I have realized lately that some of the only truly unselfish love I have felt in life has been toward my cat. I mean, there are people I love more than life itself, especially Mark, but the love of an animal is different. You are their only advocate--they can't tell you when they're feeling sick or bring themselves to the doctor, so it is up to us to take care of them so that they have comfortable, happy lives.
I pretty much love Fulton beyond reason, and I know that he won't be around forever. He's 19 years old, has a thyroid wilder than Diana Ross' weave, and suffers from a lot of secondary health problems that stem from his condition. The thing is, he's still so damned vital. Mark's family doesn't understand the things we are doing for him--the vitamins, the medication, and the shots. The thing is, he is not a cat who is on his deathbed. He is free of cancer, his heart and lungs are fluid-free, etc. He still scampers around the house, begging for food, doing things on command (he was always an exceptionally intelligent cat), and trying to open doors to find himself impeded only by his lack of opposable thumbs. He has been a companion to my sister after her worst grand mal seizures. He and my father are so sympatico that you could set a clock to their daily routine.
The thing is, a cat's lifespan is roughly 20 years, if he's healthy. Fulton has lived years longer than most other cats with his condition. Parents with sick or disabled children, whose lifespans have been shortened significantly by illness, don't hold anything back simply because of some arbitrary number a doctor declares. They don't throw their hands up in capitulation and say, "Oh, well, my child is only going to live 20 years, anyway, so what's the point of taking her to the doctor?" I feel the same way about pets, really.
If he were suffering, if he were lying immobile in the house and completely withdrawn, it would be different. If his ultrasound had shown that he was riddled with cancer or fluid, I'd feel differently. But he is simply a cat whose body has reacted badly to a change in medication, a cat the vet is very confident she can save (and, if you ask me, a cat she is rather attached to by now). I would bankrupt myself to save him, even if it meant adding only a year or two of healthy, comfortable life.
Anyway, end of rant. Now that I've established myself as a certifiable "cat lady," I'll go knit in solitude. Except I don't know how to knit.
In other news, I'm compiling a George W. Bush countdown to out of office book at work, which they're tacking on to the Fall 2006 title list. I am also writing a canine IQ book for Spring 2007! If only my name went on some of these publications that I wrote single-handedly! The joys of "in-house" publishing. Oh, well. At least they contracted me for the 2007 History Channel calendar, so I was rewarded handsomely for my efforts there.
Time for lunch.