In this photo, Pavlov sits amid the ruins of tractor-feed perforation strips from my old Okidata dot-matrix computer printer. He loved playing with those strands of paper and usually created a huge mess. Photo by Del Stone Jr.
OK, so this blog is about a cat. Pavlov. MY cat. He’s sick and it scares me. I don’t want him to die.
Pavlov was here in 1992 when I was trying to recover from a catastrophic relationship. He didn’t know it but he helped me through that.
He was here on Oct. 4, 1995, when Category 4 Hurricane Opal roared across the Florida Panhandle. He didn’t know what was happening and his calm demeanor helped me cope with the terrifying destruction I watched fly past my window.
He was here in October 1998 when my father was dying and I finally broke down and cried for the first time in 25 years. He crawled into my lap and pawed at my chest as I sobbed.
He was here on Sept. 11, 2001 as I watched airplanes fly into buildings and could not comprehend the cruelty I was seeing on TV.
He was here on Sept. 15, 2004 as Hurricane Ivan laid waste to the Panhandle and I could not bear to sleep upstairs because the sound of debris hitting the roof frightened the living hell out of me.
And he was here in December 2005 when I made the decision to have Maggie, my other cat, put to sleep after she succumbed to the very same disease that is killing Pavlov now.
Pavlov is a chore. He must be given an IV every day. He needs laxatives to do his business. I hide vitamins in his food. He eats three different kinds of very expensive cat chow – at this point anything down his gut is a good thing. I give him an antibiotic twice a day. And he needs a special “massage” to keep his alopecia at bay.
It’s very expensive and time-consuming.
I think he’s still happy. He doesn’t appear to be suffering.
But it’s clear to me he’s heading downhill. He sounds different. He’s peeing around the house, which is never a good sign. I think his diabetes has returned.
I had Maggie put to sleep the week before Christmas, and I cried for weeks afterwards. I loved that cat.
I believed I didn’t feel the same about Pavlov, but I’m seeing now that isn’t true. It will be heartbreaking to make that drive to the vet in Destin.
No more pets.
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