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Update on Harmon

November 18th, 2009 | 14 Comments »

Thanks to those of you who still ask about Harmon. It’s been two months since he was diagnosed with cancer and really, he’s doing pretty good. It’s surprising to me, joyful and really a bit scary too.

I’m afraid that I could get complacent about him. That I’ll forget that anyone even uttered the word ‘Cancer’ to me, or that he could well have a ticking bomb inside him that could burst forth one of these days and swiftly remove him from my life. I did prepare for it, and process it and felt like I at least got to a place of good reckoning. I am at peace. But for each day that he lifts his head in his customary chirp of greeting, that he settles in to snuggle against me in the morning as I sip coffee and surf or climbs on my lap when I sit down in front of the television for a movie or show, I have to remind myself that it’s one more day that is gifted to me that I never expected to receive. I have to remember that I am not promised any tomorrows with him, or even a ‘next month’ kind of scenario. I listen to his breathing. I feel and stroke his chin for any suspicious lumps that might indicate a resurgence. I note his stiff, old-age gait and the amount of time he sleeps and wonder about him. I wonder constantly. I hold him as much as he’ll allow, and to his credit, he seems so much more tolerable of being drawn close to me than at any other time in his life.

And I am more tolerable of indulging him in the foods that are usually forbidden in a feline diet, mainly anything off our table. Harmon has always had a taste for people food, with thanks to me, but lately, as I have watched his former bulk shrink to being almost non-existent, I’ve felt that to slip him a few nibbles from my plate isn’t such a bad thing. He has, of course, taken this to his full advantage. Harmon is a true gourmand. He enjoys all manner of people food, not just the normal aspects of our diet that one would expect a cat to enjoy, like meat or cheese. He eats legumes, and seems to have a particular love for them, well, unless they’re highly spiced lentils. He does spit those out. But great northerns? Black beans? Pintos? Chickpeas? He eats them all. He loves cauliflower too. Go figure. And peas, corn and green beans as well. He’s more adventurous than my teenager when it comes to food he hasn’t tried yet either, willingly accepting it and showing us his most baffled expression if he’s not so certain whether it’s to his liking. Is this guilt driven, my slipping him the good stuff? No. It’s more like my wish for him to be happy, to put something in his tummy. Although his ample belly and squishy pouch is still evident, there is no more intense reminder to me of the state of his health than the fact that his spine and rib bones, once sheltered in his former bulk along his back, are now clearly visible and sharply defined. Petting him is emotionally painful, to feel those old bones. If his time with me were to end tomorrow, the last thing I would be concerned about was sharing the grand tastes and flavors of life with him. What a way to go.

So there it is, for now. He’s well, apparently, and is quite content and happy. He is in no pain that we can tell, unless you count his old-age stiffness. He eats like a champ. He still purrs his trademark rumble, and snuggles in at every chance he gets. I’ll take it. And for as long as I can. Every day with him is a gift.


14 responses to “Update on Harmon”

  1. ShellyS says:

    Thanks so much for letting us know how Harmon is doing. I think about him a lot and have been checking your blog for any updates. The words you write about Harmon are so emotional. You explain so well how much you love him and what makes him so special. Hang in there Kate. Thanks for the update.

  2. Astrid says:

    Kate, I am so glad Harmon is doing so well and that you both enjoy life with each other.
    He seems to be a very happy kitty.

    love and purrs from all of us

  3. Kate, thank you for this update. I was wondering how he was, but hesitated to ask. I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying every day with him. That’s all we can ask, isn’t it?

    Thank you for your message on my blog.

  4. Harmon is a treasure! His purring and hearty appetite are wonderful signs of utter contentment, and it’s all due to your love and obvious devotion to him.

  5. Thanks for the update on Harmon. We’re so glad he’s doing well and that you have these sweet days to share with him.

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

  6. KC says:

    Fanks so much fur the update.
    You’s not alone, we’s all wif you.
    Love & Purrs,

  7. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for an update on Harmon…it’s wonderful to hear that he continues to do relatively well. We went through this with our Mojo too before he passed, and just wanted to not have any regrets. We let him do as he pleased, and tried to do things that would bring him pleasure, including eating from the table. Enjoy all the time you have with Harmon…you’ll always have the memories.

  8. Sending gentle wishes for Harmon to continue to enjoy his life until he has to leave us. That is all any of us ask – to live until we die. Animals know how to do it so well – we need to take a lesson from those wise souls that share our lives.

  9. Tiki says:

    We are so glad Harmon is still doing well although that first picture looks uncomfortable on his neck. Thanks for the update! We agree that he should eat anything he wants. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs.

  10. Poor kitty. What a sweetie. He looks so sweet stretched out in the sun.

  11. Boots, Ozzie & Brenda says:

    I am sad t hear of Harmon’s cancer, but also happy to hear he is enjoying his life. I lost my own precious Ninja to cancer a year ago and do not envy your situation. I spent a lot of time with Ninja and made sure she had a good quality of life.

    Bless you and Harmon and we are purraying for much more time to come!

    Boots, Ozzie & Brenda

  12. Everycat says:

    These are such special days, it’s wonderful to know that you and dear Harmon are enjoying your time together, may there be many more days full of love.

    Rumbly purrs

    Whicky Wuudler et al

  13. roger ganyo says:

    Kate, thanks for the update on Harmon. I do remember seeing him when your mom and I visited long ago to visit her only Grand Child. Griffin. The only time she did get to see him before she left us.

  14. Thanks for the update on Harmon. We’re happy to hear he is doing well considering. Enjoy every day that you have with him! We continue to purr for him and you….