Martha Keeps Hanging On


I just don’t know. Sure, doctors are supposed to understand things like this, but I don’t have a medical explanation for how Martha keeps going.

Son Jeremy and Martha when BOTH were much younger.
Son Jeremy and Martha when BOTH were much younger.

By our calculations, it has been nearly two weeks since Martha last ate, yet she can do many things she has always done.

On July 8 Brenda offered her a piece of food. She ate one, with vigor. The next she crunched, then spit out. Two hours later Brenda offered her another kibble, which she also ate with gusto. I tried when I got home, but, as Brenda predicted, she rejected my offering.

On the afternoon of the 10th I emptied Martha’s automatic feeder to clean it. My first step was to pour the food back into the Hill’s Pet Nutrition bag. When Martha heard the bag rattle, she came running. Instantly, I offered her a piece, but she wasn’t interested. It was a Pavlovian response that she just couldn’t control, a memory from years gone by.

Where did she get the energy? The same place she gets it to purr, to jump onto the loveseat in the bay window and watch birds, to jump onto the bed.

Martha is not a kitty one can do things for. You may have read in my bio (at right) where I describe Martha as “grouchy.” She takes love and attention on her terms and her timetable. With other patients we might administer fluid therapy and obtain laboratory specimens. Not with Martha. For her, it’s just a waiting game.

How does she do it? We don’t know. And, as with the extra time we got with our Pearl, we don’t question, we just enjoy the time we have.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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