Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Kindness of Friends and Strangers

By Lorna Barrett (Also known as Lorraine Bartlett)

So, there we were Wednesday evening, reading the morning paper (yes, you read that right.  We read USA Today in the morning and save the local rag for the evening) when our cat Chester jumped up to sit on Mr. L's lap.

And missed.

Missed three times.

Later that evening, Chester started to stumble around and we knew something was terribly wrong.

According to an article in USA Today earlier this week, we're like millions of other fools who let our cats (and dogs) sleep with us.  Well, Chester sleeps right between Mr. L and me.  He got up to turn around and fell over.

We got up around five that morning and had a long three hours wait until the vet took calls at eight.  And then, it was difficult to get through because every other cat owner with a sick kitty was trying to call at the same time.  But by 8:14 I had a 10 am appointment.  They said they were squeezing us in.  We virtually never wait at the vet's office, but we got there 10 minutes early and had to wait another 15 for our turn.

The vet picked up instantly that there was something wrong with him.  She spent more than half an hour with him (did you know they can take a cat's blood pressure?  Not easily but it can be done).  She showed us how wonky his eyes were and said it looked neurological to her.  But she wanted to do blood tests just to make sure.  Of course, the next day the tests came back negative.  (Our boy has never had a sick day in his life.)  She thought he either had a stroke or has a brain tumor.

Not happy news.  We've got an appointment for Monday with the traveling vet who comes to town only a couple of times a month and there might be an MRI in Chester's future.  What the next step is . . . we're not sure.  And we're scared of losing our boy.

I posted about Chester on Thursday on my LLBartlett Facebook page, where I have very few friends (in comparison with my Lorna and Lorraine pages) and was astounded that so many people (more than 30) sent their regards.

My friends (and Cozy Chick) Ellery Adams and Dru-Ann Love (who reviews Cozies for us on the 15th of the month) posted about Chester on their pages, and the flood of sympathy and good wishes came through again.  I'm so touched that so many people cared enough to comment.  But then, so many of them have lived with the fear of losing, and/or losing a beloved pet themselves.  We're kindred spirits us pet owners.  We love our families and we love our pets with little distinguishing the two.  Love is love, after all.

So now we live through the scary weekend and face up to whatever Mr. Vet From Cornell has to tell us on Monday.  And if we hear bad news, I'll try to be brave and hold my kitty near and think about the kindness of my friends and the strangers who are all pulling for my boy.

Thank you.

28 comments:

Laineshots said...

Our pets are part of our families, aren't they? No getting around it-- and when they hurt, we hurt. Continuing to pray for Chester, you, and Mr. L.

Booklady said...

I consider my girls (two mini-schnauzers and a little hedgehog) to be my furry and prickly children. My heart and my prayers are with you.

StitchenTigger said...

My kitty and I send warm cyberhugs and head scritches to Chester, you and Mr. L.

Linda Leszczuk said...

I've had Chester in my prayers since I got the word from Dru. Those of us who know the difference between a pet and a furry family member understand what you are going through. Praying it will turn out all right.

Dru said...

Thinking of both you, Mr. L and Chester.

Laura K. Curtis said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. My furkids and I will be thinking of all of you and hoping the vet says it's something simple. Animals are remarkably resilient.

Rural View said...

You're in for a long weekend and I wish you the best, all three of you. Poor Chester must wonder what in the world is happening. I hope for something that can be fixed. Cornell has the absolute best in the business.

signlady217 said...

So sorry to hear about your kitty. Hope he's better soon! :)

astrid said...

I just had to post on this and say I will be hoping for the best for you, Mr.L and Chester. My heart aches along with yours and I hope the news is better than expected. Sending hugs and pets your way.

Anonymous said...

I reminded my husband today that the news article says you shouldn't let pets sleep with you nor should you let them kiss you! This as our three dogs lay sprawled between us! Sorry newscasters, but they are family and need our comfort as much as we need theirs. My best to you and Chester. Hugs from my gang to yours.
KUZLIN

Sandy said...

I know it's going to be a long weekend of waiting. It's so hard when there's something wrong with our beloved pets. Praying that it's not serious and the vet can fix him right up. Positive thoughts coming your way!

Katreader said...

Our pets are our family...and better than most of the human members. I'm continuing to send good healing thoughts your way and praying for the best.

Mason Canyon said...

The furry little four-legged family members tug heavy on our heart strings. Sending positive thoughts your way and keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Heather Webber said...

Sending good thoughts to you and Chester. Let us know how his appointment goes.

Aurian said...

I hope there is nothing seriously wrong with your Chester. That he will be jumping high again next week.
I lost both my dogs to old age, I still miss them. Their picture is on my desk. But lately I have been dreaming of a new dog.

Thank you so much for the bookmarks I got in the mail today, a really lovely surprise.

Shel said...

I never know what to say to things like this, but please know that I'm reading and thinking of you and Chester.

Maggie Sefton said...

I'm sorry about your kitty, Lorraine. I hope it's something that's easily "fixable." Pat Chester for me.

Melissa said...

All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. My pets are my children and I know the fear you must be feeling. I lost a cat to a brain tumor 20 years ago, another to kidney failure, and yet another to stomach cancer 5 years ago. They are all still in my hearts, will never be forgotten. Please keep us updated.

Shiloh said...

I am so sorry to hear about Chester! I hope you all will get good news soon. I can't imagine what I'd do if that happened to my own cat, Egypt. Please keep us updated.

Vickie said...

{HUGS} and my prayers for you and Chester.

Anonymous said...

Lorna, my prayers and thoughts are with you. I know how much I love my furry members of my family and can imagine what the worry is doing to you and your husband.

I heard that news story also but I continue to let (as if I could stop them!) my babies sleep with me. I think I would actually get sick if they didn't!!!

Thank you for the book mark. It was a nice surprise.

Take care. I hope that everything works out for Chester.

Shirley in Baltimore

Linda McDonald said...

Your weekend of waiting is almost over and I hope that you get good news tomorrow when Chester sees the vet. I'm sending prayers and best wishes to Chester, you, and the rest of the family.

bethany said...

I know how difficult it can be to have a sick pet. I will pray for your little Chester. PS - Look forward to meeting you at your booksigning on Saturday.

Lindy said...

I hope that Chester is doing better. My cat, Jezza Belle, had a similar problem... we noticed it when her tail was dragging, then her whole back end was paralyzed. The vet thought it was an infection, and sure enough, antibiotics brought her back to normal. It was a long time before I was normal though. Pets are friends and family... so we double love them!

ev said...

I live with a veritable zoo and I know what you must be going through. The last ER trip to the Vet was on Xmas Eve with one of the dogs but she is doing fine now.

I hope Chester is feeling better soon.

And any of ours that want to sleep with us, we find room for. Usually.

Anonymous said...

Our good thoughts are with the whole family...especially Chester.

hatfieldtiffany75 said...

I hope that Chester gets better. Our pets are like our children. Please keep us posted.

Shushan said...

Praying here for your dear furry friend. *gentle hugs for the sweet kitty*