When my pets are ill, it makes me sick with worry. Recently it has been difficult to concentrate enough to write anything decent. They are a huge part of life and my recovery and I thought it would be nice to introduce them.
I watched Missy being born 14 years ago. Her mother, “Elsie”, was a stray that I took pity on one cold and snowy March 1999. A few days later, she gave birth to two tiny kittens. Missy was so poorly, the mother immediately rejected her. Against the vets’ advice, I made the decision to hand rear. When the kittens were barely 6 weeks old, mother Elsie moved into my neighbours, leaving me to hold the “babies”.
Five months later, I had my very first mental breakdown. I can honestly say that the kittens were my only connection to life. Being in a massive dissociative mode, my only responsibility dragged me out of bed every day to care for them. In all this time, my mental health has ravaged any trace of the person I used to be but my pets have remained consistent (consistently demanding!!). Subsequently, we have had a very close – sometimes-intense – relationship and have never been apart for more than a few hours. Surprisingly, she has always been a very independent cat and once enjoyed a full and active life visiting many neighbours in the street. She always came home at night.
Sadly, Missy developed a secondary condition as a result of the operation. Basically, the calcium in her blood is too low, which is making her very poorly. It is a life threatening condition, but we seem to have it under control. The vet insists it is best for me to nurse at home with meds.
He came to live with me when he was just 3 months. He doesn’t bark and loves everyone, most of all, children. We are used to walking 2-3 hours every day. He loves life! A few months after he arrived, I had another major breakdown and wee Jack really did drag from the brink of suicide. There are no days off where Jack is concerned and life is rather tiresome if he doesn’t get ALL of his outdoor time. Sometimes, that daily walk forces me into a small connection with life. His friendly disposition brings me in contact with many people every single day and we always feel the better of some regular exercise.
Suddenly, one day about 10 weeks ago, we were out walking and it was as if someone had removed his batteries. He stopped dead in his tracks and refused to walk another inch for the following 4-6 weeks.
To cut a very long story short, finally the vet arrived at a diagnosis, but a very uncertain one. The dread suffocates any relief. Poor wee Jack has a problem with his liver. It is not functioning properly. He’s been through tests to rule out many conditions. There are only two possibilities left. The first I don’t understand and looks unlikely, the second is a tumour.
I am struggling to keep my head and mood above water and thankful that I’m not really a person for dwelling on the “what if’s”. No matter how I look at it, his life is about to change and maybe not all for the better.
Last – but certainly not least – is Missy’s brother Oscar. A very laid back and extremely affectionate BIG cat. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get along with people very well, but he adores me and is always the one to seek me out whenever my mood is low.