Callie Watch

Callie the Wonder Cat

Oh the stories we will tell

We almost put her down on Friday. That was really hard. The vet had to give us the proverbial “minute to yourselves” three times before we said we’d take her home for the weekend to say goodbye and bring her in on Monday. I just couldn’t face deciding then and there and driving back with an empty carrier. (Don’t do this to me now, it’s just too much.) The thing is, she’s 17 years old. Since the doc knocked out her kidney infection six weeks ago with antibiotics, she recovered nicely for a while and then resumed her downward spiral, losing half the weight you see above. I can’t even brush her now because the metal comb hits all the bones.

When we called on Friday morning for the appointment, she hadn’t eaten anything for two whole days. Friday evening we came home with kitty steroid tablets and an appetite stimulant you smear inside her ear, this by way of informally testing whether she’s presenting renal failure or the something-something cancer thing the doctor mentioned—if she eats at all, it’s likely not her kidneys—and to give her a little boost to see how she responds. As it happens, I misread the directions and gave her a double dose of appetite stimulant! Ninety minutes later she was ravenous. It was like a miracle. She acted five years younger, time stood still, and everybody had a good night’s sleep. On Saturday she slowed down a bit, then didn’t eat a thing all day until just a few minutes ago.

So today was difficult again. You look at her and know she won’t recover much, though my sense is that if she eats and doesn’t look so ready for the grave—if she’s happy—then of course she gets to hang around. We know it’s almost time to let her go, but I’m glad we didn’t give the go-ahead on Friday afternoon. I’ll call the vet tomorrow and see what’s what. My inclination is to finish out the meds if she’s still eating, so maybe just a little while. I keep thinking she’ll go outside and meet the Coyote of Transformation, but all she does is eat grass, come back inside, and barf. She helps me pick which piece of wood to use to start a fire in the wood stove, did you know?

Poor baby. [sigh] Damn cat is gonna make me howl.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Duncan November 25, 2019, 5:53 AM

    They say animals don’t have souls.
    That only humans do.

    I’m not so sure of that.
    Some people I’ve met in my time on earth have been utterly souless, and yet I have met many animals who are virtually human.

    All my pets have been family members, not just pets.
    All have had their own personalities and funny little quirks making them specific individuals.

    All but one have now reached the end.
    It was deeply painful to let go, but they went with dignity, each one of them.

    And though they are gone, they still live on in our memories.
    They still have the capacity to bring a smile to our faces or elicit a laugh.

    They do have souls, they do have feelings, and they do have the capacity to love.

    That’s what makes saying goodbye so darned painful.

  • Catherine Naylor November 25, 2019, 6:44 AM

    My Honey Bear was everything to me and when he was put to sleep at the vets, I could not stop crying.

  • Mary Martin November 25, 2019, 7:11 AM

    I am so sorry to hear about Callie. I have followed your pictures of her and at one time she was my wallpaper. She is such a beautiful girl. It is so hard to know the best time to say good bye.

  • Mesa November 25, 2019, 10:42 AM

    Hope Callie can hang on happily with you for a bit longer. Much love now & many beautiful memories later.

  • JudyinBoston November 28, 2019, 11:07 AM

    So sorry that Callie is not her old self. Always a hard thing to say goodbye. Spoil her in the time that is left, and know she’s not in any pain or distress. Poor kitty. I feel so badly for you.

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