It should mean the beginning of summer. Sunshine. Outdoors. Happiness.
We’re sixteen days into June and already, I wish it gone. I shouldn’t, because our time on this Earth is already so fleeting that to wish time gone, is to waste every precious moment we have, and yet, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the torrential rains that have made this month so trying.
Most of it has to do with the wonderful kitty pictured stage left. This is DiNozzo. And he’s had a rough life.
When he came to us, he climbed out of the kennel at the no-kill shelter and scaled my husband’s body until he curled up around my husband’s neck. Then he went to sleep. He claimed us.
But he came to us hurt. He’s herpes positive (which in cats, means he has chronic upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, & his eyes swell shut). He takes daily medication which keeps it mostly in remission—except for times of stress.
At four months old, he was diagnosed by a kitty orthopedic surgeon as having a genetic weakness in his left ankle, which made him limp. DiNozzo spent two months in a splint, on pain killers and anti-inflammatories before they gave up on his healing. Eventually, he grew out of it and his ankle is better, though just a touch crooked.
Shortly after his second birthday, he watched a neighbor’s kitty die on our back porch (a neighbor shot him for crossing through his yard). He and the neighborhood kitty had been window friends. 🙁 To this day, he doesn’t do well with male strangers as it was a male who shot the kitty.
DiNozzo just turned four this past March—fairly young in the life of an indoor-only kitty. Two weeks ago, he began having seizure-like episodes. Our regular vet diagnosed it as allergies because in cats, allergies can often mimic the same symptoms. He spent two weeks on anti-histamines and Prednisone, neither of which worked. So last Friday, we were off to see a kitty neurologist.
DiNozzo had an abnormal neurological exam. He has decreased sensitivity and reactions on his right side, which means something is going on in his brain to make his right side inhibited. Further blood work was ordered to test for Toxoplasmosis and Cryptococcus. The neurologist called on Father’s Day to tell us that both tests came back negative (she worried enough to call on her day off—that’s dedication).
Negative results means we’re left with the other possibilities, none of which are good. Either he’s having seizures (we’re already starting him on Phenobarbital, an anti-seizure med), he has some sort of unknown brain trauma, or he has tumors in his brain. We’re looking at a possible MRI and spinal tap to find out if he doesn’t show any response to the anti-seizure meds.
On top of this, I have two immediate family members & several good friends having their own health scares with the big-C right now, which just reminds me all the more that life is short.
Too short for petty bullshit. Too short for pointing the finger. And way too short to not do everything we can to make our dreams and wishes come true.
For the past two weeks, I’ve continued writing and editing. Hard as it is, I know that life is too short to sit idle and wait. And I know that those around me wouldn’t want me to stop creating art as we wait for word on various test results.
So do me a favor. Do yourself a favor. Go out today. Hug those close to you, be they human or pet. See a play. Write a poem. Touch the ocean.