Tag Archives: Companion

One Step at a Time

Time.  As I’ve aged, sometimes fear has crept in, wondering what I’d do with my time, my minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years remaining.  I’ve imagined myself sitting on a couch using the TV as my companion, my cat as my only communication with others, the phone or doorbell never ringing, adult children I never see and holidays that come and go.

It would be a very lonely way to spend the end of life years  but it is the life of many people, many seniors I’ve visited over the last decades of my working with them.  Working in a job I did not design for myself but rather stumbled into when I needed work I began to meet those who needed extra care, cleaning done, meals made, visiting, a walk around the block, a pat on the cheek, a hug and some love.

Now that I am changing direction and ‘retired’ from looking after the elderly I’m recognizing I was given a gift – the opportunity to love those that are sometimes forgotten.   In return I’ve been loved.  Accepted.  Trusted.  I am grateful.

Though some of you are no longer here, some of you need more care than I can give, and likely none of you will ever read this post, I want to say thank you.  In the midst of my entering your homes, your most vulnerable spaces and needs, I was given tools on how to age with dignity because you showed the way.  Thank you.

I’m changing direction and opening doors of opportunity and peeking in…more than that I’ve taken a couple of steps inside to see what is there because the view wasn’t clear enough.  I see there is more for me to do, experience, learn, explore and I am about to swing wide the door and embrace the next step.

Today, the rush in my head feels like there is not enough time to accomplish all that needs doing but it’s all good and I’m going to have a great day.  No time to sit on the couch…

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Thomas The Cat

Tabby Cat

Thomas the Cat

Picture this: Fall day, fireplace on, cat curled up on floor by the fire snoozing and me curled up in a chair across from him writing with laptop on lap, of course.   Thomas has been my companion for nearly 2 years and he has given me a reason to extend myself to another, to love, feed, nurture and give him a home.  He was rescued from the SPCA who had taken him in after being abandoned by his owner – him, his mate and a litter of babies.  I could only take him.

Some days I worry about him.  I spend equal amounts of time thinking about him, having moved him into that space in my brain, after husband and kids.  I think he needs a companion besides me but where I live, this is not allowed so I buy him toys, things that wiggle, flash lights and roll around and rattle.

I am concerned he may be depressed.  Can cats become depressed?  I sit with him, cuddle, pet, brush and I throw his favorite ratty mouse over and over and he fetches, he really does, then drops it at my feet to throw it again. He sleeps at the foot of my bed, on the bed. He sleeps a lot.

He loves me and I like that.  I like being needed…comes from training I suppose, being so needed when raising little children and it is hard to let go of, so this is my thinking, God created cats for empty-nesting mothers.

Thomas will sit for a treat, he will sit up with paws in the air, and he follows me from room to room just to see what I’m doing.  That is love…or perhaps he just thinks I might also have treats in those rooms too.

But when he lays on the floor, with head on paw and just looks at me as I wander back and forth, sighs and then looks away, that is when I worry and think he is depressed.  But then, I think – I think too much.

I had hoped for less cleaning of the house once the kids left but I’ve discovered this cat sheds a lot of his presence all over the house and it seems I am required to dust and vacuum more than this empty-nester wants.  I even wipe his nose drippings off the windows, more than when I had little kids doing similar face bumps against the glass.

However, having Thomas greet me at the door, with his smile and hello, who runs to his scratching post to work out the kinks he created while sleeping away his time while I was gone, then speak in cat language until I give him a treat or a meal and give me thanks by licking my toes, or walking across the laptop to let me know he’d like to snuggle is so worth a few thousand cat hairs drifting around the house.

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Filed under A Cat's Life