. This is all training for next year when I'll get him at 3:00 every day.
Oh, and then there was the major car repair. Nope, it hasn't been my most peaceful week nor one full of accomplishment. Hope everyone has a good weekend--stay inside and stay cool.

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