When it isn’t the final word.
Saturday morning, I received a phone call that, by all accounts, seemed simply terrible. With a low, grim tone to his voice, Jonathan let me know that our China-doll’s breathing was increasingly labored, indicating serious pain. The decision had been made to let her go around 11:15 am. “Be here if you can,” Jonathan said, “and, if you’re not able to get here in time, I’ll give her a kiss for you.”
To pour even more “bitter” into the morning’s bittersweetness, I then found your flood of love-soaked comments and prayers for China here on the blog. Your love for her comforted me, but there was no getting over the sense that she just shouldn’t be gone.
I made my way to Tabby’s Place to commiserate with the rest of the team, and ran into Kelly (who you’ll remember is Flora’s foster mama) in the parking lot. Perhaps we see precisely what we expect, but I was sure I saw sorrow written all over Kelly’s face.
“Hey, Angela.” Her voice seemed to me weary with sadness.
“I’m so bummed about China,” I sighed.
Kelly’s face registered confusion, then a smile. “Angela, China’s here.”
“Alive?” I blurted.
So much for sorrow!
Into the sanctuary I ran, and straight for the Community Room. To my delight-and-more-than-delight, I saw one very skinny, very-much-alive calico scarfing down baby food (her second jar, I was told) on the conference table. I immediately pet her and cooed her name, only to receive the classic China glare (perhaps best translated as, “watch your step, human bean”).
As it happens, China was “supposed to” be put to sleep Saturday morning. The emergency vet was sufficiently convinced that she was suffering that they pulled out her feeding tube, disconnected all the needles and pokes and prods, and sent her home for her final goodbye to the Tabby’s people. But, when Danielle got China back to the Community Room, everyone was witness to a dazzling sight.
She ate. She strolled. She was clearly not going anywhere.
Since her near-rebirth, China’s been perplexingly interested in escaping the Community Room. Maybe it’s all that baby food she’s eating (4 jars yesterday alone), but she’s been crawling out the door to the Lobby every chance she gets. In particular, she seems enamored of the Lobby bathroom.
At this point, I’m inclined to say, more power to her. Whatever China’s doing, she’s doing it right.
That said, we’d like her to gain a good deal of weight. As you can see, she’s still got that coat-hanger physique. But, the baby food is slowly doing its job. China has gained a few tenths of a pound since her return from the brink.
So what made China rally at the eleventh hour? Where have these eight fresh lives come from? I dare not venture to explain.
But, oh, how I thank you for the prayers that were answered so mightily. Even more, I thank God for hearing our prayers and loving our cat of many colors even better than we can. Here’s to the next eight quirky, cranky, calico lives of our little love.