Last night after I turned my laptop off at 9 PM, I realized that there was one more critical e-mail I had to send, so I turned it back on, connected to the VPN, composed the e-mail, attached the file, and only then could I turn in, accompanied by what used to be my plump little cat Maggie, who in the last six months has been diagnosed as hyperthyroid and medicated in various ways for it, and in the last month has largely stopped eating entirely. I love this kitteh with all my heart and soul, and $1000 into various tests and diagnostics and ultrasounds, we have found that Maggie, who has lost about a third of her body weight in the last month, has either Inflammatory Bowel Disease or cancer -- and the only way to find out definitively is via a surgical biopsy, which requires general anesthesia. We decided this was far too risky for a hyper-T kitty with a heart murmur and a generally diminished condition, so we are treating it as IBD with prednisolone, and hoping that tis particular crapshoot comes out double-sixes, or whatever is a good throw in craps.
We regard our pets as our children, particularly those of us who decided a long time ago that the world would be a much better place if our famiy neuroses ended with this generation, thank you very much -- and yet, they are different. We know in our minds when we excitedly bring home a new pet that this is a relationship with an expiration date, one that will come far sooner than we want. And yet we do it again, and again, and again, because of the hole in our lives that they leave when they depart.
It still doesn't make it any easier.
So I continue to buy the fine canned foods (and now even Bravo raw diet, which she hasn't touched either) purveyed by the nice man at the locally-owned Pet Stuff
, trying valiantly to find something that will tempt a formerly-gluttonous cat who yesterday threw up the only thing she ate. And then when I get home from a thirteen-hour workday (including the driving), and I crawl into bed exhausted, and pet her and see exactly what she has become, I then have to get up and go down to the basement and cry my guts out for a half-hour until I'm even more exhausted, because Maggie is very bonded to me and gets very upset if I'm upset.
This is on top of the Project That Has Utterly Consumed My Life Since Early July, which if all goes well will finally, miraculously, be released today, after which I will have to catch up on all my OTHER work, so the idea that I can exhale now is a foolish one. I was working on the Project remotely for two weeks from my sister's house in Chapel Hill, NC; after my mother had a brief sojourn with the Grim Reaper before bodyslamming him, beating the crap out of him, and then sending him back to the Ingmar Bergman movie where he belongs. She has made as astounding a recovery as someone with advanced COPD and emphysema can, and I am now back home, where I have every intention to get up tomorrow morning, go get my hair cut and colored, because I am starting to bear an alarming resemblance to Willard Rmoney, and then collapse in a fetal position in the corner.
So if you want to know why I haven't been around, that's why. I want to thank my stalwart compatriots, especially jurassicpork, for picking up the slack without even asking if I needed help. I'll be back soon, as soon as I can work an eight hour day and get through it without crying over Maggie.
Labels: cats, personal musings