Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Itty Bitty Etta love



The old and young merge together on the farm, often creating relationships that provide sustenance, or warmth and safety. The dynamic is not unlike what my grandmother's house must have been like in North Dakota. A young one came along needing a mother, and there was no reason that the senior in the house couldn't step in as nursemaid or companion.

Such is the way here at Apifera, with Itty Bitty Etta having taken to the very senior One Eyed Pug. She spends much of her waking hours near him now, searching for a milk spout, only to find rolls of wrinkled skin. Still, it satisfies her, calms her into taking a nap. So well defined are his ancient rolls of skin that her sharp teeth have not bothered him.

Senior animals require diligence and often special care taking. The One Eyed Pug had a lapse last month. We thought we were losing him. X-rays showed parts of his spine are rubbing together, from age. He was miserable, but special pills helped, and even though I was prepared to put him down if necessary, his spirits returned immediately and we could tell he was comfortable again. But this weekend, he had another slight relapse. While the pills provided relief, it appears these relapses are chronic, and there will come a time when the pills won't help.

Many have written comments about Etta, and how that little one pound kitten was meant to come into our lives. I think whether some feline god planned it or not, the experience has been rich for all of us, including Billy, the One Eyed Pug. Just as my humanity to retrieve a kitten from a busy country highway resonated with readers, this old pug's non judgemental heart resonates within me. When I brought Billy home 13+ years ago, he too was only one pound, and fit in my pocket or hand, just like Etta. Perhaps Etta is a gift from the guides of the One Eyed Pug, just to prepare us for his departure.

No matter how many more months he is with us, I find it charming that he can be a nursemaid in this his twilight years. And let it be a lesson to us all. Youth does not trump age in quantities of love it can share. With hearts groomed by years of living, seniors of all species have something to give until they take their last breath- even if it's sitting still and acting like your wrinkles are giving off milk.

15 comments:

Cathy said...

Oh K, you make me cry. Billy has such a huge heart, and what a gift that in his seniority he can help nurture this little bitty baby kitty.

I think Giacomo sent Etta to you all.

Marianne said...

Hi Katherine, I'm so glad Etta is working out for you. We are working on bringing our little 2 lb Rock Pile Kitty into the house because we don't think she's scrappy enough to be a barn kitty. The inside kitties are none too pleased. Hissy will now be by herself in the little red hay barn, so I was going to offer to take your abandoned kitty if you wanted. But...it seems she has found her forever home with One Eyed Pug and the rest of your family. You always have such a wonderful way of looking at situations - thanks for the inspiration.
Marianne

Sharon said...

everyone, even one-eyed pugs, need purpose....billy has a job, and one that apparently suits him. we could learn from that. very well crafted post katherine.

deborahmarie said...

Delightful! And such true wisdom in your words. Big hug, Deborah

Emma said...

Very beautiful and true.

Kate on Clinton said...

Lovely post - you have a wonderful way of looking at the world. Just like another blogger that brought a young-un into the life of a slowing elder, I bet it will very beneficial to them both!

Editor52 said...

You know what they say ... God doesn't close a door without opening a window. I'm glad Billy has found purpose ... it's a good lesson to all of us as we get older.

maccandace said...

That's terribly sweet and touching.

Susan said...

That is lovely and wise and affirming.

Ashley Seil Smith said...

This is so very, very sweet. Thank you for sharing this. So beautiful. What a blessing to have sweet little beings come into our lives and teach us some of the most important lessons we will ever learn.

Amber said...

Oh you've made me tear up again! I think every animal needs to feel they have a purpose. I know God gives us these little animals and have no doubt He gave Etta to Billy. It's so difficult to know what's best for senior animals and when they've done all they can and need to rest. Keep us updated on Billy.
Hugs
Amber

Zan Asha said...

Awww, the picture alone is priceless :D

Zap said...

I'm crying, but not sure if I'm sad or happy...perhaps both...I love that these two have found each other...and take such joy in the finding....

good energy to all,
Pam

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Such beautiful sentiments... sweet Billy... so kind, so gentle... but alas that is a Pug for you... a heart of gold.

Yarni Gras! said...

wonderful post. So sweet that the very old and the very young have found one another.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~