update:5-5-17 6:21 pm. Laine has passed, we are relieved but are heartbroken.
Please know before you read this that Laine is still not out of the woods. She is very comfortable and sleeping soundly. She is receiving Nutri-Cal 3x daily as she does not yet eat but has drank water. Our veterinarian (Red Lake Falls Vet Service) has been outstanding as always and suggested we fill surgical gloves with water and microwave the gloves for a minute to create little, warming water bottles. These have helped Laine sleep much better. Anyway, that’s the update-here’s this week’s column. GN
I want to give some background before I go any further. My wife and I are pretty experienced cat owners. We have two diabetic cats that require twice daily treatment. Our third cat, Laine, has typically been very healthy and was a stray we befriended after a year and a half of effort back in 2007 or so.
Laine was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which means her thyroid produces too much hormone. No matter how much she ate, Laine was losing weight. This was the first indication that lead to a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism. We began giving her chewable pills which restored her thyroid levels. She then rejected the pills which lead to a gel medication applied to the inside of her ears. Her resistance to chewable pills coincided with a lack of appetite. Laine had one bad tooth which we suspect caused pain and therefore she did not want to chew. She is at the veterinarian having surgery as I write which is scary because she is very thin but if she won’t eat it is impossible to restore her weight and if we don’t fix her tooth she won’t eat. It is a conundrum.
So this morning I took Laine to the veterinarian. I have taken this trip with Twitch and Magoo dozens of times. Laine and I have made the same trip probably less than ten times. Surgeries need to arrive in the morning after which you pick them up in the afternoon. So I have about six hours for anxiety to chew away at me.
I always have a soft spot for anyone who is made weak despite their best efforts and that is Laine. I mean, she grew up wild and even had a set of kittens in the hay shed before she truly met us. It started out with a cat barn on our deck in which she lived. We then placed food in the doorway and moved the food further into the house over a period of weeks to entice her indoors. Laine then became comfortable enough to come into the house but I always stood at the door to let her out. Our patience was rewarded with the relationship we now have with Laine. When you work for something, you treasure it and we treasure Laine.
I am going to share something with you. I told Laine “I couldn’t love a human daughter any more than you” before I left her at the veterinarian. Anesthesia is a wonderful but dangerous thing and none of get any guarantees of a healthy return from surgery-particularly a little cat so I wanted her to know my emotions even if she doesn’t understand my words. I have never believed that a person should love based on the object of your affection. I have never found anything in the Bible that directed us as to whom we should love-only that we should love. Psalm 148, Verse 2 talks about animals, sea creature, trees and tame animals praising God. I will never be ashamed about loving our cats, dogs, squirrels, cattle or anything created by the hand of God. I won’t let my imperfect human ego make me believe that I should only love creatures that look like me.
I can’t think of any way to wait-out Laine’s surgery other than to stay busy-like writing this column. I hope she turns out fine, heals quickly and eats like a lion. I will let you know if it is good news.
(a few hours later) It was good news