Don Estorbo de la Bodega Dominicana was delivered home in his unattractive grey box just after 10am. I gave the Pet Taxi man a good tip.
From the moment Estorbo entered the apartment he howled. He howled all around it. The kind of howling he makes when he's being taken to the vet. He went straight to his water bowl and drank and drank and drank. Then he went to the bath, which I filled for him, hopped in, and drank and drank and drank.
He is thinner, and I've already brushed him a little, as his fur was coming out. But I have to ration the time I can touch him: I have 20 minutes a day (but so does Vince). He needs a bath. He smells like pee.
Estorbo. Not Vince.
When he has settled I will wash and dry him.
Right now he is much calmer, and is lying on the terrace, in his favourite spot under the corner chair, on the carpet of wet creeping Jenny. It rained heavily in the night. I hope that when he's relaxed he'll begin to eat.
Estorbo's great friend, and mine, Yvonne Friedman, passed away yesterday, in Cape Town. I have been dreading this news. Yvonne had been ill for many years - almost as long as I can remember. I think it was a complicated form of poly fibromyalgia, which was treated with cortisone, which weakens bones. She recently suffered several more fractures in an apparently endless series of them. She passed away after surgery to her hip.
She was a very tough lady. In the best sense. When I was a teenager she intimidated me - she was a blunt, straight talker. She never complained, and was often in pain. I never knew quite why she took a great liking to me. I was very flattered by her interest in me. Her husband Gerald is a friend and colleague of my father's, a judge. She loved my father, who was a great friend to her, visiting her always with a big bouquet of red roses if she were in hospital.
Yvonne is the reason this crazy cat-writing business began, and indirectly the reason Estorbo started to write a blog. His blog preceeded mine by a few months - so without his, maybe 66 Square Feet would never have happened.
Long before he blogged, Estorbo started to write letters to Yvonne and Gerald's cat, Ambrose, to amuse Yvonne when she was ill. She thought he was hysterical. The letters were delivered by email, regular post or by me, in a beaten up envelope with vague address insructions and obscure stamps. Ambrose was a big fat, pompous and occasionally racist British Blue. He and Estorbo traded insults by mail for several years.
Yvonne loved Estorbo's letters and would read them at once, with great delight.
I was looking forward to seeing her and Gerald the week we got to Cape Town, in just two weeks time, if her condition allowed it. My mom would always pack a picnic lunch and we'd drive out to the Friedman's beautiful house in the milkwood grove at Kommetjie. Or Gerald would cook - he learned, in his 80's, when it became harder for Yvonne, and has a flare for it. We'd talk about their local baboon troop, including a rogue male named Kevin who once walked into their living room and watched a game of rugby on TV with Gerald. Or about the otters that are still seen nearby. Yvonne made a beautiful wooden sculpture of them, two otters swimming, entwined.
I never did visit in December as we were only there for five days, for my dad's 80th birthday, because my publishers wanted me here, and I felt it too rushed. I was wrong.
The old story. Do what what you have to do when you have the opportunity.
Estorbo received his treatment last night. His is radioactive.
I met Dr Peterson in Manhattan yesterday morning, liked him, the way he handled the cat (very low fuss, calm) and saw them off.
Vince and I spent the day in the spring woods of Westchester. I found ramps and nettles (for the birds, in my opinion, ouch!). We saw an enormous snake. I tried not to think about the kitty.
This morning I received a call from the facility where Estorbo is staying, was told Estorbo is calmer - I think he'd been growling when his 'condo' was cleaned or food put in. He didn't want to eat his food (I gave him a selection of ten very fancy cans, from Weruva to Wellness, with several others inbetween, as well as his dry food), and had been given some Fancy Feast, which is a bit of a come down for him.
We expect him home on Wednesday morning when he will be dropped off right at home ...by taxi. I wasn't expecting that. Only in New York?
I decided that, since so many of you have invested in his treatment, you should be able to see him if you like.
Below are his "condo" camera links. You can move the camera by moving your mouse. Warning: I can't watch them. I did once and I got too sad, so if you are susceptible, I advise you not to click on them. Nothing terrible at all, but I just prefer to compartmentalize and stick my head in the sand. I can't change his situation so I'd rather not see it and dwell on it.
But Vince is...
On one side of the cages, er, condos, is a row of gerbil houses, as I understand it. The other side has cat videos.