In the course of life most people take a turn on an emotional round-a-bout at one time or another, or more.
At times I have found myself quite giddy and those occasions were the ones that involved animals.
Why it is that I can become detached and objective in a human situation but totally fall apart over a beloved animal, I can’t say. But as I mentioned not so long ago, that’s just the way I am.
Sikkim, better known to us as “Muffin” is a finicky eater but we could see clearly, last Thursday that her refusal of food was due to something more serious.
An x-ray taken some weeks ago had shown “something” in her stomach, but at that stage not necessarily cause for alarm.
Anti-nausea medicine was administered and within hours a large hairball was forthcoming.
This past Thursday, the something in Muffin’s stomach was considerably larger and there was a decision to be made.
A detailed scan would indicate whether or not it was a mass. But only a biopsy in that case would indicate if it was cancer.
Exploratory surgery, while invasive would make possible the removal of whatever this thing was. Possibly it was a foreign substance, maybe some sort of polyp.
The doctor would have a good idea from its appearance if it was a malignancy.
Then the really awful reality. What if it was cancer?
Reviving a cat to suffer a few weeks was just not an option. We agreed that in such a case, euthanasia was the only humane choice.
Clearly, the better option would be to have the detailed scan first and then proceed to surgery if necessary, which I would not hesitate to choose if I did not have 10 other cats in my care, most of them almost as geriatric as myself.
The surgery could not be scheduled until Monday (yesterday), so we spent the next four days in a sort of haze. To fuss overmuch could likely upset our poor girl, so we had to carry on as always and do our best to put it out of our minds.
There was still the chance of a hairball. But there was a very real chance we might lose our sweet Muffin.
Each time my mind tried to take me there I could feel tears welling up and I know better than to let them start.
Grant was the same. So we spent the weekend in denial.
Friday and Saturday came and went. No hairball.
Sunday at 3 am I awoke to the familiar sound of a cat retching. I shot out of bed in time to see the production:
…of a hairball.
Madame ate breakfast! But then at lunch…the malaise was back…and so to Monday morning…
We rose late in order to take Muffin to the vet before feeding the rest of the gang. There were complaints, of course but those ceased upon sight of the carrier.
Each in our own way, we spent a moment with our girl before enclosing her and then we were at the hospital and handing her over, with her hairball.
Another x-ray first and then…we did not know not if we would see our girl again.
Before all of this happened, I had re-arranged my own appointments, my vision having become more than just annoying.
Returning from the vet, I situated myself at my computer for a tel-health appointment, ensuring I followed their directions most carefully. Which was a fat lot of good as no-one came to speak to me.
One is used to being kept waiting but after half an hour I had other things to do, so I phoned the doctor’s office and was told I should have called at the time of my appointment. I was in no mood to argue. We re-scheduled.
As I was muttering about that fiasco, Grant’s phone rang and I could tell it was the veterinary doctor and it was good news! No surgery required. Hairball had been the thing. Then our bubble burst. We could breathe.
Ten minutes later we were off to the eye specialist who believes I have “Fourth nerve palsy”.
It’s very boring. I don’t care. We brought our Muffin home!
Today Grant worked on improving my flowerbeds, just in time before really hot weather arrives tomorrow.
But as he was on his way outside, I caught sight of Muffin in the doorway.
She seemed drunk, disoriented, wobbly.
After a bit she came good, looking slightly startled as if awakening from a deep sleep.
There are many things that could cause such an episode and we will report the new symptoms to Muffin’s vet.
Round and round the round-a-bout! More than once I have lost a cat suddenly without having the chance to prepare myself and it taught me to cherish every moment I can with my little friends.
A little while ago I was on the phone with a dear friend who is far away and I was bemoaning the contraption in my hand that seeks to make phone calls a major undertaking.
Just as I hung up I glanced outside in time to see the arrival of our first hummingbird. So I rushed to get another feeder out!
(This one, I confess is from last year.)