She came into my room sometime around 3 AM. Standing on the mat next to my bed, BabyCat meowed. She never meows. She’s a purrer, our BabyCat.I’ve never met a cat that purrs like her. Steam train-like, she is, and if you hug her while she purrs, she gets even louder.
But this was a meow. Not a purr. I ignored her, burying my head into my pillow, dozing off again until, moments later, I was woken by the sound of this beloved cat, weeing, not ten centimetres from my face, on my bed. Ugh.
I’ve been worried about her for a while. She seemed to be struggling to jump onto the counter to her food, so we put a step for her to use there. Otherwise she just herds whoever is around toward the food and waits until they pick her up, princess-like, to eat.
It’s her age, see. Although her name is BabyCat, she was named about fourteen years’ ago, when she was the baby of the house. It stuck. At this point I have to admit that the young cat who walked in and made himself at home last year is called Little Cat. Thank god I haven’t had children. Can you imagine their names!
I think she’s finally got too old to manage jumping out of the window. A litter box has been organised.
My thoughts turned to The Big Black Dog, all twelve years’ of her, her arthritis beginning to get the better of her. She’s on daily medication for it now. Her chin and eyebrows have gone beautifully silvery-grey, as have the underneaths of her paws. She smells awful, too, despite regular washing. She’s just an old dog, and I can’t shout at her not to lie as close as she possibly can to me, wherever I am, because she’s just so lovely.
As I lay awake in those awful, dark, pre-dawn hours, worrying, I realised that the inevitable is coming, for both of these beloved creatures. And I cried and cried.
I don’t think I can bear it.