Oh gosh... I thought this thread was pretty much finished, because Pearl is clearly recovering well, and I really think she'll be 100% eventually. But last night...
Everyone had gone to bed but me, and I was working on the computer. Pearl and Clyde were both sleeping on the floor around my feet, and Pearl had been so good, no climbing, no jumping...
So around 3:00am, I shut down the computer and started going around the house, making sure everything was secure. While I was in the kitchen, I heard this horrible crash
in the living room. I ran in and saw Dylan looking up from his usual nighttime position on the sofa, Clyde standing in the other doorway, looking around alarmed... and my father's beautiful scale replica of a Civil War cannon, which he bought at Gettysburg, broken into two pieces on the floor.
It had been displayed on top of one of the two five-foot bookcases that flank the three big six-and-a-half-foot bookcases along one wall. Pearl's usual climbing route has always been up the big burgundy chair, across to the shorter bookcase on the right, up to the top of the big bookcases where the ships are, across and down to the other shorter bookcase, and then a grand leap across the hallway to the credenza. I guess she decided to try it again while I wasn't there to interfere, and because of her weakness, wasn't able to make her usual graceful landing... and the cannon went flying.
I searched for Pearl first, and couldn't find her anywhere, which terrified me, of course. But I was also terrified that my father might have heard the crash and be making his way out from his room, and I didn't want him to see the broken cannon. Ever since he developed Alzheimer's, keepsakes like that mean so
much to him... I just didn't want to face it. So I gathered the cannon up and stashed it in the laundry room.
When I came back out, Pearl was sitting on the spot where the cannon had landed, her head down, gazing up at me sadly. She looked for all the world as if she was saying "I'm sorry." I was just so glad to see her in one piece! I picked her up carefully and carried her to bed and curled up with her and cried. Just cried, for fear of all the ways she could get hurt if I can't stop her climbing things, and fear of how my father would react to the cannon being broken, and I guess also just because it was 3:00 in the morning and I was exhausted and everything seemed bigger and worse than it really was, y'know?
And bless little Pearl, she nuzzled me and made biscuits on me and rubbed her cheeks against mine to dry my face. After awhile, Clydie came in and nosekissed me and then curled up against my middle, closer than his usual leg-wrap position, so he was being extra-sweet, too.
I don't know how I ever got so lucky as to have these wonderful kitties in my life.
This morning, I inspected the cannon... its metal crossbar is snapped right in two near one hub, but it's a clean break. I'll try to find someone to solder it together for me... maybe a hobbyshop owner or something. I'd hoped to get it fixed before my father ever noticed, but he found the wooden ramrod from it lying on the floor -- I'd missed it -- and realized the cannon was gone, so I had to tell him what happened. He took it better than I feared he might... probably because he's a pushover for Pearl's pretty green eyes, and just couldn't get mad at her.
And Pearl was good alllll day today. No climbing, no jumping, no major destruction of property.