that at any moment, that happiness, that ever-constant happiness, could be gone in a flash.
I felt that the last two days. That intense ever-familiar fear. That your happiness that you’ve strived for, could be gone in an instant.
You see, my Nala, one of my kitties, fell ill. Again. In a mini-throwback, I’ll explain. Nala is one of my two kitties, almost 8 years old, sisters, and I love them so much. As if they were my children. Nala fell ill Thursday night. I didn’t really even notice. She had thrown up, but I thought it was just a hairball and brushed it off. I went to M’s for the night and came home Friday morning to more puke, some blood on my comforter and more in her cat litter.
My blood went cold.
Oh no. No, no, no. Not again. This cannot be happening again. I started shaking and worrying and thinking the worst. You see, my Nala fell ill last year, at this very same time. She was 5.5 lbs when I took her the vet, I was so worried. I hadn’t even noticed she was that sick a year ago, that skinny. I felt like a horrible kitty mama. It was months of tests, medications and more tests. I thought she was dying. She was dying. I thought it was over and I would have to make the toughest decision I’ve ever have to make…but she made it, she took the phrase ” When the world says, ‘give up,; Hope whispers, try one more time.’ and kicked the crap out of it. She came back with a vengence. Unexplained. Never knew what had made her near-deathly ill.
Fast forward to Friday. All of those fears were back. This couldn’t be happening again. She’s my miracle kitty. She’s eating, she’s fatter, she’s healthy. She isn’t sick. No, no, no.
But she was. She was lethargic, she was not herself, she was not eating.
My heart dropped.
I took her to the vet. He weighed her. 11.1 lbs! 11.1 lbs! Wow. One more pound heavier than last fall. A good sign..right? No fever. He gave her some IV fluids and a medication for colitis and sent us on our merry way. Colitis. Hmm. Explains her symptoms, right? I felt better. We brought her home, she slept for awhile.
But then, she didn’t seem to improve. She got worse. Her eyes glazed over. She didn’t move from my bed all night, except to use her litter box once. She barely ate. I worried all night. My stomach was in knots. I cried. I was worried. Weak. Afraid.
This morning, even worse. She was drooling. Eyes glassy. I feared the worst. I cried. And had knots in my stomach. All day. I called the vet. Waited in agony for them to call back. She wasn’t eating. Or drinking. Wouldn’t take her medication. More worrying. More crying. Thank God for M…the patience of a saint. He tried to keep me calm. But I couldn’t stop worrying or crying. I finally brought her back to the vet, sick with worry. He gave her more IV fluids and another antibiotic. This time, the kind that cured her last time. He sent us home with hope that a few days would help her. M gave her the medication (thank God he is so good at that. Reason #473 why he’s the best…truly). We left for a cookout, me with some worry, but a lot less than before.
Fast forward to tonight. Nala’s still on the bed. But her eyes aren’t as glassy. She’s not drooling. I give her a kiss, breathe a little sigh of relief.
I come downstairs. And to my surprise, she’s following me. I feed her and she eats. I wanted her to eat, so badly the last few days. And she was eating so willingly. She followed me back to the couch. And here she sits, next to me, her ever-worried kitty mom. I feel relief. I feel gratitude.
I wonder…as I have wondered the last few days….
Is this the reminder I need?
The smack upside the head that I should never take for granted the life that I have built, the happiness I have, the healthy kitties I adore? It felt frighteningly so. To some, it may be small…a sick cat…but to those that have pets and truly understand, this was jarrying. After the ordeal last year, her illness hit me like a ton of bricks.
But here she sits, feeling better, hopefully for good. Sometimes, just sometimes, you need that reminder.
Never take it for granted. You just never know what life will throw you.
And for me? It told me my faith is not as strong as it should be. Because my fear took a choke hold on my faith and never let go. I need to work on that. I need to have faith.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you need that reminder…