Laughing as we transition back to "normal"
I recently lost two of my five cats, in three days. I am suffering from a lot of guilt, not so much over things I did, but rather things I didn't and stuff I was too busy to notice. Later, I may tell their stories on here and it may be part of my healing process, but I'm not ready quite yet.
Ever since Clarence and Scamper passed away, I have been reaching for perfection with my other cats. I decided we would solve the flea problem, Snowball would live upstairs instead of in the basement, and above all, they would eat canned food. I began to ask around and systematically decided on the best quality of food, and began giving them just a little once a day. These cats would get healthy and they would damned well be happy too, or at least I would die trying! I had a plan and it would work. This morning was target day for the canned food. I took away the dry food (never to be seen again) last night so they would be really hungry. They accosted me in my bedroom this morning asking to eat (so far so good). I measured out the canned food carefully and gave it to them. Here is what happened next and it all happened in 30 seconds: Snowball gobbled down her own and frantically began trying to get to everybody elses, Mouse turned up her nose and prowled the house looking for her precious dry, and Spooky ate part of his and threw up. When I say "threw up" I don't mean just a little hairball type thing like cats do, I mean he vomited, think trajectile! It was all over the counter and dripping down on the floor. My husband had to hold our three dogs back as they were trying to lap it up. I'm trying to comfort Spooky and clean up the mess at the same time and Snowball is eating what the others didn't.
Afterward I just sat there and laughed, not at my cats, but at myself. Here I am fussing, trying to be the perfect cat owner, rocking everybody's boat. My cats are saying "Why doesn't she just stop? Why is she doing this to us?" So I put the dry food back out. I showed it to Mouse, who gave me a dirty look as if to say "Too late, I don't want it now." Snowball treated herself to some dry for dessert and went to the basement, where she and Scamper used to hang out and where she feels comfortable (I didn't try to stop her). Spooky is on the couch trying to recover from his previous bout of nausea. From now on, if I want to improve their quality of life, I'll give them an extra pat now and then and speak to them more, but not try to change the lifestyle they've had for 9-15 years. They may not see 20 years old, but they will make their own quality of life as they see fit. I think we're all going to be ok now.