Each night we have these little rituals. Abishag, at fifteen years old, is a bit set in her ways. But then, so am I.
She prefers both litter boxes left clean and tidy, her water bowls filled and her kibble dish with a layer of it on the bottom. (She’d love to have it at least half-filled, but with her delicately-balanced digestion, that would be disaster.)
I check to be sure it’s warm enough, as she gets quite cold very quickly. She has several beds spotted around my office and my crafts workroom, but generally starts the night by the gas log fireplace. That truly is her favorite corner of the area.
A nightlight so she can find her litter box helps a great deal, as she has cataracts. And I leave a lamp with a soft light on instead of the work lights overhead that are quite bright.
Is her remnant of dinner able to be licked out of the bowl, or does it need to be spooned up into a dab in the middle? And is a bit of brushing needed to maintain that lovely black sable fur coat?
And then we bid each other a good night, as she settles in to listen to classical music. She still misses her brother Ira, naturally, but seems to have adjusted well.
Yet she still makes me feel guilty as I leave, with that little face turned up to me, asking, “Is it time to close your office already? Can’t you stay a little longer?”
I linger as long as I can, but other cats have needs too, before their bedtimes. And mine.
Goodnight, Abishag. I’ll bring you breakfast in the morning.