Having cut my teeth with a cat who was essentially a small dog, I obviously missed some of the fine points of raising felines. After losing Hershel to a urinary blockage, my slightly obsessed tendency towards doing extracurricular reading and knowing things let me down a number of intellectual rabbit holes. One of those research projects led me to discover that most domestic cats tend not to drink enough and hover constantly near a state of dehydration. It explains at least some of what makes male cats so damned prone to urinary tract issues.
Knowing something, having the information, is only worthwhile when it leads to improved decision making, I’d always kept Hershel on high quality dry food. While that most likely wasn’t the outright cause of his demise, it could easily be a contributing factor – and something I’d done unwittingly because at the time I lacked better information.
Now, with a bit of upgraded knowledge, Anya and Cordelia have their own filtered water fountain as well as access to the other strategically placed water bowls around the house. I’ve also opted to augment their kibble with twice daily wet food. They seem to enjoy it and the extra moisture is supposedly to their advantage. Aside from what feels like an absurd price for big boxes filled with three ounce cans, I’m reasonably satisfied it’s better for them overall than the way I use to do things. I will, however, refrain from naming specific brands here because the internet is an utter shitshow of people who want to dive in and criticize every choice and brand if it’s not precisely how and what they do themselves. That’s mess enough on Reddit that I won’t invite the same kind of engagement here.
In any case, the gang is eating and appears to be performing all other bodily functions normally so if nothing else, this change in process meets the baseline standard of doing no harm. I may never know if going over and beyond very basic feeding and watering makes a difference. If it does, that’s terrific and I’ve bought Anya and Cordy a marginally improved quality of life. If it doesn’t, I’m only out some money… and I’d have probably just pissed that away on magic beans or something anyway.
Being a multi-animal household, I always have an interest in how they get along. Some simply mesh better than others – and knowing who needs to be fed separately or who’s apt to pick a fight over a certain toy can be awfully critical information to have at your fingertips. It’s not hard to sort out what’s what when you live with them day in and day out over a period of years. Getting it sorted, though, doesn’t take nearly that much time.
As for my crew, Hershel and Maggie regularly palled around, by which I mean you’d often catch them napping together in the living room. Even if occasionally he’d give her a quick bite seemingly out of nowhere, she mostly put up with it. They seemed to have their own kind of bond, but it was proof enough to me that cats and dogs can happily live together. Hershel’s the one who’s going to spend the next few days wandering around the house trying to figure things out.
Maggie and Jorah’s relationship is a bit of a different story. They occupied the same space, interacted tangentially, and were mostly happy to do their own thing. It was a bit like observing two people who could be perfectly civil to one another without really being friends. With almost ten years between their individual stage of life, that was always easy enough to write off to the age gap. He seems to be happy enough mostly keeping to the well established routine.
Winston, gone now for the better part of three years, was always Maggie’s alter ego. They were unquestionably a pair, inseparable except in the ultimate extreme. She took losing him every bit as hard as I did.
I’m utterly unqualified to speculate on what’s beyond the veil that both Winston and Maggie have now passed through and that waits for us all. If there is something other than the end of consciousness and the return of energy to the universe, I’d hope they manage to find one another again.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a church for something other than a wedding or a funeral, but I vaguely remember some debate on whether or not animals go to the Christian heaven. Something about them not having the ability to “accept salvation.” Let me just go on the record here and now by saying that if there is, in fact, some echo of consciousness that carries on after life and it resides forever somewhere posted “no dogs allowed,” I want no part of it.
I’ll happily take my chances going wherever it is they go.
I know I was busy today. I have the meeting notes, calendar invitations, and seemingly endless chain of emails to prove I’ve done something today. I try not to delve too deeply into differentiating simply being busy and actually getting things done. The two are most decidedly not synonymous. I’ve long since given up on making an official distinction between the two. In my estimation on any given day as long as you look busy, people will assume you are busy. That’s one of the great double edged swords of working for Uncle.
So is there virtue to being busy even if you don’t really have anything to show for it? Well, it passes the time if nothing else. When you live your life eight hours at a time, I suppose that has to count for something. A quick eight hours is usually preferable to a slow eight hours. That’s not universally true, of course, because there are some days that go quickly only because they are so full of unimaginable levels of stupid. Stupid can be a deal breaker – because at some point things can easily get so far sideways that a slow day would just be less anguished.
I can sit here and ask myself what kind of day it’s been, but that probably misses the real point. Just now, busy or slow, it’s the best kind of day – the one that is quickly receding into the rear view of life. I’m not nearly that Zen, of course, but I have important business to attend. After all, dogs and cats aren’t going to learn to live together all by themselves.