Cat Howling

This morning the cat seemed to howl more than normal.  This howl is interesting because it has several different, but all equally annoying, vocal components.  First, it’s really loud and projected.  Second, it has this weird vibrating trill.  Finally, it seems to last for a minute, stop for 3-5 minutes, and then restart.  I don’t know what Amelia’s issue is, but this has got to be the worst part of her old age (and she’s 16+).

This morning as she was running through her howling stage (which I’ve decided is some kind of kitty Alzheimer’s), she reminded me of Taed’s grandmother.

When I first moved to California to live in sin with Taed, his grandmother was still alive.  Her name was Eleanor, but everyone in the family called her Babcia (Polish for Grandmother).  Thing is, it’s wasn’t bob-ska, but boc-che.  Apparently Bret couldn’t pronounce it correctly as a child, so BOCCE it was.

Anyway, about 3 years after I had moved here, Babcia had become ill and not able to care for herself.  She started in a home situation where she was semi-assisted, but that didn’t work out.  Finally she was moved into a nursing facility.  I think even more than one, but it’s been years.  I just remember one nursing facility.  She was in the third bed, closest to the wall.  I think I hated it because it was like a hospital.  You could tell the people weren’t really expected to make it, or have a quality of life.  We kept bringing her chocolates.  I know it annoyed poor Barbara (Taed’s mother and my mother-in-law), but my thought was, if you’re going to die, why not eat what you want?

However, I digress.  There was a man in this facility who would sit in his wheelchair in the hallway.  He was emaciated and wiry.  About every 5-10 minutes you could hear him yell loudly, “Help me, help me, help me.”  We called him the “Help me, help me” man.  We never did find out what he wanted or needed help with, or even why he would cry out regularly.  It just seemed to be one of those unfortunate “late in life” moments.

Needless to say, Amelia’s howling reminds me of him.  It’s some sort of late in life plea; however, we have no idea what it means.


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