Thursday, January 26, 2012

Slow and Steady

Nicky is still with us.  For now.  This week has been very long and I am nothing short of exhausted, but I am thankful to have the time with my Chunky Monkey, even though we don't know how much time that may be. (For background to this story, read this post.)
Nicky at home after the vet, 1/25/12

Yesterday morning, the vet called and said we were living on borrowed time. I could drive out there, pick him up and bring him home, but I should not expect more than a day or two or three at most. And of course there's that pesky question about whether or not we should help him on his way. It is, I believe, one of the hardest decisions one can make. Sometimes the pet is in obvious pain and misery; then, of course, the humane thing to do is to help.  But what if the pet is like Nicky -- or Hero before him -- and seems peaceful and pain-free, just quietly resigned to their fate? That is far more difficult.

I picked up The Teenager, who thankfully did not have school yesterday, and took him with me on the two-hour round trip to the vet. You see, he's grouchy and antagonistic and claims to "hate all humans" but has the largest heart for cats. All cats.  And Nicky is his favorite.  The car ride was more peaceful because The Teenager was with us.  He held Nicky, giving him love and affection the whole ride home, making a cat who normally comes unglued in the car fairly peaceful.  It was a blessing.
Nicky at home after the vet, 1/25/12

The Teenager had to return to a study group, so I stayed at home with Nicky for a few hours before our next long car-ride -- a 2.5 hour round trip to see a friend of mine who is an acupuncturist.  I knew that if there was a way to get Nicky's organs to open up, this friend would find it. She would also know if he was in pain or if he was calm and ready to leave.  She is amazing, a true emotional life-saver, and a blessing to the planet. I am not exaggerating!) During the session we discovered that he was calm, accepting of whatever was happening, and that his urethrea was blocked, causing his bladder and kidneys to shut down.  She showed me how to perform kitty massage in an attempt to encourage things to start working, knowing that it could be a long shot.  Nicky loved it.  Every time I give him a kitty massage (and it's been frequently in these past 24 hours!) he purrs and rolls on his back.

More than the help this friend gave Nicky was the help that she gave me.  She and another woman, the other member of our writing group, gave me comfort and love and an outlet for my sorrows so that by the time Nicky and I were back in the car I could sing to him without my voice cracking.  These women are angels here on earth.
Nicky sleeping, 1/25/12

Nicky's breathing was shallow as the evening progressed and I expected him to pass during the night, which is why I was awake for most of the night watching over him. Honey was worried that Nicky was in pain and thought I should make the call to the vet to bring an end to things.  As if in response, Nicky stood up, walked across the bed, curled at Honey's feet and started purring. To me that was an "I'm okay for now" sign.

In the morning, when I expected the worst, Nicky woke up, cleaned himself, purred a bit, jumped off the bed and headed downstairs to eat (only a bite or two) and potty (just a bit). It was a miracle!  I started dancing, but Honey reminded me not to get my hopes up too high.

Sure enough, like a television drama where a fever patient has a seeming break in symptoms before everything hits again, I observed a relapse.  Nicky is sleeping, for now, on the bed.  He enjoys kitty massage and being the center of Mommy's world right now.  He is peaceful and seems to be pain-free.  And for now, that is enough.

1 comment:

  1. I wish you and your family (two footed and 4 footed) blessings of peace and comfort.


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