I’m of the opinion that we need to have more Feast Days.
Given that this isn’t the year 1287, I confess to not being entirely sure how Feast Days are conducted. But I know that there used to be a bunch of them, and I’m confident they were awesome. Basically, all the lords and ladies and peasants and serfs and squires would get together at the church/mead house/town square/Wal-Mart to make merry. Feast Days could be occasioned by miracles and marvels, deliverances and delights.*
Well, my lords and ladies, it’s officially time for some merry-making Casa Tabby.
If we go for the Angela’s-not-making-stuff-up definition, Feast Days have to do with associating particular dates with particular saints. (Hence the merry-making. Saints = yay!) Be it known that we are now in the Feast Day Year of Jennifer Ann.
You remember JenAnn, she of serious facial expression and serious kidneys. For weeks, then months, Jennifer Ann was one of the cats we delicately refer to as being “day-to-day.” That’s a tiptoeing euphenism for “may not make it another day.”
Kidney disease is nothing new in the world of senior cats. Truth be told, it’s devastatingly old news. Jonathan often remarks that, if he were given the task of redesigning the cat, he would start with those dratted kidneys. (Except that Jonathan does not use words like dratted. His eyebrow is probably twitching at the very thought that I put that word in his mouth.) Humans of a certain age get dye jobs and Botox and “Over the Hill” balloons and sports cars. Cats of a certain age get chronic kidney failure.
Jennifer Ann was no exception.
What made our scrunchy-faced girl exceptional was the utter horribleness of her kidney failure. After coming to Tabby’s Place during Snowtober with bad-but-not-ghastly kidneys, JenAnn took a swift swan dive into the nether regions of kidney hell.
It was Ginny, Tabby’s Place’s “administrative assistant and a whole lot more,” who patiently sat with JenAnn to administer her life-saving subcutaneous fluids each day. It was Ginny who first saw the fruits of human kindness and divine intervention, as the once-wrathful Jennifer Ann began to tolerate, and then luxuriate, in human attention. It was Ginny who regularly expressed concern that JenAnn seemed to be at the end of her stash of days.
It was Dr. C and Denise who diligently, patiently kept on top of Jennifer Ann’s blood work. Not just any human bean can bear bad news with love and calm. But, week after week, our valorous veterinary team reported on Jennifer Ann’s condition, tweaking her treatment regimen as best they could to extend those days.
It was every saint and staffer and volunteer and visitor who just…kept…loving.
And then, just when we thought Jennifer Ann’s “day-to-day” status was about to reach the final countdown…we all got mugged by wonder.
All of a sudden, with no rational explanation (as though reasoning minds can know all things) and no foreshadowing (as though mere humans can predict Big Amazing Stuff), Jennifer Ann got better.
I don’t mean just a little better. I don’t mean “maybe she’ll have another month!” better.
I mean, “Lindsay Lohan is now ministering to the poor in Calcutta” better. I mean, “the Democrats and Republicans are now playing skee-ball together every weekend and running the country in perfect harmony” better. I mean, “vegan cheese is now edible” better. I mean, “as soon as she touched the hem of His garment, she was all better” better.
I mean better.
Jennifer Ann’s kidney values are almost completely normal. Not okay. Not “pretty good.” Normal. Normal. Normal.
Dr. C, being a wise woman, offers no explanation. There clearly isn’t one available this side of Heaven.
But that side of heaven, it’s a miracle of mercy. It’s a gift. It’s a grace.
Let us feast.
*Yes, Wikipedia has its own definition of feast days. But I like mine better.
Photo credits from top to bottom: Uber Volunteer Jessica, Uber Volunteer John M (whose patient affection is a big factor in JenAnn’s newfound friendliness), Jessica, John M.