I'm worried about Annie.
Annie is my angel cat. Alex is the incorrigible one, but Annie is the one who has the light spirit of an angel. She is the one who knows when something is wrong, knows when someone is in need of care.
And now she is the one in need of what she provides to others.
She's about 17 years old now. I got her in August of 1998. The vet estimated her age at 2 1/2 then. So she is about 17 now. Apparently that is about 85 years old in human years.
She's got arthritis now. There's a cupboard of clothes where she likes to sleep but it is up high, so I have put a chair and phone books underneath the cupboard so she can step her way up and down from this favorite napping place.
She stays inside now. She used to love to go outside and she does so every so often now, when the weather is warm. But I don't think her eyesight is as good as it used to be, so I am content with keeping her inside where she won't get lost.
She's eating mostly wet food now. I did find some kitten dry food on Saturday that she seems to like, but she is short on saliva these days so the wet food is just easier to eat, I think.
Her fur is not pristine clean anymore. She was always such a fussbudget about that fur. But it's hard for her to keep it clean these days. I have given her baths which she tolerates, and then sort of preens around when she is dry again, as though she realizes she looks so pretty. I've organized her first-ever professional bath for 1:30 today.
She's still alert, and active. She still knows when I need her company. She still is happy when I come home from a long day of work. She still purrs. She has the greatest purr.
She played like a kitten just now - looking adorable, as always, when she plays like that, rolling a little on her side and looking at me to see if I'm noticing how cute she is being.
I've written at least four books (two published, two not) and several screenplays on my computer. From the beginning, she has sat on the table where I worked, curled up next to the computer as I wrote, holding the space still so that I could focus. When I have written on the couch instead (like I did for my most recent script), she has sat next to my head on the back of the couch while I typed.
I'm not sure how I will write when she is gone. I'm not sure how to imagine any part of my world with her not in it. But it's got to happen, right? She's 17. She can't live forever, can she.
I'm taking her to the vet this week. Keep your fingers crossed for my good friend Annie.
UPDATE: Well, it is as I had feared. Annie has kidney disease. Her numbers are not the worst in the world, but they are not the best either. She now has a whole new diet, new medications... I will get trained tomorrow on giving her injections of subcutaneous fluid, which I will give her two or three times a week. She seems pretty healthy under the circumstances, and the vet hopes the treatments will stabilize her, but people keep expressing their condolences because I guess the outlook can be grim. Actually, she seems in pretty good spirits. It is hard to believe she is sick. And she looks so pretty! Here she is, right after her bath:
I love this girl. We will see how things go. Condolences aside, I'm feeling cautiously optimistic.