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The things that calm her now

She never used to want to be covered by blankets.

But now, she likes to be under the covers, in the bed, all night long.

Her body draped across an extended arm, if possible. That is new.

If you sit on the couch and she hops up, wobbly, She’ll press against you hard, And stay there a long while, Purring every time you reach down and stroke her upturned face.

Her fur is still shiny and soft. But when she walks, you can see that her back is a little ached now.

She sometimes steps in her food bowl by accident. Her paw becomes covered with a wet mess. Then she might go into the litter box, And the damp from her paw draws up the litter And gets stuck between her claws and the pads of her paw.

It soon hardens, and she cries out, frustrated by the debris.

Defeated, She lies down and tries to sleep.

I put warm water in a rinsed-out margarine tub

Then gently lift her up, and while holding her,

Place her paw in the tub.

She wiggles a little, but the warmth, and my fingers

Gently pulling the clumps of litter from her paw

Are soothing. By the time I’m drying her paw with a warm towel,

She’s purring.

She cries out in spells. She paces the living room a few times a day. She fights me more each she gets her subcutaneous fluids,

Even though getting them makes her feel better, and She gets a snack seconds later. It’s a snack she gets no other time.

That is by design, so she knows

There’s a reward for this discomfort.

She didn’t mind the procedure at first,

But it’s been going on for so long now.

There have been previous indignancies and pains.

Seven years ago, when she had her teeth removed following

The horrible bout of stomatitis we couldn’t otherwise cure

Was awful, but she knows how to survive, this one.

The love she gets, along with her spirit

Seem to be prolonging her life.

If she had no appetite, Didn’t call up that chirpy purr so frequently,

I’d say it was time to let her go.

For now, the plan is to Keep doing the things the calm her.

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