Monday, November 11, 2019

Marvellous Evolution


I have previously said, or written, that cats are creatures of habit: they will follow a routine religiously – until they don’t. The truth is that cats’ behaviour evolves, usually along with their personalities. Cammie is a good example of this.

Her world changed fundamentally after her stroke at the end of May. She recovered, at least superficially, from all its effects save for her blindness. She cannot see. At first, I thought this might lead to her remaining stationary as much as possible. But I didn’t count on her spirit, a spirit which demanded that she rule her principality as a princess should. I have described how she will ‘make a progression’ (as it was called when the Tudor monarchs did it) through the length and breadth of the realm simply to take a drink of water from her favourite cup. Even so, she has changed, though how much this has resulted from her sightlessness I can’t say.

She has become a lap-cat. She can often be found in one of the two heated cat-beds these days – it’s cold outside now, and my princess is, shall we say, mature – but she waits at certain times of the day for me to sit on the couch. After dinner, for instance, I relax for a bit with a cup of tea. When she hears me sit, she gets up and makes her way over to me, climbing up her little staircase and lying down on my lap (getting up and walking away only to return a couple of times in the first one or two minutes…). Initially, she lie diagonally across my lap, so I needed one hand to support her, and keep her from falling off as she relaxed and the other hand to pet her. Now, she situates herself more centrally, and I can actually hold a book to read while she lies on me. Sometimes, she will stay with me for half an hour, purring the whole time.

Cammie’s meal-times have changed, too. She doesn’t always want soft food; now and then, she simply doesn’t feel like it. But when she does, she will sit up in her bed, or at least raise her head, showing some interest. I tell her, “Cammie, up up, up up.” Very often, she will walk to the sitting room’s couch, once more ascend the stairs and wait for her food. That’s where she usually eats now. I don’t know how this evolved, but I am pleased by it. It allows me to keep a ready eye on her, to see if she wants more food, to see if she is eating at all and, most importantly, to see when she is finished. When she finishes, she gets down and, though, since she was struck blind, she rarely tries to eat anyone else’s food, that is still a danger, so having her where I can observe her permits me better to guard against her ingestion of food that will cause one of her episodes.

Finally, there is the moment when, early in the morning, I must go to work. To relieve her of the stress of negotiating an apartment full of cats when I am not present, and to encourage her to eat the special hard food she is given, I isolate the princess in the bedroom. She has there a litter-box, food and three water-bowls (though I think she uses only her favourite.) Since I have started installing a heated cat-bed each day before leaving, Cammie is much less reluctant to go into the bedroom at the appointed time. In fact, now she frequently does it unbidden. I will sometimes see her slowly walking toward the bedroom of her own volition, or will find her already there, in the cat-bed or waiting for it. There, she has all the comforts and is, for the day, an ‘only-cat’, as is her fervent desire.

My Cammie’s habits change, as do those of other cats; sometimes slowly, imperceptibly; sometimes over night. I am thankful that her evolutions have been beneficial, helpful not only to herself but to me. When I think back to her arrival in my life, and how I was actually afraid of this hissing, yowling animal, I think that her time with me has been filled with marvels. But then, that is to be expected, for Cammie is a marvel herself.


17 comments:

  1. Animals are much better at adapting to circumstances than we are, and Cammie seems to have done so extremely well.

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  2. She is indeed a marvel. May the Princess have a long and happy reign.

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  3. Your sweet Princess Cammie is very, very special.

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  4. This makes me so happy t read. I am extra glad that she has come to this loving pass. And I can completely agree, even though I can't see her, with your excellent description of her Royal Reign. Smoochies to the Princess.

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  5. How sweet that Cammie is a lap cat now.

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  6. Good on you Princess Cammie. We are glad that life has settled into its new rhythms for you.

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  7. What a great post about a very special Princess. Cammie has certainly come a long way and she has adapted so well to being blind. Of course, your love and care have helped her adapt.

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  8. Well John.. l don't mind admitting, and putting
    my hand up to being quite emotional, even for
    happy things in life..Love the way you write,
    love the way you care..so, l've had to remove my
    reading glasses, and wipe a tear away..! And..
    read though this wonderful post about Cammie!x
    Can't say it enough times..Thankyou! :).

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    1. Thank you, Willie. This is indeed a compliment.

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  9. Such a lovely post for your Princess. The photos make my heart melt; it's so sweet to see her cuddled up on your lap. ♥

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  10. With you as her guardian, Cammie's world is as open as she wants it to be! Nicely done, John!

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  11. cammie; we iz buzzed happee ta lurn ewe R adjustin sew well; with dadz help; sum sekrit add vize frum de cat father; N de blessingz oh St Francis....ya canna go wrong....heerz ta manee happee dayz a head ♥♥♥♥♥

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  12. it's been a while coming to this level of comfort for Cammie to work up to, but thank goodness it has happened. You get to reap rewards with her curling up in your lap and knowing she is in comfort the long days while you are at work.

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  13. I continue to be grateful that Cammie ended up in your home John, I shudder to think what might have been for her. I agree, cats do change their habits. (So do we as we age, finding easier ways to do things...at least that's been my experience).

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  14. Cammie is truly a "princess"! I agree with you that she has come a long way and adapted. Thank you for taking such good care of her and giving her the comfort she needs. I miss my princess and I think my tabby boys do to. They don't have her ruling over them and they seem a bit lost but they will adapt. Please give Cammie an extra cuddle from me.

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  15. What a wonderful transition it is when we see one of our furs move from angry and wary to very warm and cuddling. This does not happen in every case but when it does it gives us the best of all returns on our investment into their lives. What a wonderful little lady she is

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