Let’s talk about our cat

A few months ago I discovered a cat had been a huge asset to someone with MND and wanted one myself.  So we got Charlie.

He was a rescue cat, just over a year old and had had to given up due to a child’s exzema.  He was also neutered. We looked at other cats there.  Most were sleeping but Charlie was very good at selling himself.  I wrote about our slightly clandestine approach to make sure we got him here. He is definitely a people cat.  He likes to be with us as much as possible.

We got Charlie a bed in case he wanted to hide away.  He has never used it.  Hiding away isn’t something that appeals to him.  People do though.  I think I can show you a photo of our cat two days after we got him.  I think you can say Charlie was relaxed.

One of my sisters in law suggested writing about Charlie.  Of course it won’t just be about him.  I wrote about serious stuff last time but this is really light relief.  Alas we don’t think our cat is very clever.  But he does have enormous fun inside the house trying to leap up and catch leaves blowing outside.  He makes up for it by being very sweet natured.  Most of the time.  He is with me as I don’t torment him.

We have a piano downstairs and Charlie has had a few accidents as he slithers off the lid.  He hasn’t yet mastered that trying to trot across a slope doesn’t work.  Especially when it is smooth and shiny.

I like the fact that it doesn’t matter to Charlie that I can’t talk and spend most of the time with folded kitchen tissue in my mouth.  He still makes use of my lap frequently.  And he is lovely and warm as I get cold recently.

I don’t remember the first cat my family had which is a bit sad.  He was called Vodka and I am told he was very clever indeed.  He used to be able to turn a tap on to get a drink. Next we had Rupert who wasn’t as clever but very sweet.

He used to meet us at the bottom of the drive when my brother and I got off the bus from primary school.  We had a gorgeous quite big Springer Spaniel called Rowan at the same time.  Rupert, as a kitten, would lurk on verges and leap on to one of Rowan’s long ears.  It can’t have been nice but Rowan would carry on walking.  It paid off in the future as Rowan would lie on a stump and Rupert would bring him mice and small creatures for his delectation.

Next we got Dusty, named by my youngest brother.  He was also sweet.  However I was away from home for most of his life so didn’t know him so well.  And now we have Charlie.  We didn’t get him as a kitten.  But he was the perfect cat for us.So what if he is quite thick.

A lot has changed since my last blog post.  I now have a rather snazzy pillow lift.  Do watch the video with that link.  We have it on our king size bed. I know a lot of people don’t like them but it works for me.  Sadly I am tall so tend to slide down the bed a bit.  We have an interesting board and pillow combination at the bottom of the bed to stop my feet poking out from under the covers.  Although I start the night with my feet against the pillow.  I end up with squished feet by morning.  My OT arranged for the pillow lift.

One day soon I will trot round the house and show you all the stuff my lovely OT, Janice, has arranged.  I have a surprising amount despite being steady on my feet.

The biggest change has nothing to do with the OT.  I can swallow but my tongue is very weak and I struggle to move food back.  For two weeks now I have been fed ensure 2cal and water through my PEG.  I can barely manage anything else.  The best thing is I have five a day and am gaining weight.  Yippee.  Thank goodness I got my PEG early.  I don’t want to give up food totally yet so I am hunting for something I can eat.  There must be something.  I just need to find it.

I get the ensure 2cal 3 times a day and it is gravity fed.  You can have a pump overnight and a dietician suggested I could just give up two hours every morning.  No chance.  It suits me as it is just now.

Now let’s appreciate our cat again.  He has taken to hiding ready to bounce.  He is especially fond of feet.  So the next photo shows Charlie trying to hide under a rug.  My husband thinks he will trip me up one day.  I think it is unlikely so do watch this space.  Charlie isn’t that good at hiding!  It would have helped if I had managed to reduce the photo.

I don’t give my husband, David, as much credit as I should.  It is difficult to describe how much he does.  He is always on the look out for things to help me.  I know have a much bigger phone as he reckons it will help.  I think it does.  But there is so much help he offers so I am going to finish with an appropriate song for him.  The Best by Tina Turner.  I looked at a lot of videos and Tina Turner always has very short skirts.  Well, dresses even.  I never wore short skirts even when I was young!



About Susan

I am a middle aged woman wondering where all the normal middle aged people are. I don't want to regain my lost youth but nor am I ready to rush headlong into old age. I realise I am oldish rather than youngish but surely not actually old yet. So this is my chance to muse on my middle aged existence. This will save my teenage children from the horror of me musing on age spots or deteriorating eyesight which is surely a kindness. Now that I have been diagnosed with MND (ALS) this blog will have to change a bit, but I AM still middle aged too.

