Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I must think of a new life, and I mustn't give in

I love my mother dearly, but she does drive me wild sometimes. She's been oohing and aahing over the kitten (or Kitkat, as she's presently known), and saying how I mustn't send her to a Cats' Home - that if nobody else wanted her she was sure she could manage; that it probably wasn't sensible, but ...

Now, Mother's 83, and none too steady on her legs. If she tries to turn round without holding on the something she's likely to lose her balance. If she bends down it's possible she'll just topple over. She's rattling around with pills to try to help her vertigo but they don't seem to do a lot. However, she's been the only person living in her house since my dad died in 1987, and been the sole occupant entirely since her elderly Golden Retriever died last year. Before she got the dog she asked my brothers and me if one of us would be able to take him if she died first - that she wouldn't have a puppy otherwise. That wasn't a problem, so she gave Tim a lovely life and he was marvellous company for her. Someone to talk to, and care for and who responded to her with affection. But now she's completely on her own, and I know she's lonely. Although her own mother lived to be 93, with the best will in the world Mother's unlikely to outlive a kitten, and so there'd be a rehoming problem to be dealt with in the future, and cats are harder to rehome than dogs.

Anyway, I think Mother's been indulging in a flight of fancy about having a gentle little furry to curl on her lap and purr, forgetting that young kittens are incredibly active, and pounce on your feet and leap on your back and generally behave like potential assassins. Kitkat's nearly tripped me up several times by launching herself at my feet from behind the curtains or under the bedspread; Mother wouldn't be able to save herself from falling. Also litter trays are at floor level, and a person needs to bend down to pick them up to clean them. Mother's hands are knotted with arthritis anyway, and not being able to stoop safely ... in a couple of days she's gone from telling me she's a fall-back option to deciding she's the Number One choice. (That's what comes from having nobody to talk to - you make up your own world that doesn't necessarily have a lot of bearing on reality.)

I was very pleased that the Sixtys were interested in having the Kit because they can provide the sort of home my little poppet deserves - plenty of attention and liveliness! Now Mother's telling me that she's quite disappointed that someone else wants her ("But what'll happen when your friend has a baby?" "She'll have a cat and a baby, Mother").

I must be strong, and not allow her to put guilt on me. Besides, Mrs Sixty did express an interest before Mother did, and is much more likely to be offering a forever home - and that's got to be in Kit's best interest. I shall make enquiries about whether Mother would be able to adopt a more mature cat, which would be much more suitable - and less likely to cause Mother to break her neck!