Sunday, January 2, 2011

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

It's New Year's Eve day. My heart is pretty heavy right this minute. Gwen and I sit on a long black bench in the Veterinarian's office waiting our turn. She's in a pet carrier. The carrier is not used very often. I have the feeling neither of us is looking forward to this particular visit.

She is a long hair domestic we picked up from our neighbor across the street. He's an old man from the old country. Sicily to be exact. He is a man who knows about coaxing a bounty from the Earth in many ways. About ten years ago he had a sign hanging from his mailbox which read "Free Kit Kats". I guess we hadn't quite reached our quota of animals roaming the wilds of our house and yard for I was soon dispatched to go and pick one out. I don't remember the exact moment of picking her out; I'm pretty sure it was the cute face with it's multi-colored fur that did it though.

She's an outdoor cat who loves nothing more than to be petted and cuddled. The only problem is is that the cuddling can quickly become a swat and scratch game to find out if you've lost any quickness in your response time. Well, that and the surprise bites to the hand. Some don't like the game. Others understand that she is doing all of this on her own terms. She is a cat after all. She was raised with dogs around. In many ways I think she considers herself a dog. If you happened to have the chance to take the dogs for a walk and took a peek behind you you would see Gwen trailing behind as though wondering where her leash is. And lest I forget, she is quite the huntress. I guess I'm happy to say that she always leaves me the very best bits. I do mean the very best if you get my drift. Oh, and she's a talker too. Call her and she trots over meowing her response.

Her puffy hair and her weight always varies with the seasons. It was no surprise when she seemed to get heavier and furrier some time in early November. After a few weeks the girth around he middle was growing. She had been acting normal otherwise. Eating, pooping etc. So we wait a few more weeks.

We are now in the examination room. It's been a long wait.

Well, there are two possibilities. Either there is a tumor, or she is full of fluid. A simple test reveals she's full to the brim with fluid. The Vet tells me this is pretty common in older cats. Her internal organs are failing in some way. We could drain the fluid and probably do it again in a few weeks. Otherwise it could be an extremely long row to hoe to find out exactly what's going on. She's extremely uncomfortable and having a hard time breathing.

I have come home with the pet carrier empty.

Wondering why I tell you all this? Certainly don't want you to feel bad for Gwen. Certainly not for me either.

Just a reminder I guess. A plea maybe? Besides the tricks we teach them or the cute ways they beg from us, the one thing our pets know for sure is the happiness and love they bring into our lives. We spend untold hours reinforcing our relationships with our pets. Have you told you husband or wife, your significant other lately. Or your kids? For absolutely no reason? Do your loved ones know for sure? Do they know your love is unconditional? Not sure? Well, why don't you stop what you're doing and tell them right now. Turn away from the computer for a second, make a quick phone call, gather a family meeting. I'll wait right here until you get back... No really, I mean it, now get going...

Everything ok? No major injuries? Keep it up. Let 'em know. Make sure they know all the time.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Happy New Year!


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