This is kind of a sad post, so you may not want to read it.
For the whole of our adult lives, we have cared for our sister, Emily, who was severely mentally and physically disabled. As her health declined over the last few years, this house has operated like a mini hospital, with someone on staff 24-hours every single day. When she died this last December, I’m not ashamed to say that we all became a little bereft, rattling around this big house, without any kind of clue as to what to do with ourselves. We threw ourselves into our stitching and did novel things that we have never been able to do before–like all of us go shopping or to the movies or out to dinner at the same time, instead of in shifts.
Well, apparently, the Man Upstairs took note of this, and two days ago he threw us a challenge.
I mentioned in my post the other day, that my sisters and I had spent most of the last couple weeks unloading the storage unit. What I neglected to mention was the little drama that occurred when I went to take Celia (the only one of my sisters who I don’t live with) home. On one of the back roads behind our house someone had hit a cat with their car. My sister and I were making ‘Poor thing’ noises as we started to pass it, which is about when the poor thing raised its head.
Needless to say, we made excellent time all the way to the 24-hour emergency vet.
Three hours, two x-rays and some blood tests later, the cat was determined to have a broken hip, a serious whack on the head that has caused total (temporary?) blindness and a bulging, swollen eye, and either from the impact of the car or the impact with the cement, he bit right through his tongue. He was admitted for 24-hour observation, hooked up to fluids and a catheter, and Celia spent the night at our house, where we took turns washing the blood out of our clothes and Laura’s car.
Late last night, with a list of medical instructions as long as my arm and enough pain killers to give a small horse a major case of the munchies, we brought the poor thing home. For the next six weeks, he’ll be confined to a kennel to give his hip the best chance for recovery. Because of how badly it was broken, he’ll need to be kept on a diet of soft foods and stool softeners for the remainder of his life, but he will recover. We won’t know until the head swelling goes down if he’ll ever regain his sight or if there might be brain damage–both of which we can deal with. Until the blood clears from his nasal cavity and the swelling in his tongue and jaw go down, he can’t close his mouth and we’ll have to feed and water him via syringe every couple hours. It’ll be at least two weeks and maybe longer before he can move enough to use a litter box on his own.
It sounds terrible, but the majority of these are temporary hardships. A blind cat can cope just fine, so long as you don’t alter his environment or move the furniture around. A cat with a limp will develop arthritis, but don’t we all–that can be managed and so can a special diet. All preliminary signs indicate this cat does have a chance for a good quality of life once he recovers from his injuries; so, we’re giving him the opportunity and the time he needs to fight for that chance.
Last night, we all slipped seamlessly back into being a hospital. I know how horrible this sounds, but it’s like having Em back again. She just sprouted fur, four legs and a tail.
Here he is. The newest addition to our family. Pardon our obscure sense of humor, but we have named him Road Rash.