A dear friend asked me a while back if I had started saying Goodbye. I am at the age where goodbyes are becoming more frequent, including a Goodbye last year for this blog.
For a while, all I wanted to do was write and vent about the new Era Orange and he who must not be named. But the truth is I couldn’t live in that constant state of frustration, except of course when making the daily call or email to my neanderthal congressman who treats women like…well, just watch The Handmaid’s Tale.
The rest of the time I couldn’t put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. It was far easier to hide behind quilting. Or bridge. Or bocci ball. Or golf…all of which means there are so many other fun things to write about.
I hope some of you will stick around and pick up the thread of this column.
I thought yesterday was going to be a major Goodbye day. My longtime companion and sidekick, BlackJack, is nineteen in cat years — that’s 90 in human years — so I have been preparing to lose him. I know it’s coming.
In the past couple of weeks, including one week of a major heatwave, BlackJack quit eating. And drinking. And peeing and pooping. It was becoming all too apparent that his once muscular eighteen pound body had become shriveled and bony. Very bony.
Sensing the end was near, and not wanting him to suffer, I made The Appointment with his vet and spent the day crying and petting and cuddling the cat who wanted nothing more than to peacefully sleep.
It was a long, tearful day of Goodbye.
I decided that his Last Ride would not be in the dreaded cat carrier, so I scooped up his frail body and put him on a towel next to me in the front seat of the car.
We were barely out of the driveway before the cat was sitting up, looking out the window and then looking back at me with a grin as if to say, Pretty darn cool. And why haven’t we gone on rides before?
By the time we reached the country hi-way to the vet, BlackJack was sitting up straight, looking up and over the dashboard, meowing loudly at passing motor cycles, and scolding me for taking curves a bit too sharply. He was now not only riding Shotgun, but had become a very vocal Backseat Driver.
I grew pretty confident this was not going to be The Day.
When we arrived at the vet’s, I put him in the carrier and was immediately escorted into the exam room, where the scheduled “consultation” was to take place. Everyone in the room was appropriately solemn as they greeted us.
Well, everyone but BlackJack. I opened the carrier door and he bounded out, meowing I’m here, where’s the party?
The vet laughed. Before leaving, the cat did get an eighth of an appetite stimulant pill and a B-12/steroid shot in the hopes of kick-starting his appetite and getting his systems functioning again.
The pill and shot evidently worked. By the time we got home, BlackJack bolted out of the car, into the house and his food dish. He inhaled every bit of available food, belched and meowed for more.
Today, as I write, all of his systems are functioning and a plumped up Blackjack is out back, lounging in his favorite chair while watching and kibitzing with the golfers passing by.
I know full well this isn’t the end of his life journey, or mine, or any of ours for that matter, but at this moment in time, given all that is happening here and not happening in Congress, all is right in the world.