Dad still seems to be adjusting to the nursing home and accepting that he’s there. He’s looking better. He’s clean and more alert and seems healthier to me. Just looking at him, he looks better than he has in the past couple years. The dementia has not improved, of course. At the moment, it’s kind of acting in our favor though. He hasn’t asked me about going home since the second day he was there. The doctor wrote a statement yesterday that he is incompetent to make his own financial or medical decisions – and it was almost too easy. But, how can anyone be competent to make their own medical decisions when he can’t remember what was wrong or why? If you ask, he’ll tell you that he took perfect care of himself and it’s still a fight for the staff to get him to change his clothes when he wets himself. He wanted something sweet yesterday so I took him to the vending machine and watched him struggle to figure out how to put money into the machine, choose the right buttons and get the candy bar out. No, he’s not competent but he looks better. I continue to hope I don’t have to take guardianship. What we have now allows me to take care of his finances and coordinate his care, just not place him against his will. But things are okay there right now.
At home, I am gradually cleaning out his office right now. I was going to do this anyway and move my computer in there – you know that recommendation they make for poor sleepers to not have their computer in their sleeping room and such? He hasn’t used the office in several years so it just makes sense to move my stuff into there. I’d like to take the guns and Bob Ross style paintings from the walls, but I’ll settle for getting his stuff filed properly and boxing up the old computer programs (probably should just toss them, none of them would work on a modern computer) and books. I’ve dragged out two giant trash bags. I don’t think he ever threw anything away. And yet, the room is nowhere near cleaned out. More today. I am going to continue working downstairs, aside from also cleaning out the upstairs kitchen a bit at a time. There’s plenty to do down here and I’m feeling a little uncomfortable cleaning out Dad’s closets and stuff yet. There is, after all, still a possibility that he will come home.
Our biggest challenge here at Chez Zaz is the kitties. Miss Zoe does not like Mr. Kitty. The moment he comes down, she goes under the chair or the bed. And growls whenever he comes near. He enjoys hanging out with me and cuddles when I lay down to read and elevate my leg. He likes to be pet and he purrs for me. Zoe likes to bite me and turn into wild-eyed kitty if I try to pet her. The truth is, if I had to get rid of one of them, I’d rather keep Kitty Kitty. He’s nice.
But I feel responsible for Zoe. I believe when you adopt a pet, you keep that pet except in extreme situations. She’s not a friendly kitty but we can mostly co-exist. And while I don’t think that Kitty Kitty is trying to be mean to Zoe, I think he wants to play. He will pounce around Zoe’s chair rather like my old Fred used to play with the kitties. He thought he was fun, he didn’t understand that the cats didn’t enjoy his games. Kitty Kitty doesn’t see chasing Zoe as a problem but I have held her and felt her tremble and shake. She’s really scared. There’s been a tiny bit of progress, sometimes she lays in the chair instead of under it but this looks like it’s going to take a long, long time. And our vet had no useful ideas. I’ve started sending Kitty Kitty back upstairs if he chases Zoe and hope maybe he’ll get the idea that chasing her is a bad idea. Of course, I had Fred for 11 years and the cats never learned to like him. A pity, since he loved them and would have liked to cuddle and play with them.
I feel sorry for Zoe but I feel sorry for Kitty Kitty too. He spends all night by himself and most of the day if I’m not home to supervise. He’s being pretty good about it. It’s funny as hell – they eat the same food but the food in Zoe’s bowl tastes better. They have the same kitty litter, but Zoe’s box is so much better to use. And Zoe’s mousies are way more fun to play with. I still find it strange that the nice kitty is dominant and the biter is afraid of him. Perhaps I should lock them in an empty room and let them fight it out.