Shortly before leaving for Blog Paws I realized something. Morph was having a hard time getting around, didn’t quite seem to know where he was at times (he’d almost gone out the back door by accident), and wasn’t interacting as much. The wide eyes in full bright light up in the picture might give you an idea of what happened. Morph had gone blind, at least mostly.
It seemed like a sudden onset as I only noticed him bumbling around the house a few days before, but his sight may well have been deteriorating for some time. He’s had episodes of piteous, soul shattering yowling at night for months. I’ve not been sure what to make of this, other than being damned annoyed by it. Now a plausible explanation seems that he was disoriented in the dark and didn’t know where he was. Knowing this has only made the yowling a tad less annoying. During the day he had enough light to get around. Now even full daylight isn’t enough.
There had been concern about his blood pressure before, eventually finding normal results, but now the vet’s working theory is there have been spikes in blood pressure that have done damage to the insanely fine and delicate blood vessels in his eyes. She put him on a blood pressure medication in hopes that will take some pressure off the delicate vessels and give them a chance to heal, maybe giving him some of his sight back. It’s a human medication in a tiny pill and he needs to take it at cat doses, so I have to force a quarter of a tiny pill down the throat of a handicapped cat every morning.
He may not see well, but he can still look resentful.
Recovery is no sure thing though, but over the last couple of weeks he’s been on the medication his eyes seem to have gotten much more responsive to bright light. He’s not seeing perfectly, he’s mistaken Hershey on the couch for me on a couple of occasions and neither of us are having fun getting the tiny pills down his throat each day, but he’s doing OK. Cats are built for operating in the dark, and now that it’s not as dark for him as it had been he seems more like his old self.
In Central California, during the summer, Mother Nature leans hard on the thermostat and then brings out the blow torches. Typical high temperatures run in the 90’s or low 100’s, with occasional runs of 110+ days I like to refer to as ‘facemelters.’
These days my body seems to think it’s a fine idea to wake up at 4 a.m. and get my day going. The animals take this in stride, the dogs usually going out for a potty break before coming back in to sleep, the cat brothers spend this time trying to play Getinyourlap.
When not mockingly asleep, Hershey spends this time on Cat Patrol. If Graham’s job of Vital Importance is barking at every little damn thing he hears, then Hershey’s is keeping a near constant eye on what the neighborhood cats are up to. Especially the ones brazen enough to hang out on our front porch.
Hershey seems to have the world divided into two kinds of cats: Indoor Cats who she (usually) doesn’t show any interest in, and Outdoor Cats who are INCREDIBLY INTERESTING!!! They are the most AMAZINGLY AMAZING creatures she has ever seen! And she has to meet/chase EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!!
So when the neighborhood cats hang out on (or cross, or just happen to walk by) my front porch, Hershey’s increasingly frantic interest (one of the reasons she’s not going to Blog Paws) usually scares them away. There’s one however I have to shoo away myself. He’s a beautiful white cat from two doors down named Fenton and he could hang on the porch all day completely unconcerned about Hershey whining just a foot away, because he’s deaf as a post. Fortunately, Fenton doesn’t come around that often and the rest of the interesting cats have the good sense to leave the premises when Hershey gets worked up enough.
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now this “Caturday” post has only a tangential relationship with actual cats. To make up for this please enjoy this picture of how uninteresting Hershey and Graham think the Indoor Cats are:
Shortly after Flick died I contacted an artist to have him preserved as a work of art. Leah Davies does pet portraits in a number of mediums and after some discussion with her and some consideration I commissioned her to do a pencil drawing of my too quickly departed cat.
I liked the look of her drawings and to me it felt right. It would be like a fading memory, still with me but softened. The picture I chose for her to work from was one I’d shared after Flick died, of him helpfully sitting in the empty water dish.