{13} Thoughts on “Let’s talk about our cat

  1. Charlie looks amazing. We have a very lovable but daft black lab called Agnes who sounds just like Charlie. Glad to hear you are still upbeat. Lots of love, Liz in Costa Rica xx

    • I am impressed you are in Costa Rica – not very like Wales! Charlie is sweet but surprisingly thick so may well be in the mould of Agnes!

  2. I enjoyed your blog Susan. I love the pillow lift and I have added the website to my home page as it might be something for me in the future.

    I approve of your song choice for your husband as this is also our song. I met my Susan (Sue to the rest of us as only her dad gave her the full title) in early 1991 and we loved dancing. Tina released this song later that year and we perfected an in-hold dance where I would put my right arm around her waist and my right thigh between her legs, followed by a series of turns with Sue leaning back in total confidence that I would not drop her. As you know the song increases tempo and we would be dizzy at the end but the other dancers loved it. Oh if only I could do that now!

    Keep up the blog. Love and best wishes.


    • Thank you so much Barry. I love the thought of your dance moves to Tina Turner. We married in 1990 so know the song well. Not that we can dance!Well, I could probably sway a bit but doesn’t really cut the mustard for Tina!

  3. Loved your blog as usual Susan .
    I myself love cats but don’t have one due to me trying to live between two houses at the moment looking after my friend Michael.
    So glad to read you have put on weight and still able to get a little food by mouth.
    Keep well until I read your next exciting blog

    • Thank you so much David. I am thrilled to be putting weight on. It helps to have a fairly thick cat I think!

  4. Loved the pics and descriptions of Charlie, always good to have a pet to keep you warm, entertained and is pleased to see you no matter what. Even if it is sometimes only “cupboard love”. I laugh so much at my Border Collie and her antics. A great pick me up when needed.

    I never thought I would say this to you but…. “It’s great to hear that you are putting on weight”, hahahaha. I am having to have a blitz at losing it again. I have not been following Auntie Rosemary’s advice enough lately!!!
    So glad you have a good problem solving husband and OT, what a great team.

    I thought of you this weekend as we were in Bristol and had a little chuckle to myself as we went to “the Rack” right next to the first coffee shop we went into last year in search of the right sort of cake. It sadly was lacking and we moved on to find more. Have to laugh really as Clifton is so full of cafes and yet we struggled to find the right one.

    Keep on blogging and chuckling.


    • We had a lovely smiley dalmation who wasn’t bright either. But such fun watching her! I laugh when I remember Bristol too. Our cake quest was tragic really Later we found some lovely tea shops in Clifton but our forlorn trudge in search of cake is a treasured memory as we didn’t do well at all. I am hoping for 9 stone on Friday! Then ever upwards!

  5. Susan that was a lovely blog. Sadly I can’t remember Vodka the clever cat either, but I do remember Beech the fairly dim yellow lab (I think we can safely assume that acquiring dim pets is very much a family trait). One of my lasting memories of Beech was when he tried to kill a fly that was crawling on the carpet of the study by trying to bang it with his nose. I have always thought that this was poorly considered strategy, firstly because his nose to ground strikes were not quick enough to catch the fly and secondly repeatedly banging his nose on the floor must have been quite sore 🙂 He never did work out that using one of his big furry paws may have yielded more positive results.

    Lots of love

    Alasdair 🙂 xx

    • I definitely didn’t see Beech doing that but I do remember trying to teach him to jump. A ladder on it’s side was fine but as soon as we lifted it a tiny amount off the ground he ran round it! Dad used to have to lift him over fences which wasn’t great. I think he was a bit of a let down after Rowan who could scramble over deer fences but Beech really was a lovely dog in a slightly dim way.

      • Thinking about Beech jumping, I remember Dad actually took to vaulting over a fence when he came to it in the hope that the dog would realise what was expected of him and follow suit. Sadly all that happened was that Beech, whilst looking deeply impressed at our fathers ability to get over fences without being carried, didn’t seem to realise how our fathers display of athleticism was supposed to be correlated to anything expected of him and as a result, simply sat enjoying his front row seat until our father gave in, clambered back over the fence and lugged our rather heavy lab back over with him. xx

        • I remember hearing that too. I am sure Dad only ever tried it once but I wish I remembered who encouraged it to try it at all. At least some fences we could open a gap and Beech would go through but some he had to be lugged over. I suspect Beech was completely unimpressed by other dogs leaping over fences. But I think every other dog he went out with could negotiate fences easily whereas Beech did his own thing happily.

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