We are devastated at Pinecone Park—well, Fred and I are. Sheba is fine. I’m deadly sad.
Ethel started moaning and vomiting yesterday early morning. She took to roosting under my bed. Fred followed me around meowing, lost without his sister to play with. I got a 1:30 pm appointment at the vet.
The vet said she could feel something in Ethel’s stomach and decided to take an x-ray. She seemed fearful. The results showed Ethel’s kidney was hugely swollen and so the vet said the best option for her was for me to take her to the animal emergency hospital in Nanaimo.
It felt like forever getting there. Ethel was howling and vomiting in her carrier. But once we got there blood tests were taken and I had to wait half-an-hour for the results.
I was in my car waiting when another car arrived. A man and woman got out and gently lifted a beautiful big Poodle cross from the car and into the clinic. Moved by their care and attention to their dog, I got out of my car, picked up blankets that had fallen onto the ground, put them in their car and shut their rear hatch.
I returned to the clinic waiting room and was gutted by the sight of the Poodle lying so still on the floor in a treatment room. The man and woman were down there with them. The TV was broadcasting one of those seasonal crackling fireplace videos. I felt totally empty and sick.
The blood test results for Ethel, however, were good. I wanted to hug, Nick, the vet. He recommended an ultrasound and overnight hydration and to prepare myself for a massive bill.
As I was paying a deposit, the man and woman emerged from their treatment room alone. Their faces tore me apart. And then a beautiful, wonderful thing happened.
The man—a huge truck driving, massive, burly man’s man—walked up to me, opened his arms and engulfed me with his body. We hugged each other like Stanley and Livingston; not a thing was said.
I got into the car uplifted by relief and headed home. I called Saint Patsy who’d come to my house to babysit Fred and Sheba and suggested she call Woodfire and order us a big pizza that I picked up on the way home from the ferry. We devoured it. I hadn’t eaten at all during the day.
I was incredibly grateful to come home to Patsy. I did not want to be alone for a bit. Ethel is just a kitten and I lapse into grief on my own. My loving little baby girl is so sick.
Life can be truly wondrous. The man’s hug, the unexpected and marvelous empathy exchange with a stranger, has provided me with rich emotional compensation for this hideous experience. (Plus, of course, I’m hugely relieved Ethel didn’t have to be euthanized. Nick had prepared me for that outcome if the problem proved congenital.)
This morning, Nick will call with the results of the ultrasound. I’ve deduced a surgical solution may be ahead but I’m definitely anticipating getting Ethel back (and being a lot poorer). I miss her terribly and so does poor Freddy. He’s been howling all morning.
There’d been absolutely no sign of any problem until yesterday morning. Her sudden fail was a devastating shock. It hurt terribly to see her in such a sorry state.
I told Nick as I left: “Tomorrow is my birthday. You know the only present I want, right?”
Part of me is missing and it hurts.
Now I wait for Nick’s call.
Fred is in the living room under the chaise. Sheba has hunkered down beside him and he is purring so loud, I can hear him even though the radio is playing.
I close my eyes and focus on the purr. Together we can do this.
We need her back.