Saturday, June 1, 2019

Money in the Bank

Parker is becoming more frail. Changes in his health seem to come at once, rather than gradually. I notice them, and realise that they had not been building; they simply arrive. Various chores, such as helping close down and pack away the PAW Society Garage Sale, will take up so much time today that I may not be able to take the orange-boy for a walk. But, strangely, and regrettably, he didn’t express a desire to go out when I changed clothes and went out myself earlier. He may be feeling his growing weakness.

But his time is not yet, and for this, I credit food. Food is physically and biologically necessary, but I believe good food is morally powerful. I’ve watched Parker closely over the last few months, and have seen food’s effect on him. What caused me to take him to the veterinary initially, and which led to his cancer being diagnosed, was a loss of appetite. Since then, his desire for food has soared. This may be in part due to the half-pill of Prednisolone I give him each day. But I think alternating the variety of nutrition offered has helped, too. And when he eats well, his spirits rise.

This morning, he demolished almost two thirds of a 5.5 ounce tin of Merrick turkey. When he at last declared himself sated, he started purring. He purred loudly enough to be heard throughout the apartment. I sat with him and we had a petting session; he continually bumped his fuzzy head against me. He had eaten well, and he felt very good.

A full belly is as needful to morale as is a good night’s sleep. Constant hunger, like fatigue, wears away at a body, whether human or animal; it wears away just as much at the spirit. I think it is one of the things people – at least those in charge – don’t understand about poverty. Just getting by isn’t enough. It’s like being given a room in a hostel or a homeless shelter; it helps, it maintains, but it doesn’t allow growth; it doesn’t permit progress. A certainty of food, of residence, of cleanliness in the future as much as in the present, is like money in the bank; it’s like a job instead of a hand-out.

A cat doesn’t think like a person. He assumes much: having eaten his fill, he doesn’t worry about the future’s meals. A full stomach is his money in the bank, it is his security. Therefore, when the bowl has been heaped so much that he can’t consume that last morsel, however much he wishes he could, a cat is happy. He purrs. He is safe, and well – at least for now, and for cats, there isn’t much beyond now.

So while Parker diminishes more and more, he has his moments of enjoyment and peace. He will have them for as long as I can provide them, and for as long as his cancer permits. When that is no longer the case, he will leave me. For now, however, he rests contentedly. For now, he has money in the bank.


  1. Oh handsome Parker, I'm sad that your health is declining but so grateful that you have a loving home with all the good food you can enjoy and wonderful places to nap. Purrs from the kitties.

  2. This is one of your best posts, for more than one reason, the 4th paragraph in particular.

    Continued thoughts and "purrayers" to Parker (and Cammie).

    As an aside, I remember reading something decades ago, when I was in my early 20s and struggling: "HALT: Don't get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired."

    Sound advice for us all.

    1. Those lines particularly got to me too. When my mother and my aunts were children, they were very poor. As in, “Will we be able to eat today?” poor. Many days, they did not. Even though nowadays we have some financial stability, I don’t think any of them have really gotten past those days. They feel they can’t count on the money in the bank. If it’s true that cats don’t have that sort of abstract thinking, they’re blessed. Like Parker enjoying his moments of happiness and comfort, with no thoughts for what might come tomorrow.

  3. He looks a happy chappie in that photo. Miss pops is very vocal at 4pm wanting her dinner, as though she has not had access to a mountain of biscuits all day. Once fed she is ready to purr and relax and dream the evening away.

  4. I am so glad he ate good. Purrs to that sweet guy.

  5. Thank you for your update on Parker. Even though you've noticed changes in his health, he continues to eat well, he is content, and he appears to be pain free, and that's good to hear. We continue to offer purrs and prayers for Parker and Cammie.

  6. So happy that Parker still enjoys his food. You are taking such good care of him and so aware of his health needs. My thoughts and prayers are with Parker and Cammie. I hope the rest of your pack continues to do well!

  7. It's so hard watching as our furry companions dwindle before our eyes, helpless we are in the march of Father Time. I hope that Mr Parker has many more good days ahead and that he has much money in the bank.

  8. Dear Parker. He couldn't have found anyone better to love and care for him.