Friday, January 14, 2011



Mona, 1-14-11

Daring Mona the cat, age 20, spends today in her chair, resting from a harrowing yesterday at the small animal hospital. We took her in the AM, thinking this might be it for her, following a day and night of true moaning, with an impossibility of excreting liquids or solids. Gagging often, nothing much to vomit up. Therefore, she lay in her traveling box with no sign of caring. Thoroughly woeful. Death's-door City.

But then, in the presence of her vet with whom she is well familiar (many years of good old Dr. Amy), she became alert, standing nicely on the exam table, sparkly of eye. Downright frisky. At one point she lept down and jumped into her box, signaling her readiness to leave and return home.

"Let's give dear Mona another chance," said Dr. Amy, after not finding any major obstruction in her tract. "She's not ready to go just yet."

So after a day of enema and hydration procedures and observation at the clinic, we picked Mona up at 5:30 pm, paid a smaller bill than we expected, and happily headed home.

Our route took us down along the Fox River, and as we traveled, Mona began to hum Paul Robeson's 'Old Man River' inside her close-quarter carton. I know the song well, for it came out in the year of my birth, 1936. It is from the Broadway show, Kern and Hammerstein's Showboat.

Through the years, I've heard the song everywhere. It was appropriate that Mona would be moved do a celebratory rendition along the Fox, and although the quarters are a bit constricted in her carrying box, I believe I heard her doing one chorus of the otherwise somber song in soft-shoe. Yet, there is no gritty substance in there.