Monday, October 29, 2007

My Old Baby!

Today is my cat Cera's birthday. She is now 19 years old, which is a very respectable age for a cat.

Nineteen years is a long time in her owner's life, too. When she was born, I was a single girl in my twenties. Now my husband and I frequently discuss retirement plans.

In honor of Cera, I thought I would rerun one of my favorite posts from last spring--the affair of Cera and the terrible haircut (which still hasn't grown out properly, by the way.) Enjoy!

You're looking at a bad, bad girl.

Her name is Cera, and normally she's so sweet and meek that all the other cats bully her mercilessly. But just try to groom her, give her medicine, or basically make her do anything else she doesn't care for, and she turns into the Incredible Hulk.

I want to make it clear that Cera isn't a mean cat. She's just very fearful of, well, everything. So she tends to panic easily and make everything far worse than it should be. I've given up on keeping the mats out of her long fur. Brushing and grooming is a nightmare for both of us. So, once a year she has to go to the groomer to get her hair cut off.

At eighteen years old, Cera has a wide experience of groomers. None of them are particularly fond of her. Some have invited us never to come back. One refused to take her, period, just because she had heard of her from another groomer. At one grooming palace, they kept a database of their dangerous, biting clients. Cera was the only non-dog creature on their list.

So last week, it was time to make her yearly trek to the groomer for a haircut. When it came time for me to pick her up, I called to make sure she was ready. They hemmed and hawed a bit, then managed to tell me the awful truth. She was half done. Yes, that's right. They had shaved half of my poor cat and then given up in complete defeat. They say they're willing to try again on another day, but first she needs time to calm down. (So do they, I imagine.) So in the meantime, I have a half-shaved cat. I don't know if a picture can truly do this justice, but I'll try to give you an idea.

What's the point of my telling you all this--other than the sheer entertainment value? Well, I've often thought what a wonderful life Cera has--and yet, she makes her life miserable out of fear. If she'd let me brush her, she wouldn't have to go to the groomer at all. If she didn't fight the groomer, she wouldn't be faced with two trips instead of one. I often wish I could tell her all this so she would calm down. It's not that I'm trying to withhold information from her and make her suffer. She just can't understand my language. It's too complicated for her.

I often wonder if God doesn't think the same thoughts about me. Why do you make yourself so miserable, Robin? Haven't I always taken good care of you? You're making things so much harder on yourself by fighting my plan. And I'm sorry I can't explain all these strange happenings to you. But I just can't put it into a language you can understand. It's just too complicated for you.

Wow. I'm going to try to trust more. I don't want to end up like Cera.