Janis Joplin sang, Get it while you can, and that seems to be the King's motto these days. My King, aka Rachmaninoff and "Man of the Forest," wants to spend as much time as possible outdoors even though he is feeling poorly. He is sleeping more, but spends his waking hours listening to the birds and watching the wildlife around him. Always very tuned in to the natural world, he now seems supernatural himself.
The days of the King have become a strange up and down worry that the end is near, and then a what was I thinking reversal. He has a difficult time getting comfortable now and has taken to sleeping in a closet that never interested him before. His appetite is terrible and his sleep seems comatose. But then, I'll wake to find him screaming at me to let him out. This is the classic roller coaster syndrome. Things with him are good, then bad and then good again. But a definite shift has occurred, and there has been a pronounced decline in his health since he turned 18 on May 6th. None of this is unexpected, still this part of the journey is not for the faint of heart. I let crying jags have their way with me and then toughen up again.
"Your heart knows," says the vet. Still, as I catch sight of the King, sitting in the middle of the lawn, listening, watching, and just being, I sense that he is more alive now than some people will ever be.
Most nights, he sleeps in the closet now, but around 3 am, he will come and stand beside me and ask me to pull him under the covers and into my arms. We sleep for a few hours this way, getting what we can, while we still can.