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April 2013

The Final Countdown

People ask me these days "How's your cat?" The answer used to be "He's good, actually", but lately it's changed to "He's ok. He's still with us."
 
He's still with us. That's the important part.
 
It's been two months since my last update about him, and I write this knowing there will only be one more. I've watched my Rascalbear go from a "well, I'm not so great as I used to be, but I'm still a feisty little shit" to "can I get a lil help here, Mama?"  He's lost more than half his weight, doesn't get around so well (unless it's where HE wants to go!), and is becoming a rather 'leaky' little critter. I've come home to splotches and clotches of blood from nose and toes, the occasional results of upset tummy that chronic kidney failure can induce, and - most recently - pee in places it doesn't belong. He seems unperturbed. I am turbed.  Ok, yeah, I'm making my own words - again - and one day you'll be texting it, so hush.
 
Rascalbear's April Fools shenanigans.Since February, Rascalbear has taken over almost all of the house in his sickness that he could not do in his wellness. He began to shun the upstairs, so the living room became his home. His takeover of it was a stealth procedure that governments should take note of. It began with a preference for the center cushion of the couch over the bed, and turned into a full-blown hospice-house for the most spoiled cat in the world. He commandeered my brand new fuzzy red robe, two sets of food and water bowls, a quilt, a towel for a tent, and boxes to makes stairs. Where he got the hat and moustache for his April Fools Day shenanigans that were caught on the Rascalbearcam (a comforting technological addition to the mix), I have no idea. But he's always been a pretty resourceful cat when it comes to surprising me. Ha! So, my TV-watching spot is gone. My space in the bed is now under attack, as he's decided recently that the bedroom is once again where he'd rather be. But I cannot fight back. He needs every place he goes.
 
He's also continued his stealth attack on time. Visits to the vet, some for emergencies, have hijacked evenings and weekends. Medications have come and gone. Chemo has stopped. After his fourth treatment, it was decided the tumors were fighting back, and there is no other cancer-killer I can give him that won't knock out his kidneys as well. Interestingly, I discovered accidentally from an ER tech that in his file there was a note that the oncologist had given him a six week prognosis back in December. Contrary little fuzzhead that he is, he's made it to fifteen. So there!
 
Sunny Rascalbear.He also made it to something I'd been hoping for: a chance to sit in the sun. Spring comes late to Canada, so once the rays were actually hitting our patio long enough to encourage him to want to go out, I helped it along by shoveling a path to his little grass patch. Seeing him sit with the sun on his face made all the rest of the crap worth while. Nothing says "thank you, Mama" like this little picture.
 
He sat in the sun again today. Couldn't wait to get out in it once I carried him to the door and showed him what was going on. This is good, but it can't stave off the other signs I'm seeing that say he's almost there. Whether I want to be or not, he's figuring it out on his own. He will let me know. Soon. In the meantime, he still knows who I am, what "Eeeee!" means, and sleeps comfortably next to me every night. I cherish each hour. I think that's all we have. It's the final countdown.

Short Snippet Saturday: Jaiynder Makes a Pit Stop

In this short snippet, I'll reveal Jaiynder's nickname as he visits an old friend for help and, hopefully, information.

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            Jaiynder rapped on the dirt-streaked door and fought back a grimace of pain. Sweat beaded his face and trickled beneath his clothing, the ventilation system in the decrepit building having long since ceased functioning. He flapped his coat, then wiped his brow and banged again. "Jibby? Jibby it's Bandy!"
            A vulgar request for silence echoed from somewhere down the musty hall.
            Jaiynder ignored it and thumped his fist once more. "C'mon, I know you're there. I saw your crummy craft below. Open up already will ya?"
            The door popped ajar, hinges squealing in protest. A wary eye peeked out.
            Jaiynder wedged his foot into the crack. "Jibby? Hey, it's me."
            "Bandy? What're you doing here?" The man rose onto his tiptoes, trying to see into the dark hallway.
            "Let me in, I'll explain."
            "No."
            "No?"
            "I'm kinda busy."
            "And I'm kinda bleeding all over the place. Now let me in and fix it, or I'll fix you!"