la queen

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lulu - the Queen of it all

Lulu had an episode (don't know what else to call it) with her back legs early this morning. She's my very old (close to 18) matriarch, extremely bossy & loud, and also really affectionate, fearless and loving long haired black and white cat. She came packed in an airplane kennel, along with her companion and nemesis cat Ernst (all other animals are nemisis' to Lulu for she rules all) some 15 years ago from Toronto, with me when I moved here to this little seaside village and to this old brick fixer-upper - 29 Black Street.

Toronto- tres flattering scratchy Polaroid of moi with young Ernst & Lulu

Her back legs just fetched up on her, she didn't seem at all in pain. Just pissed off a bit that her back legs were not co-operating as she attempted to come up on the bed with me and my 4am (that's another story) coffee. Her scrawny little back legs pointed out in front of her like a ballerina as she sat on the bed with me and I massaged them - she loves that. She seems OK now, but lately I have been thinking to myself, chances are I'm going to lose another of my pack this year. That would be 4 much loved pets in 4 years. First dear Ernst (rare dwarf Alberta cougar tabby cat), then sweet Emma Jane - my golden girl, and this January Jake , the love of my life and hero dog. All senior animals - I do take comfort in that, that they all lived to the far end of their life expectancy Ernst 14, Emma 15.5 and Jake just passed 13 and now that crazy Lulu, squawkamolé of mine - she's pushin' 18.

Summer is her favourite time. She goes out on the front porch each early morn as soon as I feel sure that the raccoons and foxes have gone home to bed (although I know she would give them a run for their money) and she stays out there, in her kingdom, all day. Snoozing in various spots around the front garden or in her wicker chair with the pillow. She has all her meals outside with lots of fresh water. She sits sometimes on the porch windowsill and screams at me through the screened window when I come downstairs from my office to get a bite to eat or to make a cup of tea. She yells in her grating, loud squawking voice and in her defense, what she really wants, is just to get my attention. For me stop what I'm doing, to come outside and sit in the wicker chair awhile and just hang with her - and I don't do that enough. She delights, still, in putting the run to any stray or neighbourhood cat that dares to venture into her domain. She is tough as nails and her days seem very full and rich with constant feline adventures.

I am prepared to lose another of my family. She's very old. The part that I cannot stand and I never will is the deciding to end their life part. The euthanasia part - no matter how I may know in my brain that a time will come when it's the kind and right thing to do. My heart breaks at the thought of it and my heart will be forever haunted by those moments.

I'll be sure to sit awhile today with Miss Lulu Belle today, out on our porch in the white wicker chair.

big fat Nessie (Bleet) and the Lulu Belle - hangin' on their porch

the queen and top dog (always) at 29 Black Street

Actually I just went downstairs at Winnie's insistence. She was enthusiastically letting me know (barking hysterically) that one of the neighbourhood stray cats had arrived on the porch for some breakfast. When I went down into the kitchen Lulu was sitting on the kitchen table. Now in order to get to this spot on the kitchen table she had to jump up on an arm chair and leap (a death defying feat she performs several times each day just for the hell of it) nearly three feet from another table ... I guess she's feeling better. Thank goodness.


  1. Good morning, to you! Thank you for stopping by yesterday and leaving the information on the butterflies. It was so cool!

    Lulu is a cutie, 2. :)

    I hope you have a wonderful day.

    Love you much!

  2. Morning. Wow Bleet is fat! Dear Loulou, shes doing more for her age than many humans! It makes me want to get a cat seeing these two. Dont you feel blessed when you know an animal likes you? What a great responsibility and an honour to care for these sweet souls. Hopefully sometime soon in the next year or so I will go to the SPCA and come home with a cat to cuddle myself.

  3. Your Lulu sounds very much like my Siamese Pandora. She is the matriarch of this house. Very bossy and opinionated. She loves the Boys except when they tease her and she tolerates the wee dog. She hates to be held or confined; I suspect this fear is a result of her trip, as a kitten, from her littermates in Truro to me in Halifax.
    She loves nothing better than to sit next to me, sucking one of her front right toes, and purr loudly.
    She is 15 years old.

