BJ's recent phrase for anything he doesn't like is "Not So Good." He's picked this up from S, who tends to dance around saying anything is outright "bad." So BJ will annouce, "Lunchtime is not so good, Mommy." (He was busy playing.) Or, "That song is not so good." (Because it was something other than They Might Be Giants being played in the car.... heaven forfend!) This afternoon, he informed me that my dancing was "Not so good." I was proud of myself for resisting the urge to stick out my tongue at him.
Actually, "Not So Good" pretty much sums it up around here these past few days. BJ has a cold, BB is teething with her second tooth and now seems to have caught BJ's runny nose. Chrysanthemum has developed a tear along her side and it seems irreparable -- and it also appears that the toy she originally came with is no longer for sale, except through Amazon.com in Japan.
Sigh. If ANYBODY knows where I can get Critter Cubes, made by Sassy (or even just the little mouse figurine) I will be eternally grateful, as will BJ. I've contacted Sassy directly with a desperate plea for help, but I have a feeling I may be needing to find somebody who knows Japanese and can navigate the Amazon site to order it for us.
But even worse than that, our beloved cat is ailing.
Socks was diagnosed with bone cancer back in the early spring, and up until Sunday night he'd been doing remarkably well. A slight limp and a huge thirst from the pain medications, but otherwise quite fine and very much himself. Still getting around well, still athletic, still wanting to play and harass our other cat.
Apparently, bone cancer in cats is very rare, so our vet had a hard time giving us a sense of how things would play out. We opted not to do any heroic measures (chemo and amputation) and instead decided to let nature take its course and palliate the pain as needed. Based on her experience with large breed dogs (where bone cancer is more common) she'd expected Socks to live maybe a month or two.
So we're blessed to have had him around for many months beyond that. But the vet warned us that things would get ugly, that his bone would eventually break. This seems to have happened on Sunday night. He jumped down from the window and must have landed wrong. He spent much of the night biting and licking at his leg, and running around as though trying to flee the pain and leave his limb behind. Absolutely heartbreaking to see.
On Monday we talked to the vet and decided to see how he'd do on some stronger pain medication (Buprenex, a narcotic) and prednisone. He seems much better. Sedated, of course, but also still something of himself. He's still eating, which is good, and he's still seeking out our company, wanting to sit on a lap and purr and be stroked. No longer frantically licking or biting at his leg. The limp is worse, but he's still getting around okay. We are going to try to keep him with us as long as he seems reasonably happy and not in such pain that he's shutting down. Just taking it day by day.
Perhaps the most difficult part of all this is anticipating how hard it will be to explain it all to BJ. We've been reading him books to try to do some preparation -- specifically, "Cat Heaven" (which makes me cry) and "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney." He likes "Cat Heaven" especially, and the other night when we were out looking at the moon and listening to the crickets he told me about how there are crickets on the way to cat heaven. It squoze my heart something fierce.
Before he adopted us, Socks was a neighborhood cat. He walked in and introduced himself the very first night we spent in this house. (We had the windows open and hadn't yet put in screens.) As S put it last night, Socks is "a prince among cats." He's patient with the kids, handsome, athletic, and a total sweetheart. We're grateful he has shared his life with us for a while. I just hope his last days are good ones.