It's Tache's fault that I haven't written for the past couple days. If I sit down on the couch and turn on the TV or pick up my book, she stays at the other end of couch on her bed. But let me pick up the computer and she makes her way over here, lays down on top of the mouse and puts her paw on my left arm so that I can't type with it. It's hard to watching her make her way slowly and carefully alond the edge of the couch. Her back legs are not all the steady anymore. She's past her 18th birthday and going downhill. She reminds me more and more of the shabby Grizabella and I wonder what she is remembering when she looks so intently into my eyes.
I remember a meowing kitten on my lap as we drove home from a friend's house. They were half-way through the construction of their new house and had discovered that a stray cat had adopted their newly built garage as a home for her and her kittens. We arrived home and Jacob and Kevin (then 5 & 7) introduced her to our dog Sheila, who was 1 year old. Sheila, typically, was all "cool, a playmate" and Tache backs away from a big, wet tongue that just engulfed her head hissing and spitting. Sheila looks startled and then crouches down, trying to seem small and lays her head on the floor as though to say "hey, it's ok, we're all friends"
The next day I went into the livingroom and there is Sheila with Tache curled up against her stomach sleeping.
Flash forward a few weeks and Tache is chewing on Sheila's tail while she is sleeping. Suddenly Sheila springs to her feet and pins Tache to the ground with her mouth. I could almost hear Sheila saying "see, I could eat you if I wanted too...so knock it off". Sheila let her go and she scampered away. Sheila lay back down and Tache slowly crept near and curled up against Sheila's stomach and closed her eyes.
Another flash forward and Sheila is chasing Tache through the house until she jumps up on top of the couch and out of reach. I scold Sheila . She slinks away. It happens again. Again I scold Sheila. She slinks away and comes and lays down near me in the kitchen. Then I see Tache creep around the corner and go up to Sheila and pat her on her nose. Sheila opens her eyes, looks at Tache, closes her eyes. A paw goes out and pats Sheila on her nose. Sheila opens her eyes, looks at Tache, and closes her eyes. A paw goes out and pats Sheila on her nose...Sheila jumps up, Tache takes off with Sheila in pursuit. This time I say, "Tache, you are on your own" and I pet Sheila as she eventually comes back to the kitchen to try to take a nap.
The other day I came into my room and Tache was lying on my bed. She was so still that for a moment I thought she had died. But she picked her head up right away. She's going blind but her hearing is still sharp. I hope my old friend will die peacefully in her sleep. I don't really want to have to make that decision for her.