September 5, 2012. A year ago today, our predictable (as predictable as life ever is) daily routine changed. We began a journey of uncertainty, facing the unknowns. Along the way we found hope and discovered depths of celebration and gratitude we hadn't felt before. Dear friends and new friends have companioned us on our journey; we've shared stories filled with laughter over the antics of furry ones; and we've shed tears from fears and losses.
Often times this day seems only yesterday and other times, many years ago. The day's memory is still so fresh in my mind as we have lived its consequences this last year. I hear Dr. S's words and feel the heaviness of heart they brought. We now had a reason why TC was hungry all the time, eating so much, and yet losing more weight upon each veterinary visit. Blood tests confirmed it and we had a name for it. Liver failure. Those words screamed the invevitable in my mind, but Dr. S. had a calm presence and reassuring words. He had a plan and we acted quickly. Nights were spent researching liver function, liver disease and courses of treatment; learning as much as possible to give our girl a life of quality.
Today I am pleased to report TC is doing well. She has had a long Summer struggle since June with a viral infection that refused to let go. Several antibiotic shots and rounds of daily subcutaneous fluids some weeks have helped her through the rough days. She was diagnosed with 25% or less kidney function in August as well as anemia. She is now receiving four supplements to help her liver and kidneys and to calm her stomach from the residual toxins. This new regime is keeping her strong and her appetite good. Just last night she climbed to the back of the recliner (a feat performed in younger days) with me beside her, and last week when I returned from errands I found her proudly planted on the dining room chair! I am hoping now with Indian Summer days approaching, the stability she has enjoyed the last three weeks will continue. We will be outside more and Autumn's sights, smells, and sounds will keep her stimulated before the Winter cold forces us inside once again.
It has been a year filled with emotional highs and lows; days of rocking and nights sleeping on the floor beside her; days of activity catching up on the must-do's when she is feeling well and nights spent just enjoying her presence. It has been one of the most celebratory journeys as we have gained even more appreciation for the blessed ordinary in our everyday and found gratitude for small blessings always in our midst.
July marked eighteen years since she chose us for her family; she, a wild, tiny three to four month old black kitten stuck high up in our cedar tree, chose us. July through October that Summer found me on the patio every evening, talking, coaxing, gaining her trust until one day she walked across my lap. "The kitten," we called her. By October, dh (darling husband) said we needed to find her a home since it would be cold soon. "Uh-huh," I replied. "I'll make up fliers and take them to the vet's offices." Dh is always ready for a computer project! "OK," I replied. My lack of enthusiasm for his great idea and motivation was quite clear. What I was thinking, but didn't say was, "Ok. Knock yourself out. I have been outside every night this Summer with the kitten. That cat has a home. She's coming inside when it gets cold!" Not so surprising, no one called in response to the fliers. TC was named for the tree climbing, squirrel's nest dwelling cat she was. Yes, she spent her nights in an abandoned squirrel's nest high up in the front yard pin oak tree. Late October that year found her quickly adjusting to indoor life with Chelsea and Benji, the canines, and the rest of the story is 18 years filled with the unconditional love, antics, and joy her furry companionship has brought to her chosen family! I hope she has been pleased with her choice. I hope in her own way she knows how very loved she is. I hope she knows how grateful we are she chose us. . .