Monday, January 7, 2008


Sleeping on the Couch Arm
6.25" x 4.25"
Can you see the cat in this picture?
Bitsy is my elderly calico Manx cat, now 21 years old. She is quite independent, and still gets around very well. She is aloof and a great weather forecaster. She stays just out of my reach, until she knows that I am asleep or can't reach her to pick her up. When I do pick her up, the claws go out everywhere! She likes to sit at my feet, or on the opposite arm of the couch. At night, she starts out sleeping on my feet, but migrates to behind me after I am asleep. She acts a little like a dog, by checking people out when they come in the house, and she was a good watch cat. She also bloodied the noses of a few big dogs who used to come up on our porch. They learned to stay away from her. However, when we lost a few cats to those dogs, Bitsy became a house cat. I guess that is why she has lived so long. She eats well, and will only eat one kind of cat food. Picky like me, I guess, but it has worked well for her.
When there is going to be rain or bad weather, Bitsy crouches low to the ground, creeping along until she finds the safest place in the house. She flattens out lower and lower and has a frightened look on her face. When I notice this, I put her on my bed, with her favorite blanket over her, leaving room for her to get a little air. And, when it is safe, she comes out and starts walking around. The rain may not have even materialized, yet, but Bitsy knows when it is coming.
I was watching tv and decided to check my vision in my bad eye by looking at something other than the television set. I read that people really miss being able to see the faces of their loved ones, or even faces of stranger, when they have Macular Degeneration. I wondered just how much I will be able to see. On this night, I looked over at Bitsy, sleeping on the arm of the couch, opposite me, and on past into the dining and living rooms. I closed my good eye and tried to look with the affected eye.
I could see the green columns dividing the room, the edge of the green hutch, the organ , table and lamp in the living room, though a little blurry, When I looked at Bitsy, I saw the purple spot with the top of her head and her ears sticking out on the right side. I could see one white hind leg hanging over the couch arm in the middle of the purple spot, and a hint of her side above that. And, on the left side of the purple spot, I could see her cute little Manx tail-a little powder puff that has only shown up in recent years. (She has lost a little weight, which is good, as she was a very large cat.)
If I looked at other things in the room, the purple spot moved with my eyes, so that the center is always covered. I could see around the edges, but, if I looked at something, it just wasn't there. The object of what I looked at was always covered up by that purple fog.
I realized, as I sketched Bitsy, that this is what people are talking about. I wouldn't be able to see my cat, or other things, if I didn't have one eye that is not affected by AMD. If it should go to both eyes, and I know that this happens, I wouldn't be able to see Bitsy, my grandsons, or what I might be trying to do.
For more information and sites on Macular Degeneration, look under Eye Sites. And, to see more of my journey with wet Macular Degeneration, see my older posts, or archives. Each of those posts is prefaced with the word "Vision".
I wanted to share with others what I am learning about this problem and how it has affected me. I had never heard of Macular Degeneration when I was diagnosed, and was desperate to find out what I could, to find some real help, and to understand what was going to happen. I hoped that, through my blog and my art work, I might be able to help someone else who found themselves in a similar situation.
I have promised to share with you the information provided by the man who has created the online eye test, "My Vison Test". I have a link to it under Eye Sites in my sidebar.
I had hoped to do that on this post, with this picture, but my little story about Bitsy started getting long. ( I just can't stop typing once I get started! ) I'll send out the information on a separate post today.
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