Thursday, March 25, 2010

You Never Know

I like not knowing the future.  The daily good is a fresh joy, the ill is bearable in the increment. 

We didn't know Harry had gotten sick until he quit eating last week.

He's been with me 20 years; I've lived with this cat longer than I lived with my family. 

He was the cat whose warmth eased the pain after my breast cancer operation.  And he's the one who, even in old age, has what Denny calls "good cat skills" from his street-cat days, to the extent that we two full-grown adults pay someone else to clip his claws, and donate their blood in the process.

We took him to the vet when he quit eating.  He had a nasty abscess, with fever and  tooth problems.  I don't know how I didn't see the swelling before it was so bad he couldn't eat.  It tears at me. 

In just a short time he lost weight, the same percentage as if I'd lost 30 pounds. The vet did all the right things, including powerful antibiotics, but when we brought him home, none of us knew if he would live out the week.

Then Bev, a family friend and a nurse, came to visit for a few nights while she spent time with her family.  She claimed Harry as her patient, sweet-talking him while she cleaned and drained his wound; through his screaming, four times in two days.  By the time she left, he was well enough to eat soft foods and take liquids by mouth.  I don't know if Harry would be here today without her.

We'd prefer smooth sailing, but the rough days are the ones that tell us who we are, the strength of our connections, and how thankful we are that we're not alone in the ocean. 

I hope there's a Bev in your life when you need her.

Words and photos by Kathleen Scott,for her blog Hill Country Mysteries. Copyright 2009-2010.

16 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. (Please delete the first comment, I had not had my second cup of coffee!)
    Along with the drizzling rain, a fresh coat of tears adorn my face this morning. We do love our kitties....Happy Sunshine! Pamie G.

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  3. There are angels among us Kathleen...sounds like Bev is harry's and yours! gail

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  4. Hope Harry is back to his old self, very soon. It's so hard, when a pet is not well.

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  5. Beautifully written, Kathleen. Thank you for sharing this experience with Harry. I have fond memories of him from my visits.

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  6. That's a great picture of the old man. It's great he's back to health again.

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  7. God bless this kitty! I love my cats too, and can relate with my whole heart to this story. Wishing him well!

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  8. I have tears in my eyes reading this Kathleen. I'm glad Harry is feeling better and glad that Bev was there when you needed her. I hope Harry contiues to make a full recovery I lost my darling BJ last year. It came on suddenly, he was fine when I left for work and gone by afternoon. Thank goodness I no longer live alone, as I did up until 18 months ago. My husband was home and was able to get him to the vet quickly and he didn't have to suffer all day till I got home from work to find him in distress.

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  9. How blessed you have been by both Harry and Bev. I do hope Harry continues to recover and will continue to enjoy his old age :-)

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  10. Bev must be a real doll. Hug Harry for me. All cats are my family. I know it's weird, but I feel like they are.

    Love you, Kathleen.

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  11. What a sweet story of love and true friendship you have told! Friends like that are pretty rare. I'm not even sure most family members would be that committed to saving a pet. Harry is a sweetie!

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  12. It is amazing the hold that these marvelous animals have on us and the hole they leave in our lives when we lose one is truly devastating. I'm so glad that you still have Harry and he is getting better and that Bev was there to help. You are blessed.

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  13. Awwwwww. I am grateful to Bev and happy for Harry and I've never met any of you. That's the power of a story well told I suppose. In my mind we are all family because now I feel I have been a witness to it all.

    Thanks for sharing, and an extra hug for Harry, when he is up to it.

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  14. Wow. What a cat. What a woman. Blessings to Harry!

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  15. You must treasure Bev. Harry looks almost exactly like our old Chewie. So much so that I gasped when I saw his picture. Please give him a pet for me.

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  16. Sending purrs and energy from Pixel and Fuzzle. A cat in pain breaks my heart and I am glad that Bev was able to nurse Harry back to health.

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