Wednesday, November 06, 2013
A Cat Named Angel
Angel is my mom's old cat. He was born feral under a neighbor's porch and when he was about a year old, my mother enticed him inside with freshly cooked chicken livers. He became the companion of her twilight years, "helping" her garden, and sitting on her lap while she read or worked her crossword puzzles, and stretching out on the bed beside her for a daily afternoon nap.
My mother let my girls name him, and because this was the late nineties and he had a buff colored litter mate (who was not as interested in food and therefore stayed feral), my girls named him Angel after the vampire in Buffy.
When my mom evacuated to my sister's house in California after Katrina, Angel went with her. And when my mother moved in with us six years ago, Angel came, too (much to Huckleberry's disgust). He adjusted amazingly well to becoming an indoor cat. And the night my mother went in the hospital, he crawled into bed with me and has slept with me ever since.
As he once "helped" my mother garden, Angel now "helps" me produce my books. He sleeps on my chapters. He sprawls half on my lap and half on my computer table when I'm trying to type. He lays on my right arm or bats at my hand wanting pets while I'm trying to write with a pen. He's fifteen years old, grumpy and opinionated and intensely affectionate, and I love him dearly. And yesterday I learned that he is in stage three renal failure.
Two of my other cats, seventeen-year-old Baby, who lives with my older daughter in San Antonio, and fifteen-year-old Thomasina, who now spends most of her time up in Baton Rouge with my younger daughter, are also seriously ill at the moment with unrelated problems. It is a human tendency to try to create order in a chaotic universe, to seek a reason for heartache. But there is no reason for all these sick cats; it simply is. And words fail me.