Our elderly baby, Prissy, gave us a horrible scare Friday night. She had a housefull of people in tears. My husband, our middle daughter, and I had gone to the movies (We had a date with The Mummy.)
After the movie, when we came in the back door, our oldest daughter (Emily) and her boyfriend (Dill) were eating cookies and watching Prissy. Stephany and her boyfriend (Rusty the snake catcher) were nearby as well.
Apparently, Prissy had had some sort of a seizure. Emily said that she started going around in circles, disoriented and even fell over. She picked her up and held her for a while – telling her everything was all right, etc. When she put her back in her bed (on the kitchen floor, near her food), she was restless and kept getting up – but couldn’t walk, she kept going extremely to one side and falling down.
The kids rubbed her and got her to lay down and go to sleep.
When we came in, Prissy heard the door and was getting up as Emily told me about what had happened. Sure enough, she kept falling – breaking everyone’s heart in the process.
Given the fact that our girl is almost 20 (her birthday’s next month), has lost her sight entirely, and weighs less than 10 pounds, we thought this was pretty much the heartbreaking end. I got out of my clothes and into my gown and took up my rightful place by my baby.
Alexa stayed nearby, keeping a concerned watch over everything. She kept looking from me to Prissy, then back to Prissy… I held Prissy and offered her water and food – she seemed grateful for all of it, especially the holding. She didn’t seem to mind that I was crying all over her. I just kept thinking how I wouldn’t allow her to suffer or to die slowly. I made up my mind that I’d take her to a vet and have him help her along. Oddly enough, even through all of the drama, Prissy (the sweetest cat in the world – I swear) managed to purr.
Stephany knew me well enough to bring me a pillow and cover – she knew I wasn’t going anywhere. I spent the night sleeping on and off on the floor beside Prissy’s bed. We had frequent visitors through the night, everyone checking in from time to time – on both of us. I’d always loved our white marble kitchen floor before, but it’s miserable to sleep on! Around 3:00 am I was certain that it was the coldest, hardest floor ever made.
Saturday morning, Prissy seemed much better. With my arms steadying her, she even managed to walk to her food and water rather than them coming to her. The improvement felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off of my chest. By Sunday, her movement was even better – she ventured pretty far a couple of times… Purring the whole time, of course. She was pretty proud of herself.
The emotional rollercoaster has left all of us drained. I know full-well that the time will come when she doesn’t rebound. I know that, at 20, she’s really pushing the envelope. But she’s still happy, able to eat, drink, and do her business. She loves to be talked to, rubbed, and brushed. She enjoys life and I can see that. She gets excited over food, fresh cool water, and (oddly enough) when I give her fresh blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals to cozy up with. If they’re fresh from the dryer, she really gets excited! She loves attention and was born to be the star of the show. I know that our days with her are coming to an end. I know we dodged the lightening this time and probably won’t be so lucky the next time.
But I also know that my baby is right in the next room, still with me after nearly 20 years. It means so much to me that she AT LEAST makes it to her 20th birthday, but if she begins to show signs of suffering even in the slightest or (as my husband put it), losing her dignity and pride, every other concern will go flying out of the window. She’s always been a very proud, “prissy” little diva – which is how she got her name in the first place. We owe it to her to make sure she’s able to leave this world with as much pride as she entered it.
God willing, it will be peacefully in her sleep after a day spent in the center of the stage – receiving the love and attention of her audience. That’s how she’d want it and it’d be a fitting end to our little star.
But, for now, the show goes on and I thank God for the extended performances!