  4. Love all the pictures, Susan. The female cats that I have owned have all been like Lulu...queen of the castle. I think the hardest part of losing a pet is when you have to do the "deciding thing". I've been there a few times.

    Hope you have a good day.

  5. Loved seeing the beautiful vintage photo of you! Artsy then, artsy now! :)

  6. Hey Willow - and I thought those Ray Bans frames with my prescription were just the coolest glasses. Wink.

  7. It is almost unbelievable that you have had such great luck with all the animals, in that they lived to such a ripe old age. Of course, it has a lot to do with love, diligent care and attention too...but sometimes, just like people ..they get unlucky with genes and health.

    I am of the other opinion when it comes to euthanasia. I am so thankful that we are able to do that for our animals when they begin to suffer. I sure as hell wish we could treat our human loved ones with the same dignity and respect, instead of watching them struggle in pain and agony for months before dying. Arguing with stupid, ignorant doctors who don't spend 24 hours a day with any patient and obviously haven't got a clue how they suffer... trying to get enough morphine to cover the pain...not succeeding... spending hours crying, ... weeks waiting... wishing I lived in Holland. This is is a cruel and inhuman country in that respect. I'd vote for euthanasia in a hot minute. As a matter of fact, I am considering lobbying for it.

  8. I do agree with your feelings and opinions on this subject for the most part Vee.

    It's just our animals can't tell us how they're feeling ... there is always an amount of second guessing that goes on and not knowing anything for absolute sure leads to fear and doubt ... at least that's my experience. When an animal who's been a constant companion and who you've loved and cared for for years and years begins to fail, their bodies giving out on them but their spirit and their personality still bright and alert - like Lulu this morning ...

    and like Jake - there's a part of me that will never forgive myself for making that decision on that particular day - even though I know I made the best decision I could at the time. I'll always wonder if I could've waited ... days, weeks or much longer.

    I believe animals should have more palliative care options and thankfully it's an area in veterinarian care that is growing.

    When it comes to people, who have made their wishes & desires clear ahead of time - I'm totally with you.

  9. Sounds like Lulu has a pretty great life, huh? Such a pretty girl. I agree with you that, even though you know in your head that the time has come, making that decision twice in my life was without a doubt the hardest two things I've ever had to do. I know my husband would say the same. I still remember both like it was yesterday.

  10. Lulu sounds like she has SUCH personality. And it is so hard to know when to say goodbye, there's always lingering doubts, but you know your companions better than anyone else and can be trusted to make the best decisions for them.

  11. I'm going to say a prayer and a meditation today for the dear people on our planet who make these decisions and help animals pass.I've always felt that those who love animals the most , for example, vets must suffer a two-pronged fork- knowing termination of an animals life is a result of man's ignorance and lack of care, or on the other hand,the end of a journey for an animal supremely loved.Either is hard.Susan never, never blame yourself for anything with your animals.You are a glowing vessel for their well-being and transition and sell yourself short when you dim the light in regrets.When your cat does the table jumps and thinks "Ahhh-I've still got it!",you're in the front row with the loudest applause.Turn around Susan and take a bow yourself.Out of the shadows and into the spotlight girl, because you are one of the people in life who are good to the very bones of their being.And Im sure that if Jake express a sentiment apart from the thanks for a painless passing it would be this. "Death is not extinguishing the light, it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come".I love your photos, I love your blog and your animals will love you always.I am so sorry for your pain, but it is,of course, directly proportional to the love in that big heart of yours.*hug*( x ten)

  12. Your animals are so sweet. Lulu is darling. I pray she will gain strength and do better. I love your blog and love hearing about your adventures with your 'babies'. Give Lulu an extra hug from me.

  13. i always enjoy seeing photos of your pets but wow! what a delight to see a pic of you!! i think senior pets are the most dear souls so loving and giving and just happy to spend time with us.


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