Friday, October 20, 2017

Rocky Copy Edits

I had to put writing YARN IT on hold while I work on the copy edit of ON THE HOOK. This is my last time to go over the manuscript and make any changes. Reading it over is also setting me up to write the next one. The plot is already forming in my head.

So far this week, I have been able to keep to the schedule of pages I intended to get through each day, but it all got messed up today.

My plan was to do some errands and at least stop in and see my friends in my knit and crochet group. We have been meeting every Thursday for years and at various locations. My attendance has gotten very spotty. When we have seminars that night, it is hard for me to get there.

I did my errands and did get to spend some time with my friends. I was so happy to see them all and catch up on what everybody is making and doing.

I intended to switch gears when I got home and get back to the copy edit, but then I couldn’t find our cat Rocky. Normally, I wouldn’t have even been looking around the house for him, but he didn’t eat the other day and was making some weird meows. I probably would have let it go, but my husband seemed concerned about the cat this morning before I left. Then I began to think maybe there was something wrong with him.

We adopted Rocky from the SPCA in 2009 and they said he was 7 at the time, which makes him 15 now. That makes him a senior cat, though cats can live into their 20s. I searched the house for him getting nervous because when cats don’t feel well they hide. When I was making my second trip around the house, I heard some meows and found him walking across the living room.

I was still in the wait and see mode, but my husband, who wasn’t home, wanted me to take Rocky to the vet.. He suggested I offer Rocky some canned cat food and if he didn’t eat that would be a sure sign something was wrong and I should take him to the vet. I tried to the food and Rocky looked at it and walked away. So, I dragged out the carrier and drove to the vet. I have been going to this vet for over 40 years even though the pet hospital is about 7 miles away. Traffic in L.A. is never light, and the local high school had just let out snarling traffic even more. Rocky wasn’t happy about the ride and let me know with sad sounding loud meows.

We were seen shortly after we got there. They checked Rocky all over, including his teeth and how well he walked. And there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with him. The vet suggested not doing any tests unless Rocky starts hiding all the time or has some other severe behavior changes. Personally, I was thrilled. I think Rocky was too, because there were no plaintiff meows on the way home.

As soon as he jumped out of the cat carrier, he ate the wet food he’d ignored before. He is still meowing in sort of a cantankerous tone, which I think might have to do with Fake Julius, the cat down the street who hangs out in our yard and taunts Rocky. And we have a lot of squirrels, too. They tend to go in a tree and make a lot of noise when I take Rocky out into the yard.

I am relieved that all seems to have ended well, but its dark out now and I have still pages to go before I sleep.


Linda Osborn said...

Oh, I know the feeling well. My pets have always been family members and treated as such. Our vet has always said it is best to use some wet food every day, all dry is not good for their kidneys. There is the bad guy in our neighborhood, who stares in at the cats, even jumps at the screen door to hiss at them ! You are being a good "cat mom".

Linda O. Johnston said...

So very glad to hear that Rocky got a clean bill of health with the tests the vet gave him. I hope he stays that way now. As time consuming as it might have been to have him checked, I'm sure your state of mind is better and your writing will benefit from that.

Betty Hechtman said...

Unfortunately, there was no happy ending. The next night Rocky walked around the house moaning the whole night. It was agonizing to hear because I know that cats hide their pain, so the facet he was moaning meant it had to be terrible.

First thing in the morning I went back to my vet who took blood and said they'd have the results in a day. Meanwhile there was nothing they could do to make him comfortable. Not wanting to wait, they said I could go to an emergency pet hospital that could do the blood work on the spot.

I had been concerned about his kidneys all along and that is what it turned out to be. They were barely functioning. The choice was to leave him in the hospital for a few days while they saw if they could stop the kidneys from failing. If it worked, he would still have barely functioning kidneys and might have a month or two more. Or to let him go.

There was no doubt in my mind which way to go. This emergency hospital is excellent at handing the last good bye. Even though I'd never met the vet before, he was kind and compassionate. I held Rocky while he was given the two shots and until he was gone. As dearly as I loved him, there was no way I could let him suffer a second more than necessary.

It feels very strange. This is the first time since I was eleven that there has not been a dog or cat with me. We've always had multiple pets, so that even when we had to say good bye to one of them, there was still someone at home. It was the first time there was no reason to leave a bowl of water in the kitchen. The spot where it was looks so empty.

Rocky was such an exceptional cat, I don't know what we're going to do about any more pets. But if as has happened before where dogs and cats have literally shown up at the door, I'll let them in ad welcome them to a forever home.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I am so, so sorry, Betty. I know what it's like to lose a particularly beloved pet and to have to make that difficult decision about it. Hugs. And take time to grieve. I know it's hard to think about now, but even if no other dog or cat shows up at your house for a while, there are many out there who need good and loving homes and can have their lives saved from a shelter. I'll never forget our beloved Lexie whom we lost last year, but having adorable Cari around as Mystie's new stepsister has helped us all deal with it.

Miriam Lubet said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Rocky was lucky to have you as a mom. I love the picture!