Our family gratitude, especially that of our cat, goes to a simple nondiscript cardboard box today. Zipper our cat is old. 18 actually which in human years is like 79. He's feeling his age and our home has turned into a feline nursing facility. We've moved his litter to the main floor (stairs are rough) we fill his water dish 12 times a day (he's fussy for fresh) We comfort him in the middle of the night when he is confused. Continually we frighten the Beejeebers out of him because he doesn't hear us coming. He dines on the finest feline foods and pumpkin to help his digestion. There is little we don't do for him in his ailing age. So much so that we opt to sit on the floor in the living room if it means displacing him from his favorite chair. What can I say, he's been through a lot. He listens to our tears, guards the kids, comforts us when we are ill. We love him.
The last few months have been very disconcerning. Michael and I have stopped counting his lives. We've placed rotating bets on his expiry date and survey for chest movement before approaching. More than once we have braced each other and the children to loose him. Recently he stopped eating, he was more lathargic than normal and was loosing weight at a rate I only dream about. Our thoughts again turned towards the "big" cardboard box. (gulp)
Today I put his food to the floor for him and gazed gravely as he sniffed it and made an attempt to eat. I watched for a moment. He was clearly in agony, suffering. Not from some ailment or disease but from the stupidity of his caretakers. He's 79 years old! I'm half his age and I have a hard time bending down to tie my shoes some days! Clearly he would eat if he could eat. I did reach for a cardboard box. I turned it upside down and put his food and water dish on top. He looked at me... in disgust that it took so long for me to figure out and gratitude that I did before he starved to death!