The Menagerie

Did you guys notice yet that I love my dog? No? Not with all the pictures and talking about her and- really? Okay! Well, I love my dog. I should say I love my dogs, because I do. Cleo is a sweetie who is actually way more affectionate than Cassie. But she doesn’t puppy dog me around the house, and the bond is just different.

Anyway, I’ve been a little worried about my girl Cass lately. She’s actually fine, but she isn’t….herself. It’s one of those things where you know something is wrong just because you know. They are not QUITE themselves. I’m sure this is something parents get with children. But really, it’s just another sock in the gut of cold, hard reality.

My dog is getting old.

Cassie turned nine last month. In dog years, that puts her at 63. She’s not at death’s door or anything, we could get as many as three more years out of her. But….it’s hard to see my girl get old. You see the white grow around her mouth, the eyes dull (this part is the hardest for me). She was always a finicky eater, but it is worse now, and she has indigestion problems more frequently. She doesn’t run quite so often as she did. She has her moments – you play with her and she’s as much of a puppy as she ever was, eyes bright and tail wagging. But it doesn’t last for as long, she sticks closer to my leg and is more easily upset. She can’t get comfortable all the time, she has old-lady aches and pains. This is really the first time in my life I’ve seen a pet age. But she is not the only one.

Tasha is my tabby cat, I’ve had her since I was eight. She was the first pet that was really mine, and now she is fourteen. I actually think aging has done her almost nothing but good. She’s much more mellow, friendly, affectionate. She’s a bit of a pill, but she’s not as tubby, and she loves sitting with me. Downside is her teeth are going and her breath REEKS. She opens her mouth and I want to die.

This is not the animal that worries me today, though. Today, it’s my other cat, Sabrina. We got Sabrina about a year after our cat Rip died, he’s a story for another day. Friends of friends found a box of kittens on Halloween, and passed this little one down the line to us. She’s a little black cat, that’s why we named her Sabrina. She, too, is old. She’ll be ten this year, and watching her age has been funny. She’s managed to cheat death twice through very bad infections, and she’s known among my friends as the Devil Cat for how scary she is when pissed.

Which is the problem lately. She’s always been a very affectionate cat (a cat who drools when happy…) and she still is, but she gets mad if I pick her up or seemingly randomly. It’s been happening for a couple of months now, and I called the vet a few times – and finally yesterday, I figured it out. Something is wrong with her back. So wrong that if I so much as gently poke it, she growls at me in pain. The poor thing wants to be pet, but she can’t be touched. So I had to cancel work, since no one else could take her to the vet. I’ll let you know what happens with her….

And now, for people news:

As of 2:15 this afternoon, my mom is officially retired. I think she has pretty mixed feelings about it, but she’s ready to quit working. So hooray! We’re going out to dinner to celebrate at the Macaroni Grill.

Less hooray? Well, in a way hooray? In under two weeks, my uncle Gary is going into surgery for his prostate cancer. The prognosis is very good, though, so we’re all really hopeful.

You know, saving the important stuff for last, right? I hope that wasn’t too boring. I guess I felt like blathering on about les animaux!


About emilydnelson

A recent graduate of Hofstra University with a B.A. in anthropology, Emily is like every other twenty-two year old on the planet - trying to figure out what the hell to do now. Follow as she struggles with writing, her social work job, and bopping from coast to coast.
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