Yesterday we celebrated a life shorter but sweeter than anyone wished or expected.
Today, we meet another cat eviscerating expectations, Arizona-style.
Jeremy arrived at Tabby’s Place in 2011, with the timer already ticking down. If this were a cartoon, Jeremy would have been strapped to the train tracks, sizzling fuse at his head. And the villain who lashed him there?
His own heart.
Jeremy’s heart was so heinously hole-y that it would have been ridiculous to dream of his reaching his first birthday. So fragile was the little black cat that we opted not to neuter him. The anesthesia would likely end his life, and why neuter him if he’d never reach maturity? The best we could hope for was a loving foster home for Jeremy’s few months. It would take an extraordinarily self-sacrificing, heartbreak-ready soldier of love to take on such a cat, knowing that goodbye was ever imminent.
It would take Susan.
And, as it turned out, Jeremy would take his sweet, sweet time surviving.
Over six years later, Jeremy and stellar Susan are eager to shatter some more expectations and anxieties:
“Hello Tabby’s Place!
“It has been a little over six months since Jeremy and I packed up our lives in New Jersey and hit the road for our cross-country trip and new home in Arizona. This milestone seems like an appropriate time for a Jeremy update!
“The big news I want to share with everyone is Jeremy’s six month visit to the cardiologist. This was a pretty exciting event, for me anyway, as it was our first visit to the new vet’s office–a whopping five minute drive from where we live. It was a refreshing change from the hour drive to his New Jersey vet or the 40 minute drive to Tabby’s Place that was typical for Jeremy’s medical past visits. I think he was taken aback by how quickly we made it there. He was barely able to settle into a full panic before I was whisking him out of the car and into the reception area.
“The first thing that I noticed was how peaceful it was in the lobby. Their emergency services are in a different section from cardiology, so there were no other appointments or other animals there to elevate Jeremy’s already rising stress level. The initial ambiance set the tone for the remainder of the visit.
“The office staff was pleasant and helpful. The veterinary technician was super nice and so sweet and gentle with Jeremy. His cardiologist, Dr. Miller, was awesome! He was great with Jeremy and certainly knew his stuff. I was allowed to stay during the echocardiogram, and Dr. Miller explained things to me throughout the procedure. It was one of the most enjoyable veterinarian experiences I have ever had.
“The entire visit seemed to be a foreshadowing of the news I was about to receive with regard to Jeremy’s condition. Now, the main concern with his heart is the ventricular septal defect — the hole in his heart. However, Jeremy does have multiple additional cardiac abnormalities. Early on, one of Jeremy’s New Jersey cardiologists had remarked that Jeremy ‘received all of the leftover parts when he was given a heart.’
“However, the way Dr. Miller described Jeremy’s heart situation is that the abnormalities, though each dysfunctional on their own, are collectively working in such a way that it is actually supporting his heart’s function. This is likely the secret to Jeremy’s stability and longevity. Take one of those abnormalities away, and he may not have been as lucky. Basically, Jeremy hit a home run in the abnormality department.
“At the time of the visit, Jeremy was taking four different medications and being medicated three times a day. Based on his findings, Dr. Miller reduced two of those medications. Now, Jeremy only gets medicated twice a day, and one of his daily pills is now given every three days. This has been a very welcome change.
“Nothing but good news for Jeremy on the medical front. Otherwise, he is really coming into his own and has embraced our new environment. There was a maintenance man in our apartment the other day to fix a leaky pipe, and Jeremy did not run and hide when the gentleman knocked on the door and entered the room. Instead, Jeremy stood his ground, with only a foot between them, and meowed at the maintenance man as if to say, ‘hey buddy, this is my turf; what are you doing here?’ LOL!
“Jeremy is so much more confident now. Remember how he would hide in the closet all the time? It is a rarity to find him in there anymore. His days of hiding seem to be behind him. He is engaged in his environment, and his inner light is shining as bright as the the Arizona sun. Seeing his growth is truly heartwarming.
“He is even eating a better diet! I have tried for years to get him to eat healthier food, and now suddenly that is all he wants. It has only been a week of these new eating habits, though…so I hope I did not just jinx it!
“Who is this cat and where is my Jeremy?!
“Many wonderful and positive things are going on with Jeremy, and I am humbled to be alongside him throughout. He is an amazing feline, and I am super proud of him.
“I wish I could say that we are settled in our ‘forever home,’ but there may be another move in our future. Though it would be difficult to leave Dr. Miller and the emergency vet around the corner, I have complete faith that if we were to relocate again, Jeremy would be up to the task and would meet it with grace and adaptability.
“Thank you all for continuing to share in our journey!
“Sending lots of purrs and hugs!”
If this be “abnormal,” I pity the creature trapped in normalcy.
Here’s to many years of abnormal, exuberant, healthy home runs. We are in grateful awe of you both, Jeremy and Susan.