There will never, ever be another Grady.
But, this spring, my heart has split open in a way it hadn’t done since last July.
It’s hard to put into language what happens when a cat claims ownership of your heart. Every once in a great while, with no warning and no fanfare, it seems a human soul and a feline soul will connect at a level deeper than words. You can’t predict it. You can’t prevent it (not that you’d want to). And even death can’t end it.
It happened with Grady. It happened with my own Dibbles and Pippa.
Webster needs no introduction. You’ve known and loved him along with us ever since his heart-wrenching arrival last fall. You cherished him in his angry, mourning days. Your hearts danced with ours when he found love and hope again.
Along the way, I’ve become utterly besotted.
With his gentle spirit and his vast soul, Webster has a way of reminding you of your own belovedness. If you ever find yourself feeling low and wondering about your worth, I recommend an appointment with the huge-eyed tabby. In Webster’s gentle yet persistent search for your affection, you will most definitely be reminded that you have a purpose in this world, and that you are loved – and needed – more than you could possibly know.
It’s no surprise that Webster should be capable of giving and receiving such depths of love. I regret that I never had the opportunity to meet Webster’s daddy, the man who adored him for ten years, the man he misses still. Any human bean who could ground a cat so solidly in the ways of Love is a hero of the highest order.
I’m confident that Webster’s hero-daddy would be proud to see his boy’s strong, giving heart now. Proud…but also prayerful.
My friends, our beloved boy stands in need of your prayers too.
Boots’ ultrasound wasn’t the only painful news to howl out of the vet room last week. In preparation for a dental, we did an ultrasound on Webster. We knew he had a heart murmur (which is typically not cataclysmic), and just wanted to be sure that he would be safe to anesthetize.
I thank God that our vet team is so perceptive and receptive, and that they took the extra step of checking Webster’s heart before going ahead with that dental. What we learned from the ultrasound means there will be no dentals in Webster’s future, and no anesthesia of any sort. When a cat has advanced heart disease, the vet team delicately refers to a “high risk of decomposition” if we should put him under.
Suffice to say, we do not want to chance “decomposition.”
And, yes, you guessed it: our big-souled angel, the tabby boy carrying around a huge chunk of my heart, has very, very severe heart disease.
This grim diagnosis was Webster’s ticket to becoming a Community Cat. He’s now living the most-snuggled life at Tabby’s Place, living in the Community Room (and, I confess, spending oceans of each day in my lap).
If you didn’t know there was something very wrong, you wouldn’t guess it in a million years. Webs is clearly happier than ever, taking every opportunity to be held and adored, to give head-butts and purrs. He’s become particularly attached to a little leopard-print bed; when at his most blissful, he’ll “make biscuits” in it and begin suckling, kitten-like, on the fabric.
To put it mildly, we will be spoiling our angel boy with all we’ve got in the coming weeks and months (and, I pray, years…). In the best case scenario, Webster’s cocktail of medications and regular retests will keep his mean disease at bay for a long, long time.
I know the diagnosis. I know the hard, mean realities.
But I also believe with all my soul that miracles are very, very easy to the God who loves Webster. And I know that Webster is living proof of that love.