We knew this day was coming since near the beginning of the year. We said goodbye to Ziggy, our beautiful, deaf cat. We have had him for almost 12 years. He and Ryan grew up together. He was Ryan’s constant companion and sometime play mate. They were often caught playing tag with Ryan having the scars to prove it.
Bobby brought home a spindly white kitten to be the Goober to our black cat – Boog. Boog was highly offended that we brought this upstart into her home. I don’t know that she ever got over it. After seeing his eyes though – he became Ziggy after David Bowie’s character Ziggy Stardust. He had odd eyes – one blue the other golden/green.
Ziggy seemed extra calm – especially considering the loud noises that were going on with a four year old in the house. We had him almost a month when we discovered he was deaf. Boog took off as soon as the lawn mower was started. He only ran with the gust from the blade startled him.
His deafness made it hard to train him. It also seemed to make him grumpy. His would swat anything that irritated him – which was most things. Ryan saw it as a game – so life was pretty good. He stayed indoors, slept in our bed and got big – twenty pounds big.
Over the holidays we noticed what we assumed to be a cyst. By the time the time our schedule allowed for a vet visit – it had grown. By the time surgery could be arranged – his vet said it was too big. We found another vet. Unfortunately, the surgery revealed that it was cancer and our budget did not include room for radiation treatments at 5K a pop.
The growth came back with a vengeance. He was starting to have trouble walking and showing signs of bowel incontinence. Ryan made the call to see the vet today. But as chance would have it – he seemed to be doing much better today. We found that the tumor had ruptured and was oozing out to relieve pressure. After agonizing over the decision, we said goodbye. The vet did not push and showed the patience of a saint.
We will miss him – grumpy Gus that he was. I don’t think he knew he was a cat. He would wait by the door for us and meow loudly to greet us home. I think that is what I will miss most – he was always glad to see us get home -even if it was that he hoped we would feed him something extra. Good bye old friend – you will be missed.
Today was a rough day and very strange – full of lots of twists. I did not get more than a couple of hours sleep last night while staying at my mother’s house. No reason I could put my finger on – sleep was just elusive. So the morning was not welcome. I was at Mom’s to drive her to a dental appointment where she was to have some oral surgery. I live 2 hours away and somehow – I am the only one able to reliably drive her to these things. Her friends her age scare her – so she looks elsewhere – which means me. I am grateful to have my Mom. I lost Dad back in ’94 – so I smile and thank the Lord I have her in my life.
We ate, got ready and drive over almost an hour’s drive. I hoped I might sleep in the foyer while she had her procedure – but no – everyone in the room had out their phones and were doing something – all with touch noise confirmations going. So there were clicks from one of the phones, dings from another and some strange hiss from the third. In the meantime my stomach was telling me it was not happy with the recent drug overdoses of antibiotics for the ear/nose/throat infection I was trying to get over.
They all got quiet and I fell asleep only to be wakened by the dentist himself. He introduced himself and I expected an update on my mother’s surgery. She was fine but this was a different visit – he wanted to tell me how much my mother reminded him of his mother who he lost in 2001. He brought photos and shared how he felt closer to Mom than most of his patients due the resemblance. I let him know that I knew I was lucky to have her and thanked him for taking special care of Mom. I later found he told the staff I was his “other” sister. Strange encounter – but not unwelcome.
When Mom was at checkout – I found my stomach was not going to stay quiet and ended up sick in the ladies room. I did feel better afterward in some ways – but very empty. Things were not settled enough to feel comfortable eating enough to feel the void.
After several stops on the way home – I crashed. I really needed to get home to my family. Today was my son’s Ryan’s 16th birthday. A big milestone for a youth and I was missing it. If I attempted to drive home at this point – I would never make it – not how I wanted him thinking of his Sweet 16. So I laid down and took a nap after calling and letting everyone know where I was. That call let me know that my loving husband now had the ear/nose/throat infection I was trying to kick and he was not happy about it.
I slept and was woke up by Mom’s new cat – Boots. I got things packed and loaded into the car and headed home. I got home around 8:45 and loaded my son in the car for his birthday dinner – better late than never. He chose Macaroni Grill – the same place for the last 3-4 years. Over dinner I got a question that made me warm and proud. “Mom can you teach me SQL so I can better track the data for my Yugioh cards?” My kid has been paying attention. He saw me prepping for my recent presentation “Taking the scary out of Monster Reports” and liked what I was able to do with the data. Now he wants to do the same types of things.
All the crappy parts of the day disappeared. It was getting played forward to me. He watched me take care of my Mom – always telling him that I have to take care of her while I have her. He was now saying he wanted more time – close time with me. So I gave him a run down of SQL over pasta. We’ll see how serious he is – but it stills feels wonderful knowing he has an interest.