A week ago, the mother-out-law suddenly developed dead bowel syndrome. I'll spare you the anatomical details. Apparently it can happen to anyone, but in someone old it's often fatal. Even if it doesn't kill them, they may never eat again.
The cellmate made a mercy dash over there, while I shopped around for a black suit.
The poor old woman had four operations over four days, and it was a distressing time for everyone, even me. But she surprised everyone including the medicos, by pulling through, and may even be able to eat again eventually. A tough old bird.
Meanwhile the dog has rallied too, and is eating. Here's how I got her interested in food again. You take a pound of ox liver and put it in the blender. It's best to do the liquidising outdoors, in case the top flies off and sprays gore around the kitchen. Pour the resulting blood goo into ice trays, and freeze. Then you can pop a cube of thawed offal paste into each dog dinner, and stir it through. The dog will eat anything coated in it. Even her hated heart pills - dipped in liver juice, she wolfs them now.
In fact all my females are thriving. The pension fund has no ailments for once, and the old dear is enjoying her grub so much, she doesn't want to attend her husband's funeral.
To balance things up, my stepfather died last week. He had lung cancer for about four years. An achievement surely, surviving that long. His memory was shot, but he enjoyed all his favorite TV shows right up to the end. Never complained, and only accepted morphine for the last week or so. He was cremated a couple of hours ago. The lawyer would have attended, but possibly nobody else. I wasn't close to him, but he turned the old dear's life around and made her happy for 35 years.