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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hello 2007

Happy New Year!
We didn't stay up for the shouting and gunfire to welcome in the new year. It's always seemed silly to me vow to do better next year all the while drinking and blowing horns.

And you can do better any time. Most certainly you'll make better choices as to what to do better about if you are sober.

We did wish each other a happy new year here at the house. I certainly have my doubts about what the new year might bring for Sister Mary Fiacre although she seems to just plug along and we soldier on with her.

About two months ago I really thought she was on her way out. Two things happened. She lost her appetite, which is her most robust quality, and all of the sudden Teddy was her best friend.

I know everyone thinks their cat is so special and only their cat does this wonderful/interesting/ cute thing. But the truth is cats are pretty much all the same give or take a small idiosyncrasy. For example, I knew a cat long ago who would come and stay with us for a while and then disappear for months or years and then turn up again. And each time it came back it brought us a gift. A dead mouse, a tomato. That's unusual. But other than that, even that cat did what all cats do.

One of the things that all cats do is pick a place to sleep, which is their main occupation. They'll sleep in that spot for a quite some time and then abandon that spot for a new spot. Teddy only has one consistent spot, the hood of the car. He'll sit on my lap, he'll sit with Sister St. Aloysius, but he never ever sits anywhere near Sister Mary Fiacre. My theory is that he doesn't like the wheelchair. But then he doesn't sit with her in the Lazy Boy, either.

So when she lost her appetite AND Teddy adopted her lap, I feared for the worse.

Let me explain that for quite a while I spent most of my free time at a nursing home. I would still be doing that if my own home hadn't become a mini-nursing home. There was a cat at this nursing home that always seemed to know who breathing their last and would sit on that person's bed until they passed and then leave. I started calling the priest for Last Rites when I saw that cat take up it's vigil. Wait...we don't call it "Last Rites" anymore...too scary...now it's the "Anointing of the Sick", so people feel a little better about the whole thing. We never brought it to the attention of the residents, who loved the cat, for fear they would shoo him away with their walkers if they found out.

So all of the sudden, Teddy took up residence with Sister Mary Fiacre. As soon as she was in place, wheels locked, or transferred to the Lazy Boy, up he came and there he stayed. Sister Mary Fiacre always looked startled for a moment and then the two of them sat until she was moved again or until bedtime. Teddy always goes out at night, but come morning there he would be again with Sister Mary Fiacre. It would have been really sweet if it hadn't been so frightening. I decided if he followed her to bed any night I would call the priest.

Sister Mary Fiacre, it turns out, had a low grade infection that caused the dip in her appetite and Teddy...was just being a cat. His spot changed to the back of the couch and then to in front of the bathroom door. For the time being it's under the tree, which will stop abruptly on Jan. 7th unless he makes his next switch before then.

We had a lovely supper last night and Sister Mary Fiacre ate like a rhinoceros. Teddy went outside for his evening of patrolling the perimeters and hood sitting.

All is well for the start of 2007.


seeking_something said...

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

I thought Xmas trees had to be gone by the 6th January. Did yours get a special dispensation?

Sister Mary Martha said...

The 6th is the last day of Christmas so we take it down the next day.

Mikala said...

I am glad to hear Sister Mary Fiacre is feeling better. God bless you ladies :)

cattiekit said...

I'd heard about that strange ability of cats to find and snuggle with those whose time is running out. (tick tick tick)

Think of Teddy as a Barometer of General Health. :>) Less spooky that way.

At least when he's performing that function he's not bringing you little tokens of his hunting prowess or deciding to take the tree down before Jan. 7. ;>)

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard this about cats. It must be loving since nothing is to be gained by the cat.

Caitastrophe said...

sister mary fiacre sounds like she is in about the same state as my grandmother...i sent your blog to my mom, because i thought she might get some comfort in hearing stories about people in similar situations, with a little humor attached to it.
just found your blog today...looking for info on the infant of prague, whose medal was given to me today (along with st. benedict and mother teresa) by a very special woman who is restoring my faith in people's ability to have genuine faith...as well as renewing my own interest in spirituality.
loving the blog...

Sister Mary Martha said...

caitlin, humor is the best way through to compassion. If you're looking for saints be sure and click on the Heaven Help Us icon.

dutch said...

I dread taking the tree down.

mojosalsa said...

Hi Sr. I am catching up with the archives, and I have a theory on the "angel of death cat" stories. Cats like warm spots. If someone is quiet, and has a fever making them extra warm, the cat thinks it won the lotto of nap spots. So if it happens again, I would take her temp and make sure she's well.