Our Senior Cat has been taking medication for his pneumonia for three days now.
At the two day mark, we noticed little things. He is sleeping out in the open again. He had found a special little nest of seclusion that My Youngest had made for him and had abandoned 'his' pillows on the couch in favor of this special little spot of his own.
His eyes were just a little bit brighter and animated. We could see a little bit of our 'old cat' coming back to life.
Our Senior Cat is socializing with us a little bit more. Sleeping in his (previously) old, regular spots where he can be seen. I hadn't even realized that he had vacated those spots until he reappeared. It felt so good and so right to see him where he belongs.
He jumped up on the bookcase by the living room window and enjoyed the view of the great outdoors yesterday afternoon. Once again, this is another one of the small things our Senior Cat had stopped enjoying in life.
Then there was (what I think) may have been a cat chase up the stairs. I didn't see it. I simply heard the sound of stairs being taken in one big 'whirr' (where you don't hear the individual steps but more like thumbing through a deck of cards). Just one continuous sound. By the time I poked my head out to see what all the ruckus was about, I saw both cats sitting face-to-face in close proximity to each other, so I guessed that they both raced up the stairs.
This morning, I heard a skirmish in the hallway and there was an abbreviated round of cat wrestling coming to an end (cat fur was flying - yet another thing that I didn't notice was missing until it reappeared).
Our Senior Cat is still not purring his big, monstrous purr but he is purring. It is gentle and tentative. But he is purring. And it doesn't even sound rusty.
Watching our cat sleep in the heat of the summer sun yesterday exhausted me and I found my own little spot and cat napped along with him. I had hoped that he would snuggle up with me and grace me with his special brand of purring ... but he didn't. Maybe next time.
It's funny. A person doesn't consciously notice when those little things start to happen. A little bit like a relationship dying a slow death. Those 'little things' stop (or start) happening and then 'big things' start to change. It feels catastrophic at the time until you look at things backwards and see that things had been disintegrating over a very long period of time.
A person doesn't appreciate life's little blessings until they are threatened. Then you realize what you had all along.
Life is throwing this lesson at me from every direction. I'm trying. I'm really trying to be grateful for every little thing that blesses my life. But the lessons are not slowing down.
For this moment ... for today, I will simply appreciate every little cat-step towards our Senior Cat's return to life-as-he-knew-it. We all know that life is not eternal. The best we can hope for is good health and a comfortable life while we are living it. That is so much more than so very many people have.
As I root for our cat's good health to return, I will be thinking of those that I know where it is simply not that easy. Black and white answers are often not among the choices we are given in life. We have to learn to appreciate the gray.
I've said it before and I'll say it many more times before I die "If money can fix our problems, we are very lucky indeed". As I paid the vet bill and realized that a follow-up visit was inevitable, the cost was the last thing on my mind.
As the days before us unfold, we will be ever-aware of the little things. They all add up.