Thursday, January 26, 2012

That’s Amore

Leave it to Lucius to like imported olive oil as a pick-me-upper in the morning. He is a cat of peculiar, and rather refined, tastes, and I should have known that, when I received a new year’s gift of hand-pressed olive oil from a vendor in Tuscany, Lucius would be ready to lap it up. If Lucius had an iPod, he would listen to “That’s Amore” while licking the saucer clean.

And then there is Perkins (pictured here). I knew she was not in top form recently because she has not been upwardly mobile, as has been her daily custom during the past eleven years. Instead of climbing the cat trees in the garage apartment, Perkins has been sitting quietly on a futon mattress on the living-room floor. Of our ten rescue cats, she is the only one who resists close contact with human beings, with the exception of Cat Lady.

I called Dr. O. today and requested a house call. The hisses and growls coming from Perkins’s tiny mouth upset even Dr. O. I volunteered that I had been giving Gerber baby food to Perkins for four days, because I thought she might have a digestive issue. Dr. O. responded that I had made the correct judgment call, and, I have to admit, four jars of chicken, beef, turkey, and ham baby food are infinitely more affordable than a senior cat’s work-up.

Still, I never want to neglect our cats, and I will rearrange our monthly household budget to the penny if it means identifying extra funds to properly diagnose and care for a sick cat. But I learned something very valuable today from Dr. O. It’s OK not to treat a cat if the cat truly won’t allow herself or himself to be treated. Deciding not to treat does not constitute gross neglect. This is a slightly unconventional concept to me, though the more I think about it—fully respecting a cat’s wishes—that’s amore, too.

Query of the Day: How do you cheer up a Cat Lady who is about to undergo surgery? Please join me in sending well wishes to Heather, one of my favorite Cat Ladies in the world.

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