story #4 in my “23 stories for a fried chicken sandwich” project.
all day, i was preparing to write something genius tonight. more genius and beautiful than ever before. but then leo found something odd on my cat’s mouth.
my calico celie is 17 years old, will be 18 in august. i stole her away from her stray mother who lived under the fence from me and my best friend K’s Melrose place apartment building (U-shaped with a pool in the middle; whacky neighbors we could spy on without barely trying). i wanted to keep Celie’s black and white brother, but she’s the one who kept squeezing under the fence to sit by me. i was 21 years old then. seems like a lifetime or maybe lifetimes ago.
her health has been deteriorating. she can’t clean or groom her whole self so well any more. but it isn’t all bad. although she’s always been an indoor car, for a few years now, she has spent hours in the backyard sun each day.
you really don’t know how you’re going to feel until it happens. i’m still holding very still.
the mass on her lip is pretty large. from what i can see, there are problems i can’t even begin to diagnose going on inside her mouth too. her eye is swollen, almost closed. my poor old girl.
i have loved this cat and, i admit, largely taken her presence for granted, especially since the boys came into our lives. but we do still share our small moments of bliss. i’ll call the vet tomorrow. tonight, i brushed her in long, long strokes for 20 minutes, and she purred and purred and threw her head back in thanks.