Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fat Fat Frankie

Frankie evolves.
Her behaviours evolve and our relationship with her evolves.
Initially, she didn’t move from her bed at the top of the stairs.
When she did hobble to her litter box and food bowl, it was just that, a sad-looking hobble flat on her heels, in a pathetic excuse for locomotion.
I’ve been claiming that she’s getting better for a while now. Her hobble seems less forlorn. She still sits on her heels, but seems to walk more on her toes – the way a cat should.
And where she used to vomit 4-5 times a day at my mother’s house, it is now more like a once in a blue moon kind of occurance.

The relationship has softened too. We used to say she wasn’t allowed into our bedroom. She wasn’t even allowed in the doorway and onto the carpet. Now, we regularly find the three of us cuddled in bed watching CSI together.

A few days ago, Frankie threw up. In her little bed at the top of the stairs, no less. So, I had to wash it.
And I’m lazy, so it sat in the laundry room for a while.
Frankie had to adapt. She didn’t like the towel I laid out for her on the hardwood floor. And she didn’t like it when I put a big pillow down for her.
If she lay on the pillow, and then began to relax, she began to slide. And inevitably, she’d roll off the pillow – feet sticking straight up in the air – she’d be startled!

So Frankie adopted the spare room futon as her bed. We were surprised the first time we saw her there. We didn’t know she was still limber enough to climb up there on her own. That would require, not only moving against gravity, but something resembling a JUMP even. I didn’t know those fourteen year old feline bones could still manage a jump, even if the futon sits very low to the ground.

Finally, three days later, I washed Frankie’s bed and fluffed it up in the dryer. I put it back at the top of the stairs and set her near it. She seemed delighted (in her reserved, subtle way) as she climbed into it.

Today, we got home and Frankie was not lying in her bed. She is ALWAYS lying in her bed. Maybe she prefers the futon, I thought. I thought nothing of it until Mark disappeared upstairs and exclaimed (and I thought something awful had happened) “OH MY GOD!”

I ran upstairs – I had visions of a cat bleeding from all orifices or maybe she’s torn all the laundry in the basket to shreds – these are OH-MY-GOD-worthy sights.

I ran into our bedroom where Mark was standing, mouth agape.
And Frankie was lying happily nestled onto my side of the bed, tucked into the nook where my pillow meets the mattress, approximately three feet up from the floor.
“Did YOU put her there?” he asked.
“No. Maybe you left her there this morning and forgot to put her down,” I wondered aloud.
He shook his head.
“There’s no way…..she got there on her own” We tried to reason.

And she just stared at us with her knowing green eyes. The cat has spoken.

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