It was supposed to be a day of pet errands, but the groomer is sick. Now, I just have to get Frankie, our aging cat, to the vet for some fur maintenance. It’s rare when we take “old blue eyes” out of the house, but she badly needs a haircut. As a Burmese, she has a beautiful white fleece that is unfortunately all tied in knots. She’s no longer capable of grooming herself, so it has to be uncomfortable. We’re just trying to make her final days as pleasant as possible, since she has little interest in food and continues to lose weight. However, at over 18 years old, she still possesses a feisty attitude and a meow that sounds like “NOW” if her food is not delivered on time. Warm chicken broth is her favorite and she wakes us up every morning with annoying, persistent “NOWS” until we fill her bowl and lift her up to eat in a spot where the dogs can’t devour it first. 

Frankie has little spring left in her step. She can no longer leap-up on the bed or to her feeding loft without assistance. After each meal, I find that little is actually eaten. Her internal time clock is still accurate in alerting us three times a day without fail. The last “NOWS” of each day are for “ham time,” a bedtime snack tradition for her and our two schnauzers. She has to have it “NOW,” but most of it sits untouched in her bowl come morning. “Ham Time” has become shreds of sliced turkey in the interest of heart healthy for the last few years. The nightly ritual dates back to a vet who suggested that the extra protein was key to a long life. (See Post #699) It certainly seems to have worked for Frankie and for our old lady schnauzer who’s approaching sixteen years. It has become all of our pets’ favorite time of the day. 

As I prepare to load Frankie into our kitty carrier, I can expect non-stop “NOWS” all the way to the vet. On the other hand, our pups will have to wait for the groomer to reschedule and will look-on with both concern and curiosity as their feline friend Frankie heads out the door. She’s becoming very fragile with little meat on the bones, and I frankly don’t expect Frankie to be with us much longer. Although she’s led a long, happy, ham-filled life, I’m sadly just not sure how many lives or “NOWS” she has left?