Having pets is sometimes a double-edged sword I have learned. This is Twiggy – many of you know her, some of you may not. She came to us in May of 2007, a scrawny runt of a kitten; hence, the name – she reminded me of the 1960s model.
She made herself part of the Christmas decorations, always needing to check out anything new that came into the house. Often going where no cat needed to go, although she would disagree with that concept.
She was the huntress that felt a need to share her catch, to bring it inside the house. I cannot tell you how many times I found myself chasing a chipmunk, trying to herd it out the door after she had brought one in and released it. And birds – she was relentless. But she grew older, although still a young cat, and spent less time outside and more time inside, being less of a threat to the feathered and furry creatures. Until a couple of weeks ago, when she once again began delivering gifts to me – chipmunks. Twice I was able to get them safely out the door. Once, I was not. That one time became a problem.
I realized one day that she was eating very little, only a bite now and then. Sometime ago, she had figured out the dogs getting treats thing, and when they were given a treat she would yell until she was given one too. But no longer – she was not interested. I was worried, and so I made an appointment with the local vet, where she had gone since kittenhood. Except that vet had retired and sold the practice. I’ll not go into the details of that visit, but it did not go well and we ended up driving in to the bigger city down the road to the vet that takes care of my big furry girls. X-rays and a sonogram showed something in the stomach – surgery was required to determine what. They found a small bone that had punctured the intestine (I told her not to eat that chipmunk!), and nearby a tissue growth that had blocked the intestine. They removed that part, but there was something else in there, something that may or may not need further attention. They did not want to keep her under long enough to remove that, so they did a biopsy and we are awaiting the results.
She stayed at the vet for a few days, gradually regaining strength. Yesterday I brought her home. With medication. Liquid medication, which is better than a pill, but still not exactly a barrel of fun to administer. The first dosage last night ended up half in the cat, half on the cat and me. This morning I wrapped her like a burrito and it went better, but not without some fuss – not helped at all by Shasta’s need to come see what I was doing.
And so those days, the trauma of the vet episode, the surgery – the stress. She is “just” a cat. Ahhh, but obviously, my heart does not feel the “just”. I felt like my world had been turned upside down and it did not right itself until she was out of surgery and had gotten through a couple of days. I feel better now, as she feels better, and will hope the biopsy results are nothing of consequence. I am not looking forward to the trip back to the vet to have stitches removed – Twiggy is quite vocal when riding in the car. I must admit, however, that I viewed her sounds as a kind of music on the way home yesterday.
Ah yes, the double-edged sword. The ability to make us smile, warm our hearts – and sometimes – to turn our world upside down. There’s a lot of similarity between having children and having pets, isn’t there?