Friday, May 23, 2008

Cats and Answered Prayers

After moving into our house in 1992, we went to the local humane society and adopted PC (Presiding Cat), a gray tabby. Because we both worked full-time, a year later we adopted another cat from there, a white one with tabby spots. We named him Partner, because we wanted him to be PC's partner. From this photo, you can see they really are friends—at least most of the time.

Tuesday evening Partner began having a great deal of abdominal distress. About midnight we discovered he had vomited twice and was still miserable. We thought he might have a bowel obstruction. I slept on the couch so I could watch him overnight. In the morning we left early to arrive at the animal hospital in Astoria by the time they opened at 7:30. We drove west across the Young's Bay Bridge to their office. They checked him in and asked how they could reach us later in the day. Since the fish hatchery is more than 20 miles from the vet, we decided to wait in Astoria for a call on our cell phone.

So what to do in this small town in the rain? First we drove to Fred Meyer's, a store much like Wal-Mart, with a large grocery section, clothing, hardware and all sorts of other general merchandise. At the in-store Starbucks, we bought coffee and a scone. Next we drove back east on the Young's Bay Bridge into downtown Astoria and visited the tourism office for information on Portland, where we plan to visit next weekend.

Back west on the Young's Bay Bridge to the Chevy dealer to have two bolts replaced where our new transmission is connected to the truck frame. Next, we went to the Visitor Center at the Lewis and Clark National Park. We didn't stay long, but picked up a brochure so we can plan a quality visit when we aren't so worried about our sick cat.

At ll:30 we went back east on the Young's Bay Bridge, joking we had better not stop and take pictures or Homeland Security would be wanting to talk to us. We had lunch and the Pig 'n Pancake. Then back west over the same bridge to pick up a few items at Fred Meyer. We received a call from the animal hospital, asking us to come in to meet with the vet at 2:30. We didn't know if that was good or bad news, but it didn't sound good. We decided to drive a few miles south along the coast to the tourist town of Seaside, which has some shopping. We looked around for about an hour, and then it was time to return to the vet.

We left there very worried. Partner might be in kidney failure and he might have lymphoma—a cancer often found in older cats. Our two cats are really part of our family and we were very discouraged. We left him with the vet for another 24 hours so they could give him fluids and antibiotic treatment. When we arrived back at the RV we faced the second major problem of the day—our furnace didn't work! Since it has been raining and only in the 40s and 50s, our one small space heater really won't keep us warm enough, except when we are sleeping.

Thursday morning we went to work—to make up for spending Wednesday in Astoria. At least we had work to do to keep our minds busy till we were to call the vet at 12:30. We also made an appointment in Longview, Washington, for Tuesday afternoon to have the furnace repaired. That means we drive our home and our cats there and fill the time till it is repaired. We will do a major grocery shopping while we wait.

When we did call the vet, we were told Partner was doing much better and they wanted to schedule a pick up time. That was one prayer answered. We were due there at 2:30, so I quickly made a grocery list to carry us till Tuesday, drove to Astoria, over the Young's Bay Bridge to the Fred Meyer and then to the vet.

Hurray! Partner doesn't seem to have kidney failure, he was just severely dehydrated. He probably does have lymphoma, but those symptoms can be controlled for some time—maybe a month, maybe a year. On the way back to the RV, we stopped at a hardware store and bought an additional space heater. When we returned to the trailer, it warmed up nicely and quickly with both heaters running. A second prayer answered!

But remember the two cats cuddled up together? Forget it for now. Partner has never spent a night at the vet's before. PC has. And when we bring him home, Partner will hiss at him. PC never does that. But he is obviously very put off by the strange smells Partner picked up at the vet's. He won't eat when Partner is around, he won't let Partner get near. So much for their close friendship—at least until Partner again smells like Partner.

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