Sometimes it doesn’t even take four seconds.
Your lock eyes, your heart is gone, and you know that if the sheer force of love can save this cat, she will thrive for an eon. So it was with Sylvia.
All Tabby’s Place cats come to the sanctuary from hopeless situations. But rarely is “hopeless” so immediately, awfully obvious as it was for a certain sable angel.
When we met Sylvia, she couldn’t stand. Each time she tried, she’d knuckle over on one, then the other hind leg, with worry sweeping her sweet face on each try. Worry swept over each of our faces as we touched Sylvia’s back legs: cold.
I feel a uniquely-awful uselessness at these moments. Denise and Danielle, who actually know a thing or two (or ten thousand trillion) about actually helping a cat in medical crisis, were doing their much-needed thing. And I…well, I was just talking. My eyes locked with Sylvia’s, I cooed and chatted and nattered on like a fool, anything to soothe the soul whose sweetness was blazing through even in her moment of greatest need. As scared as she must have been, Sylvia snuggled under our touch, looked each of us full in the face, and seemed to know in her singular, Sylvia way that she was now with family.
Denise has an uncanny way of reading the secrets cats keep just under their symptoms, and so she knew right away that we’d need the help of the emergency vet to save Sylvia. No sooner had I fallen in love than Sylvia was whisked off to the offices of Dr. Fantastic and company. My heart hung out in my throat for the next few hours as we waited and waited. Then came the diagnosis: saddle thrombus. Translation for nonmedical noodleheads like me: bad, bad news. In this case, even badder (by far) than Leroy Brown. The prognosis for this particular badness is “guarded to poor.”
As Denise had feared, Sylvia had thrown a nasty blood clot, cutting off circulation to her hind legs. Blood thinners and some serious pain medication could help…but we shouldn’t count on it. Cats come back from saddle thrombus about as often as they sing German folk dances while eating cotton candy.
Well, pull on your lederhosen and fire up the spun-sugar machine.
Against all odds and expectations – and working in perfect cooperation with all our prayers – our wonder cat Sylvia is making a full recovery. She’s regained the full use of those back legs, and by all accounts she’s…well, back in the saddle again.
Denise and Dr. C are merciful in not sugar-coating these things. It helps no one to carry false hope. Sylvia, they tell me, still has Very Very Bad heart disease. She’s out of these particularly dark woods, but she’s carrying around a time bomb as she skips along the forest’s edge.
No matter. A certain tabby soulmate of mine and I know about fragile hearts and thriving through the threats of scary diagnoses. Sylvia, darling, thrive on and defy those odds. Heart disease be darned – our hearts crave eons with you before riding off into any sunsets.