Its a beautiful day outside today. This morning we were treated to a quick-moving storm that darkened the morning skies, but quickly gave way to sunshine and bright, springtime color. Inside, however, it's a slightly different story. I'm nursing a cold and a sprained ankle. Plus, I think my kitty of these last 19 years is preparing to leave us.
Nimue and I have what I would call a "love-frustrate" relationship, meaning that she has always loved me and has caused me no small amount of frustration on a regular basis. She was downright grumpy and occasionally mean for much of her younger years. Age has mellowed her a great deal, so I haven't had to concern myself too much for some time now with that part of her personality that was trouble for me and any company I might have. For years, though, she could be unpredictable with her temperament.
She also liked to do plenty of things that she knew she wasn't supposed to do or would drive me up a wall. For example, when I would nurse my younger daughter in the wee hours of the morning, she would walk over to the plants that she ignored during the day, look right at me and then begin to chew. Of course, having the baby attached to me meant there was little I could do except scold her in a yelling whisper, "Nimue! Stop! Stop that!" Because what came next was throwing up that same plant on the carpet.
Another favorite of hers was to meow at all hours of the night right outside our bedroom door. It doesn't mean that letting her in would make her quiet; she meowed if let in as well.
So, it should really should not have surprised me that despite her current slow-motion state and little action in general, she could still manage to create a ruckus as only Nimue can.
She hasn't eaten anything for 3 days now. Today she tasted her food for a few seconds, but she's pretty much refused anything other than water on the whole. So when she got up to walk toward the kitchen from her basket, I followed, curious and hopeful. She just planted herself in a little patch of sunlight on the floor, so I thought, it being so beautiful outside and her speed of movement being greatly diminished, that I could let her out back into our fenced-in yard to roam about in the sunshine a bit. Even though I'm hobbling around, I thought even I could outpace her at this point.
So, out we went and she was very happy about this. She immediately walked easily ( I thought she might fall) down the three steps of our deck and took a stroll through the grass and into the perennial bed. She sniffed about here and there and headed back. "Oh," I thought, "she may not have many more adventures like this." (Though she is an indoor cat, I have let her out from time to time under observation or on a leash or tie-out. The tie out, by the way, was not fool-proof and led to another fiasco, but that's another story for another day). I checked to see that everything was safe. The deck, though short, was closed in all around, so she couldn't get under there, and there was only one, small opening under the fence and she was not near that. "I'll just go grab my camera and take a few shots." And I went inside, knowing right where I'd placed my camera in my purse and was all of FIFTEEN SECONDS in the house. I come out and she was gone. Really? Really???? Well, no, not really, because this being our rental house, and me not realizing that the deck was not, in fact, closed-up all the way around, she'd squeezed under the 6-inch gap on the back side of the deck and crawled to the FAR end closest to the house... and lay down.
Oh great. What if she DIES under there??? I'm going to have to find something to start to rip apart a portion of this deck to get her out!
Eve came outside and lay down on the grass looking under the deck and shouting and my nearly-deaf kitty, "Nimue!!! Nimue!!! Come out!!"
Maia came outside and marched around on the deck first in bare feet and then in wooden-soled sandals, making a loud racket to inspire same nearly-deaf kitty to come out.
I tried calling my brother-in-law to see if he had a screwdriver bit that might fit in a drill to unscrew those screws with a flower-shape on the head instead of anything I recognized (Phillips or flat-head) so that I could begin disassembling the deck! Yes, that's right. I did have those thoughts.
Nimue lay at the back and calmly stared at us doing what she has done her whole, live-long life: whatever she wants.
Eventually, she sniffed around a bit and started heading out only to initially tease Eve by turning back within arm's reach. But she did, finally, mercifully come back out and we brought her back inside. Just so she could step two front feet in the litter box and pee on the floor.
Ah, yes. Days to cherish.
But, you know, I still love her and I will miss this whiny, old lady when she is gone from our lives and I'm thankful that right now she is still happy, if skinny and slow, and sleeping contentedly in her basket right now, which is just what she wants to do.