Monday, July 15, 2013

This is who we were to each other

I happened to notice this in the directory for the videos I've shot with the S100. It's a moment in my life with Bonnie... a very sweet one. I would have thought that something like this would have just gutted me, but it doesn't. Yes, it makes me wistful and I long to hold her again. But I'm actually so happy that I casually recorded this moment. She was sleeping beside me and having a dream. I could see her twitch and move. At times like that, I used to try to "talk" myself into her dreams... call to her quietly, tell her she was a good girl, praise her. There was often a noticeable increase in her movements. I'd like to think she was dreaming she was running to come to me. It used to please me that talking to her, even in her sleep, seemed to evoke a response. I was trying to record that when this happened instead.

It was recorded about quarter to ten on the evening of Sunday, October 6, 2012. That was a couple of months after Max died, and I guess about three weeks or so before I noticed the swollen nipple that turned out to be cancer. This video, then, sort of caps off the end of my "normal" life with Bonnie.

Wasn't she wonderful?


Bridgewater said...

Sweet. You and Your Girl certainly seem to have had a special relationship.
That's not to say it couldn't happen again, or something similar. Our cat was well socialized when she came to us, friendly and seeking attention, but didn't care to be picked up and not much of a lap cat. Nonetheless, in the wake of three events she became dog-like in her expression of affection. When she had been with us for about a year, we moved to another state. At first she kept us in sight at all times as we filled boxes with books and bedding. We had placed her carrier near the front door where it was out of the way of foot traffic, and gradually we noticed that she was constantly lying in the carrier. Given that the usual association with the carrier had been the v-e-t, we were surprised that she would suddenly prefer to be there--until we realized that she knew we were leaving that place and was determined not to be left behind. When moving day came, she was already in the carrier. Whereas she had moaned and groaned (or barfed and crapped) on every previous car ride, she stood in the carrier next to me, looking out the car window until the wheels began to roll, and then she lay silently for the three days it took to get to the new place. At night in the motels she raced around the room, chasing her ball and letting off steam; the next morning she was back in the carrier before we were ready to go. Once we were in the new place and unpacking the boxes, she stopped going to the carrier altogether. And we noticed that, unlike before, she didn't just walk back and forth on our lap to be petted--she would sit quietly or lie down, looking up and blinking. Was this new behavior a way of telling us that she felt we could be trusted? When we moved again several years later, she lay in a smaller carrier without a peep over twenty-odd hours and five airports. As we settled in at the new place, we saw a new behavior--talking. Ask her a question, and she would answer vocally along with the usual tail-hugs. Then a couple of years ago, in response to a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, she began to eat only wet food--canned ostrich and reindeer--which meant feeding small amounts three times a day with fresh water always available but no food between meals. So--ready to eat when dinner is served, acutely aware of where the food is coming from, lots of vocalizing and tail-hugs while the food is being mixed with water to form the slop she prefers. Makes us wonder whether a little hunger makes the heart grow fonder; as this regimen got underway she began to be a serious lap cat, jumping aboard as soon as a lap materialized, sitting up and leaning in as if she couldn't get close enough or sprawling half on the arm of the chair, half on the lap. The latest is to lead the potential lap to the chair; the message couldn't be clearer if she could speak English. Guess she has finally got us trained to her satisfaction...

barefoot hiker said...

Bridgewater, I wanted to thank you for your extensive and heartwarming comment. :) I was carried away by your description of your cat's inner life, reflected in her actions and changes in attitude. For the rest of my life, "tail-hug" will form part of my vocabulary. I never had a cat who was a leg-winder before Ally, but clearly, "tail-hugs" are what I get when a can of cat food is being opened, and now I have a term for it. Obliged to your for it all. :)

Bridgewater said...

Thought you might need a little heart-warming, given your recent change in circumstances. Hope you've made progress on that front.

"Leg-winder" is good, too--succinct, evocative, euphonic.