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Location: PDX, United States

Friday, February 16, 2007

Holding Pattern

Last Friday, my cat Ray somehow managed to fracture his jaw in two places while I was at work. When I came home, he was drooling, and I noticed blood on his paws. I brought him to the Vet ER and have been on an emotional roller coaster since then. Thank god my mom was already planning on visiting. While Ray had surgery, we painted my kitchen.

What was supposed to be straightforward surgery was complicated by extensive gum damage, and the four pins in his mouth are moving. I was already now four thousand dollars in debt, and additional treatments the vets suggested were experimental. My mom came back to Portland just a day after she left to help me figure out what to do. We visited Ray, who despite a slipping jaw and a plate on his mouth,was in good spirits. We brought him home, and turned my office into a giant cat cage, moving out all of the furniture that might tempt him to leap.

While I went back to work the next day, my mother spent the day painting my furniture and playing Ray lullabyes. I was suspicious when she told me how much he enjoyed them, but now that I have witnessed first hand the effect on him, I am a believer.

I came home from work yesterday, and for the first time in over two years, there was someone home. Mom had made a fire and was in the middle of making dinner. My apartment felt like a home, and I am starting to think that there may be some benefits to the schedule that Ray's care has now put me on. I will need to be home a lot more, and I think it will be a good way to more fully settle in to my apartment and new life here.

Meanwhile, I have a new found empathy for parents of babies. I was up four times last night with Ray. Having slept all day, he was unhappy about being shut in my office. It felt like a luxury to be annoyed with him, when I didn't even think he'd be alive two days ago.

Keep your fingers crossed for my 16 year old cat. I have such admiration for his resiliency, and I think if any cat can make it through this, he can.

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