Friday, November 13, 2009

Not Knowing

Kashmir, our less-than-graceful but utterly endearing socialite who lives for her twice-daily dish of wet cat food, is sick. Quite sick. And we're not sure if this is sickness of the temporary or terminal variety. I've been trying very hard not to think in terms of the latter, but it is hard to remain optimistic when I see her.

She hasn't eaten her wet food in a few weeks, which at first we blamed on a bad batch of food (at the time, Jasmine was leaving little "gifts" for us with alarming frequency). We threw that box of cans out, bought new food, but saw little improvement. Occasionally, she'd lick the gravy, but she wouldn't eat it. We tried other brands. No change. And then, about a week ago, she did not even show up in the kitchen at dinner time.

If you know her at all, you know that she is generally found stalking the kitchen and anyone near it for at least two hours before feeding time--rubbing against our legs, meowing in a pitch at once pitiful and hopeful, planting herself strategically between us and our destination, and otherwise making a nuisance of herself. She lives for her food, and her absence in the kitchen was more like a void.

At first, I thought she was just depressed over her food situation. Whether she was gun-shy after her encounters with the bad food or disgusted because Fancy Feast changed their recipe, I thought she might simply be losing her spirit over her mealtime travails. But this week, there have been other signs of concern: she is lethargic; she prefers to lay on the mat by our front door or on the cool, hard wood rather than on a fresh pile of warm laundry; she doesn't harass me at the computer during the kids' naps or snuggle into our laps in the evening; when we approach her to pet her or croon our concern, she squeaks in sincerest pathos. Last night, we had guests over, and she wouldn't move herself off the mat to allow the door to open, let alone charm the guests with her social antics.

Something is wrong. And we don't know what. We have an appointment this afternoon. If it weren't clear she doesn't have an ounce of energy to exert, I would be worried about wrangling her into the carrier. As it is, I don't think she'll protest at all. At 3 o'clock, the kids and I will load into the car with Kashmir to see the vet. I've already had the conversation with Ben about the possible outcomes of our visit: they may be able to give her medicine to make her better, they may need us to take her somewhere else for more tests, or they may say she's too sick for medicine, which means she may die. We're hoping against the last outcome.

So now we're in the waiting place, as we have been since we set the appointment on Wednesday. We don't know what's wrong or how to make it better. All we can tell the kids--and ourselves--is that she's sick and needs lots of extra love.

Poor Kashmir.

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