Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. As always, I try to be grateful every day for what I have. But the holidays – holy days – focus my feelings. While this year has been bad for me in several ways, I recognize that it has also been good in others.
I am still employed and, if I haven’t had a raise since Pearson was prime minister (or thereabouts), I still make enough money to supply my needs, and those of and my cats. I have a very nice and cosy apartment, and I have no debts.
I have been afflicted by the on-going covid-19 crisis but, to be honest, in only minor ways. I am healthy, for my age. (Yes, I’m at the point at which I must add that phrase; like the Great Pyramid looks good, for something going on four and a half thousand years.) I have not had covid-19, as far as I know, and no one with whom I am acquainted has had it. My local activities and travel have been curtailed no more than they have been in the last few years by a lack of funds; the corona virus has simply given me a more fashionable reason for staying home. In this subject, too, I have been fortunate.
I have been able to trap and sterilise more community cats at my work-place, including the elusive Bauble. She may have kittens to capture now, but if they give me as much trouble as their mother, I will be very surprised.
My cats are doing well, for their ages. Neville’s diabetes is being managed and, if he fears my approach with his twice-daily needle, then that appears his worst problem here. Tucker’s blood-sugar numbers are consistent: that is to write, they are consistently all over the place, to a maddening extent. Yet the roly poly acts as if quite healthy, so I won’t complain too loudly about his glucometer readings. Renn is his usual strong self and Josie is comfortable as the days pile upon her.
I lost two of my cats this year. Cammie and Raleigh both died on May 15th. I am grateful for the time they were with me, and I am grateful for what they taught me.
Cammie lost her sight a year before her death; almost exactly a year. She had a stroke and, while she recovered to a great extent, she was blinded by the attack. My princess then showed me how well a sightless cat can adapt to her world, and how she can still enjoy it. She learned very swiftly to climb the stairs that were provided for her, and continued to repose on the bed as she had previously. It was there she would lie on my chest and purr. She learned to find the windows in her darkness, and breathed in deeply the scents that the invisible world brought to her. Blind cats can enjoy life, if we help them, and can live fully and happily.
Raleigh had FIV, which, I think, hastened his demise. But cats don’t know about such a sentence of death; if they did, they probably wouldn’t care. Peachy enjoyed his life, too, while he could. I recall him scratching at the corner of wooden furniture when he was hungry. And he would crouch as if still eating when I took his empty bowl away; if he remained hungry, he would quickly sit upright, with a short trill, when I brought his re-charged bowl to him. Raleigh was with me twenty-one months, and I don’t regret giving him a home. No one should be afraid of adopting cats who might not live long: you will very likely give them the best time of their lives – and they may give you yours.
These are my reasons for gratitude this Thanksgiving Day. If I could have more, I could certainly have fewer, so I am well pleased.