Basal, the cat, came to live with us about six years ago. He was fat, declawed, shed like crazy, hid often, and couldn’t meow. What was there to love about this cat? Well, to be honest, not many things came to mind except that he was now part of the family, but Basal is Basal, and I can relate.
A few weeks ago, we noticed that Basal’s right cheek was swollen. Thinking that this might be an abscessed tooth, I took him to the vet and left him there for the day while they worked on him to get him to feel better. We get a call from the veterinarian, who tells us that Basal does not have an abscess, but has developed bone cancer in his jaw, and that if he didn’t show any signs of pain, that we could let Basal live out his days at home.
Basal and I have much in common. Neither of them being Parkinson’s Disease or bone cancer, but some of the same symptoms that we share makes me relate to him much more than I would ever have…
Basal has learned to meow, which he mostly does at night when he is up and about, roaming through the house. I can relate… I’m up half of the night with insomnia and we keep each other company.
Basal walks very, very slowly, which makes watching out for him a challenge in patience. I can relate…I’m quite slow in moving most days, but I eventually get to my destination.
Basal staggers much more these days. It breaks my heart to see him struggle in getting from one place to the next. I can relate…I’m quite adept at reaching out and holding on to things around me to keep from constantly bumping into them.
Basal reaches up to climb on the couch and slowly falls over before he can reach his destination. I can relate…My balance issues keep me from reaching up and not feeling dizzy and unstable and feeling like I’m going to fall over.
Basal has trouble with finding where he needs to go. I can relate…I sometimes run into walls and doorjambs and anything else that gets in my way.
Basal has taught me many things without saying a word. He has taught me to look at things with a renewed perspective. He refuses to give up, he doesn’t feel sorry for himself, and he keeps on going, despite all the problems that he encounters on a daily basis. He doesn’t show signs of pain and that is what we closely watch for because we don’t want him to suffer needlessly. I’m going to miss Basal when he is gone, but I’ll never forget the lessons learned from one of God’s creations that has helped me much more on this journey than I have helped him.
My dearest Basal,
I can relate….