This is the 1st week of the “First Frost” season for Colleen Chesebro’s #TankaTuesday challenge based on the 24 Japanese seasons.
Although we don’t have a first frost in October ever in Arizona, and some years no frost at all, there are other aspects of the season that we do share with the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, as Colleen points out. She mentions Halloween and All Saints. I, of course, think of Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Two years ago I created a nicho to celebrate the day and the lives of my kitties who had passed over the rainbow bridge. https://writersite.org/2021/10/06/making-after-loss/
This year I bought a Count Dracula costume for my black cats. I wanted to capture Meesker’s little white fangs, but unfortunately, he is not a model. My daughter had to add in the fangs for me. Meet Count Meeskula!
My old lady Kana, on the other hand, is quite the ham. She loves dressing up. She does not have fangs, though. Meet Countess Grannyula!
So when I saw that black cats for luck is a kigo I knew I would write about them!
First an apology: this is not an uplifting inspirational Brand New Year post.
While I was desperately hoping that the new year would bring a lessening of troubles into my life, a couple of days ago I got a call from the veterinarian that told me 2023 is going to be another difficult year.
In my last update about my dear darling Perry’s health, I explained that the results of his abdominal ultrasound showed that he had either IBD (irritable bowel disease) or lymphoma of the GI system. We were going to decide on treatment after he underwent an echocardiogram to make sure his heart was ok. The reason for this was that the vet had noticed that Perry had developed a heart murmur.
Now, going back to 2017-2019, the first three years Perry came into our lives, the gardener and I were concerned about heavy breathing episodes that Perry would have. We worried about his heart or possibly a lung condition. We didn’t get very far with the specialists at the time. In fact, the esteemed cardiologist talked us out of an echo at that time.
For anybody who doesn’t know, by the way, Perry is the kitty who showed up in our yard in spring 2017 seeming completely feral. I worked so closely with him (reading, singing, reciting poetry, holding his food bowl while he ate) that he got over his extreme fear of humans and showed himself to be the most amazing cat EVER (and that is saying something since I was “mom” of the amazing cat Pear Blossom and have been mom to many cats). One of the many Perry highlights: Perry lies on his back nestled in my arm like a napping toddler.
Back to the echo we didn’t have at that time. Sure wish we had done it. Turns out now his heart is very bad. Three of the four heart chambers are enlarged, and he might have a hole in his atrial septum. He is so ill from his heart that the vet says it’s a moot point whether he has IBD or lymphoma. He also tests positive for the feline coronavirus (which causes FIP) so it’s possible it’s behind his illnesses. He will begin two new medications as soon as we receive them from the compounding pharmacy.
I can’t tell you how HEARTsick I am over this turn of events. Perry is seven years old. So far his worst visible symptom is severe diarrhea. Please send healing vibes and, if you pray, pray for my dear catboy.
On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Tiger Queenie Princess Mimi Josefina Castle tiptoed across the rainbow bridge while her Mommy and Daddy cried and her doctor gave Mommy a big hug. She met her feline sister and brothers Pear Blossom, Macavity, and Felix, her canine brother Sandy, and her feline niece Isabella Rose at the rainbow bridge. Tiger Queenie had the biggest catitude in the littlest body. Her beautiful tabico coat inspired one of her names, Josefina, as it was the coat of many colors. We loved her so much.
The day before she had to be put down for a probable brain tumor (her deterioriation by the day was marked), I learned that our dear Kana is in renal insufficiency and needs testing. Last July was Izzie, August was Felix, and September was Pear Blossom. This past year needs a re-do. Suffice it to say for now that Tiger Queen Princess Mimi Josefina was a very special kitty. She was the gardener’s favorite cat of all. And we both loved her universes-full.