I’d been in the Army for about a year and a half when I was able to move off post into my own apartment, and the first thing I did was to adopt a cat. When I saw her at the vet clinic on post, I was in love and had to bring her home. She was a tiny kitten that was only three months old, and solid black. I was never superstitious about much, so I named her Friday…The Thirteenth.
The first morning after I brought her home, after a long night shift at work, I couldn’t find her. I looked high and low. I called my squad leader in a panic. I talked to my neighbor to see if the landlords had been in the apartment and perhaps Friday had sneaked out. About fifteen minutes later, when I went back inside, there she was, walking through the living room. At the sight of the door opening, she ran off, and I followed her in time to see her flatten out and squeeze under the fridge.
Friday’s skittishness quickly went away as she became comfortable with her surroundings, and soon her personality began to show. She quickly decided that the bathroom sink was the ideal place to nap, and she had the routine down that she would hop from the floor to the toilet lid then up into the sink. One day she went to jump up but the lid was still up, so her back legs slid across the seat and her feet fell into the water. She had such a look of indignance on her face!
Cats and boxes go hand-in-hand, and I think it must be genetic, because Friday learned this at an early age. Any time there was an empty box around she made use of it, either as a toy or ambush position, a bed or hiding place. She was rather annoyed when the soda companies changed the dynamics of the 12-pack boxes into the “fridge packs.” It took her a few attempts before she realized that she’d no longer fit into the empty boxes.
Friday has had some medical problems, and while in El Paso she had several appointments to treat her lower lumbar. Before we moved she was given the green light by our vet and she was doing a lot better. Recently, however, the news hasn’t been so good. She’s lost quite a lot of weight, going from 6.9lbs at last year’s checkup to 3.9lbs at her last appointment a couple weeks ago. She’s also lost much of her energy and strength, and she hasn’t even been able to hop up onto Dylan’s lap (Friday’s favorite perch since we moved here) without help.
I took Friday to the vet the same time as Lucky’s first appointment (https://sheepcarrot.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/the-life-of-lucky/) to try to figure out why she had lost over a third of her body weight in less than a year. We took an x-ray and the vet couldn’t see anything, but he said he was able to feel a tiny mass where her pancreas is. The news that she may have pancreatic cancer has me quite upset, and that was compounded by the recent and sudden decline and death of Lucky. At our last appointment the vet said if he had to diagnose another of my cats with cancer he was going to have to take a few days off.
I shudder to think that I may soon be laying another of my babies to rest. Between the different appointments she’s been to, she has continued to lose weight. After much discussion, Friday is now on a steroid every other day and as much canned food as she’ll eat.
The past couple of days have begun to give me hope. Friday has gained weight. Not much, but anything when she was less than 4lbs is an improvement. And yesterday, for the first time since this started, she ate. Not just picked at her food, barely finishing a small pouch of the chicken cutlets in gravy…but two big cans. And last night, after Dylan picked her up, she was in a playful mood and kept attacking the strings from his hoodie.
She’s my little baby, and she still brings endless joy into my life. She’ll always be my gal Friday XIII.