A Christmas cat

The best Yule present my wife and I are getting this year is that our beloved cat Sugar is not dying.

Since her medical crisis in September that hasn’t been anything we could take for granted. She bounced back amazingly afterwards, but the vet’s sober best guess at the time was that she’d be lucky to live another six months.

That was a little under three months ago. But she seems extremely healthy – lively, sociable, inquisitive, eyes bright, fur glossy and tail held high. One of the blog’s regulars was visiting this weekend and remarked that Sugar didn’t even seem elderly.

The cat in question materialized under my desk a few moments ago to nuzzle my foot and meow companionably at me. Now, after a nice ear-scratching, she’s padding over to Cathy’s office, probably to do likewise. She’s happy. She’s good at happy. And, it would seem, at being indestructible…

Well, we’ll see. We’re supposed to take Sugar back for another sonogram soon. I’m worried about those apparent hepatic cysts that showed up on the last one; they could do her in even if the nephritis stays beaten.

But whatever may be wrong with Sugar, she’s clearly not in pain or weakened. She’ll be with us for a while yet, doing what she does best – purring at her humans, guarding them from the insidious bathroom demon, curling up next to us at night to sweeten our dreams, making us proud every time she welcomes a houseguest to our home.

The best Christmas wish I can think of for all of you out there is this: may you have a blessing in your life as lovely as our cat – and the wisdom not to take it for granted while it lasts.


  1. Well said, love.
    The only good thing that came out of Sugar’s medical crisis is that I know now to be more appreciative of her company and to devote more of my attention to her, while I still can. I’m sure you feel the same.

  2. Great Christmas news indeed!! I hope her days will run much longer. I am a dog person, not a cat fan, but the pain of seeing our animal pals age and die is the same…

  3. A couple years ago we spent Christmas Day in the emergency veterinarians, waiting for news of our cat, The Princess Abigail. We were lucky, the vets pulled her back from congestive heart failure and in the ensuing years we have managed to keep her going happy and (mostly) healthy. May you have many more days with Sugar.

  4. There are gifts more precious, but damn few match the value of what you have.

    May Sugars time be long and happy

  5. About a month ago my parents had to put our old friend, Smokey, to sleep. It has been difficult since then as when I visit them I am still looking for him out of the corner of my eye and listening for his greeting of “mrrrgaow!” It’s particularly tough as he was just about the world’s friendliest cat. (Well, second friendliest, now that I know of Sugar.) Seeing his rapid decline due to kidney failure made me really awestruck by how well Sugar is doing in comparison, and how invincible she seems. That really is some cat you have.

  6. I am glad to hear that your furry friend is doing well and your story will make me go home after work and hug my little monsters a bit more.

  7. I hope you, your wife, and Sugar all enjoy each of the remaining days you all have in common, and may there exist many of them!

  8. ES&CR;
    I count myself among the fortunate few to have inherited a wonderful cat also; when I met my wife she brought two cats to the household. Emma is kind of an overweight “standard” cat, whilst the other, Piawacket, is a aloof-but affectionate tortoise shell who, at 16 years is becoming a little senile, but has happily adopted me as “her human”. I have derived many hours of pleasure from her company, and I cannot think it was just coincidence when she hopped up on my lap for a scratch-and-nap just as I opened your blog page and read today’s entry.

    Here’s to Sugar’s continued good health, and happiness and prosperity to you both in the coming year.

  9. Praise Bast! That is very good news. (We may disagree on politics, but the love of cats transcends all!)

  10. Our family cat is named Buddy. Buddy may be the anti-sugar, an abandoned stray, taken from his mother shortly after birth–both cruel and unusual.

    I don’t remember how we rescued him ten years ago. But we saved him.

    He is a pure asshole. But he is our asshole.

    He scratches at guests. He breaks into food despite a royal banquet that awaits him each day. He acts as if the house belongs to him and all our family pays rent.

    When he is sick we worry all the way to the vet.

    We love him and if we ever lose him more tears may be shed over the little black and white ass than certain family members that were human.

    There is no personality like that of a cat much loved by the family. We know his ever tick, his every mood.

    I think I understand you. Please send my love to Sugar for I will never be able to see her myself.

  11. … He is a pure asshole. But he is our asshole.
    … He acts as if the house belongs to him and all our family pays rent. …

    Clearly, you don’t understand the hierarchy in his house.

  12. I haven’t been counting too carefully, but from memory you have mentioned the impending doom of Sugar twice so far on this blog. Given the standard allocation of lives to felines, I think she has seven more to go.

  13. I hope you recognize that your devotion to that cat may well be attributable to toxoplasmosis gondii.

    1. >I hope you recognize that your devotion to that cat may well be attributable to toxoplasmosis gondii.

      Heh. It’s possible, I suppose. More likely, considering that Sugar seems to have Charm +5 on humans in general, is that she’s just plain nice. What are the odds that everyone she has wrapped around her little dewclaw has toxoplasmosis? It’s not a small set of people…

  14. I hope Sugar surprises your vet. My sweet old orange tabby, Tom, finally got tired of fighting the good fight two weeks before Christmas, and I still catch myself going into another room to pick him up.

  15. Excellent! Good news to start a New Year.

    “lively, sociable, inquisitive, eyes bright, fur glossy and tail held high” – my personal goal for the coming year ;-)

  16. I know we disagree politically, but how can one dislike a devoted cat person? It’s a reminder that, no matter we may say to one another, behind it all we’re people, with feelings and love.

    We should take that into account when our feelings run high over trivial differences on technology, politics, or anything else.

    Bless you, and Sugar, from our Foxy Roxy and Midget.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *