Favorite Cat

photo (4)This is Sadie. Of the Three Black Cats, she’s my favorite. It may be impolitic to have a favorite cat; but still, I do. Sadie and her sister, Sally, came to me in December 2003 from a local shelter. I had just lost one of my two current cats, Hobbes. Calvin was sad, and so I thought a kitten might cheer him up. (Or perhaps I was projecting.) When I went to the shelter, I saw two nearly identical fluffy black kitties together in one of the enclosures. I visited with them both for quite some time, attempting to choose which one to bring home to Calvin. Sadie was curious and playful, scampering around the visiting room, coming close for petting and cuddling, and running off again. Sally was shy and frightened, nuzzling my neck and clinging to me, now and again crying with her high-pitched kitten mew. (The shelter had named them Choctaw and Cheyenne.) Well, of course I wanted the gregarious Sadie. But how could I leave needy, frightened little Sally behind, and split her up from her litter-mate, Sadie, with whom she had bonded? So I did the only reasonable thing, and took them both home.

Poor old Calvin died only a few short weeks after I introduced him to the girls. The illness came on quickly and he died before the vet could get the ultrasound technician in. I expect it was his kidneys (compounded by the grief of losing Hobbes), but we never found out for certain.

Sadie and Sally have continued true to form. Sadie is still the sociable explorer, and also has turned out to be quite a lover. Sally remains somewhat shy, but she’s gotten better over the years. Sally still clings (she likes to sleep draped across my neck), and her high-pitched kitten mew hasn’t deepened much.

In late 2012, when Sadie and Sally had been enjoying their two-cat household for ten years, scruffy emaciated Sophie showed up on our doorstep. Like Sadie and Sally, Sophie was fluffy and black. Unlike Sadie and Sally, her coat was dull and matted. After three months of wooing with tuna and Greenies, she came in from the cold and joined our Black Cat Troupe. Now, three years later, her coat is soft and lustrous, and she no longer runs to cower in the corner at the slightest movement or sound. In fact, Sophie has become quite the cuddler.

But Sadie. Sadie is my girl. And Sadie is sick. At this very moment, she’s at the vet having blood work and an ultrasound. Over the past several weeks, she’s been drinking and urinating a lot more frequently. Last week, she vomited twice, and her appetite has decreased significantly. She seems lethargic, not even bothering to chase Sophie out of her territory. My mobile vet suggested that I take her in right away for the testing, and mentioned things like “kidney disease” and “cancer” and “subcutaneous fluids.” When I dropped Sadie off at the vet this morning, they said things like “urinary tract infection” and “diabetes.” So here I am, hoping Sadie has diabetes. The lesser of the evils.

Yesterday, I googled kidney disease and watched YouTube videos on administering subcutaneous fluids at home, imagining Sadie has only months or weeks to live. And then I stopped myself, opting for meditation and Sadie cuddling, instead. Today I am intent on staying in the present moment, not catastrophizing, and laying off the google searches as I await the test results. It’s going to be okay.

Sadie, my favorite cat, is going to be okay.

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