Monday morning, and not all was right in the Tabby’s Place lobby.
There was wild baby Tashi, battling a fierce piece of cardboard. Sweet, slow Yasmine basked in the sun, as pretty, prissy Polly gazed down on the scene like a princess. Our meezer girl Peachy was content in one of the reception desk chairs…
…but where was Grady???
One of my first stops of the day each day is a visit to Gradyville, to scratch one of the world’s sweetest chins and remind Grady how much he’s loved. Our boy is utterly reliable: I can always find him behind the reception desk, either in a cushy chair, his little bed beside the computer, or soaking up the warmth on top of the computer tower.
But Monday…no Grady.
I checked the litter boxes. I circled the lobby. I interrogated Peachy. No Grady.
And, much as I hate to admit it, our sweet Grady doesn’t seem right. What’s clear right now is that his tummy is troubling him; he’s got all the classic signs of major nausea, from a poor appetite to constant lip-licking. Our love bug is wheezy and congested, too, and distinctly Not Himself. He’ll purr quietly when I snuggle him, but, yesterday and today, Grady hasn’t been up for “making biscuits” in the air the way he usually does when he’s being cuddled. As I’ve shared, one of Grady’s patented adorable moves is the flop-over “rub mah belly” roll; it just about broke my heart to see him do the feeblest, sleepiest version of this last night.
Good heavens, it hurts to see one we love hurting, doesn’t it?
But, lest I make things sound too grim, we have every hope that this is a mere blip on the screen for the phenomenon that is Grady. Grady’s raft of symptoms earned him a chest x-ray yesterday, and the best news of the day was the revelation that his x-ray showed nothing of concern. (Now, I’m no veterinarian, but I think it’s safe to say that lung cancer = “of concern”.)
Although Grady’s spleen looked a bit enlarged on the x-ray, this wouldn’t be surprising if he has an infection. We’re waiting on blood work for now, and doing our best to keep our snuggle bunny comfortable with anti-nausea medication, daily subcutaneous fluids, and as much affection as he wants. If he doesn’t turn around in a day or so, we’ll schedule a visit to a specialist for an ultrasound and further investigation.
But…we aren’t there yet. As we all know from personal experience, a simple infection, whether a stomach virus or the flu, can produce wretched, “dear heavens, I think I have the bubonic plague”-level symptoms. So I’m praying that all this ugliness is just a “bug” that buzzes off quickly.
Whatever it is, it’s awfully hard to see Grady this way. This part doesn’t get any easier, I’m afraid. CS Lewis said it so well:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal…avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” (Emphasis added.)
I know you kindred spirits will agree that loving – and loving Grady – is worth the heart-wringing and eventual heart-breaking we know we face. Our tabby wonder appreciates your prayers and your love across the miles, so please keep ’em coming. And, with great hope, I look forward to inviting you all to join me in the happy dance once Grady’s back to belly-rolling in the lobby.