AFTER ALL, SHE'S FAMILY
Let’s begin with the obvious. I am an old school kind of guy……heavy on the “old.” It’s the way I was raised. The first home I remember was literally a log cabin in the country, complete with a ‘one-holer’ outhouse in the back yard. We had a couple goats, some chickens, and a dog …….but no cats. Truth is, I have never been what you would call a ‘cat’ person.
Later on, when Roma and I were raising our own family, it seemed that then too we favored dogs over cats……perhaps because the two did not always coexist well.
It was rather late in the game, when dogs were not allowed in our digs, that Roma turned to feline companionship. As was her way, she showered her love on a series of cats, until they became part of the family.
But like I said, “I’m an old school guy.” Though her cats and I usually managed to coexist…..they didn’t have much to do with me, and vice-versa. That worked just fine for an old school guy like me.
And then our youngest son, Tug, moved in with us. From the beginning that was a blessing in most every way. So how could I hold it against him when he too decided that he wanted a cat…..making us a two cat family.
And that’s what we have been for several years now……a two-cat family. Roma’s ‘Nutmeg’ and Tug’s ‘Polly,’ became part of the family, though both of them basically ignored me most of the time. As far as they know it is their household. Since Roma left us, Nutmeg will occasionally sit on my lap, but that is about it. But then, that’s okay….. after all, I am old school.
And then there are moments like the evening last week when Tug, who pays attention to such things, noticed that for the last few days Nutmeg seemed to be off her feed, and noticeably unenergetic. She was simply not her old self.
I had to agree. But after all, she is an old girl, so I suppose I can relate to such things. My own advice was simple enough. “Let’s keep an eye on her and see if she gets better.” Though Tug was not totally comfortable with that, he agreed……at least until the next morning.
You see, the old girl was still not eating, not moving around like her old self. It was time to find out why……to take the next step. As you might expect, the ‘next step’ would involve a visit to the vet. The ‘emergency appointment’ was made for that morning. Since Tug was at work, I would be the one escorting Nutmeg to the doctor.
Long story short, I spent at least ten minutes with the doctor……long enough to offer my very unprofessional diagnosis……”She’s not eating and doesn’t show much energy.” Though the vet found no obvious problem, his nurse took a blood sample to be sent to the lab. The results were due back in a few days.
Once back home Nutmeg still turned up her nose at the food she normally attacks with gusto, and soon settled down on the same window ledge she had favored the last few days. Though I haven’t seen much change, I am confident she has received the most competent medical attention available in our small-town world.
How ‘competent’ you ask? Well, though she was still not her old self, I was convince that the clinic’s attention to our apparently distressed friend was so caring, thorough, and efficient that I signed the credit card receipt for $316, an amount Tug and I had agreed to split, without a moment’s hesitation.
I will admit, however, at that moment the ‘old school’ in me was making itself heard a bit. “Three hundred dollars spent on an aging cat?” It was saying. “What are you thinking?”
Yet, as I carried ‘Nutty’ back to the car, I was coming face to face to the truth of it. It was not such a lot to pay……three hundred of today’s inflated, devalued dollars……to help Nutmeg carry on. Why wouldn’t I do that……After all, she’s family.
Postcript.......the vet called back a couple days later to tell us the lab work was 'normal.' So what was it that had us so concerned? He had an answer for that....."Could be she was just going through one of those 'spells' animals sometimes have."
Three hundred dollars to deal with a 'spell'? Are you.........? Never mind, the old girl is family, and she's feeling better. What else matters?