Faster Than The Speed of Life

Indiana Jones ParrishFor the most part I have a fantastic life. I’m relatively healthy, I have friends and family who love me (and who I love), I’m able to spend my days doing what I love (writing and editing) and, ya know, overall things are pretty good. They aren’t perfect, of course, but they are pretty good. But it always seems like just when I’d really like a nice, quiet period in my life the most something happens to make sure I don’t get it.

My mom dying last month was… traumatic, to say the least. It was pretty sudden — she was doing well, and then suddenly she very much wasn’t. I’ve been working to come to terms with her loss and with all the circumstances around it, and I’ve been doing pretty well. I was down, of course, but grief is a funny thing — it comes at you in waves. I was able to get things done, still, to lead a more or less “normal” life. I kept busy, which helped, and thought “Hey, you know what would be a great idea? I’ll do NaNoWriMo and NovPad and get the December issue of Niteblade ready. No problem.”

Then life stepped up and said “Nu-uh. No you don’t.”

We have three cats. They are all awesome and all very different from one another. Indiana, Eowyn and Absinthe. Indiana is the cuddly one, Eowyn is the proud/bitchy one and Absinthe is the shit-disturber. On Friday we had to rush Indiana (you can see him in these pictures) to the animal hospital because he had an obstruction in his urethra. He was diagnosed with FLUTD (Feline lower urinary tract disease), admitted and catheterized under sedation. Before they performed the procedure they asked if we wanted to visit him to say goodbye. I couldn’t. Just the idea of visiting someone I loved in a hospital again after my Mom… I just couldn’t do it.

On Saturday, the hospital called to say there had been a complication in removing the catheter and Indy was going to require surgery to get it out. We consented to that. Very late on Sunday night he was released and we brought him home. When we went to pick him up at the animal hospital they brought him out in his (huge) cat carrier. I knelt down to see him and stuck my fingers through the bars. He rushed over from the back of the carrier and tried to bonk me through the bars, and when that didn’t work he just rubbed against my fingers as best he could with his cone of shame on. It made me cry. Jo and the receptionist pretended not to notice, because they are awesome.

Now he’s home, but the stress doesn’t stop. There’s money stress because stays in the animal hospital and emergency surgery are not cheap. We’re lucky in that we were able to pay for this without too much hardship, but if it becomes a recurring thing that may not remain true. What’s more, the urinary tract obstruction he had does tend to be a recurring thing, and if it happens and it’s not caught in time, it will kill him. Straight up. So we have to watch and make sure he’s not straining to pee or showing any of the other signs of obstruction. Indiana Jones Parrish

But wait, there’s more! He has three medications to take; pain killers, antibiotics and antispasmodics. Happily Jo is all over keeping track of and dispensing that as it would break my brain. Seriously.

Indy also has a cone of shame on, and he can’t quite figure out how to eat or drink normally with it, so we are essentially hand-feeding him (or had been. We’ve recently decided to take the cone off when we are able to supervise him to make sure he’s not licking his incision, and hopefully he’ll feed himself). He’s not eating as much as we’d like (I think partly because of the cone and partly because he doesn’t like his new, expensive, prescription food). But he seems to be in good spirits and has lots of energy (in between painkiller doses, anyway), so I’m tentatively optimistic.

This is more than a little stressful on our other animals too. The other cats have to switch over to the same diet as Indy and they aren’t fans. Neither of them is eating as much as they should be. We can’t really feed them prescription kibble (which I think will help as they will be able to eat when they want, not just at mealtimes) at least until Indiana is out of his cone of shame (middle of next week) and able to drink enough water to make dry food a viable option for him. Even Tre’s (our dog) eating has to be altered because we can’t let him have hard food sitting in his bowl because Indy will steal it, eat it and obstruct again.

I freaking suck at ‘wait and see’ and this is one big-ass case of ‘wait and see’.

I’m not handling it very well. I’m the sort of stressed/depressed right now where all I want to do is sleep. That really isn’t good for NaNoWriMo, November Poem-a-Day, Niteblade, or, ya know, life.

I’m doing the best I can though, and I’m still writing. Not as much as I should be, and I’ve switched NaNo novels again to something that requires a little less thought than Hollow Children, but I’m writing. If Jay Lake can write through all the crap he’s been dealing with over the past five years, and all my friends on Team Thalia can write through the curve balls and hardships life throws their way, then I can write through this.

And besides, when I’m writing, when I’m actually in the middle of the action, then all this just goes away for a little bit. It’s only for a few minutes at a time, but I’ll take it. Oh yes, yes I will.

ETA: I spent the afternoon working on catching up on my NaNo project and I’m currently only about 2,500 words behind. Yay!


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8 thoughts on “Faster Than The Speed of Life”

  1. *hugs*

    Well, Palom dealt with the same thing, and it almost killed him five years ago. He had two bad bouts, and then we switched to a prescription cat food from the vet. That stuff kept him alive without any urinary issues, but holy crap was it expensive. About $50 a month for a bag.

    Porom ate the same food. Now that we have finished off the prescription food, I realized that the diet food was AWFUL for her. Her fur has looked pretty bad for years–terrible dandruff and mats. I blamed her obesity. It turns out it was the food. Within weeks of Palom’s death, her hair has turned fluffy and super-soft, the dandruff is gone, and her whiskers have even doubled in size.

    Save one cat, screw up the other. >_<

    So, now that you know all THAT, I think you should know there are valid reasons to be depressed. Your mom's death alone was bad enough. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to cry. But I'm also glad that you're pressing forward with NaNo and your other projects.

    Hang in there!

    1. I totally hear what you’re saying about Palom and Porom. In our case, Eowyn was on an expensive prescription food to help her deal with allergies that made her pull her fur out. Feeding that to three cats got expensive so we started testing other food to see if there was something else she could eat without making herself miserable. The answer was yes — the cheap food that eventually gave Indiana these crystals in his urine. *sigh* So now all three kitties are on the expensive prescription food for Indiana’s urinary issues and we wait to see if it makes Eowyn pull her hair out. *sigh* Happily, Absinthe at least seems to be happy and healthy no matter what we feed her.


  2. I am so sorry to hear about both your mom and your kitty. My cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Now I have to be so careful. If I miss a couple of her insulin shots, she gets ear and bladder infections, which means antibiotics and ear drops. It’s difficult to see a pet go so far downhill so fast.

    I hope your cat is doing better, and I am impressed that you are only 2500 words behind in your NaNo. I am much further behind.

    1. Aww I’m sorry to hear about your cat. Have you ever seen this? Kyle Cassidy’s kitty, Roswell, is also diabetic. This video is of her getting her shot.

      I guess that’s actually pretty unrelated, but it makes me smile 🙂

      I hope you’ve caught up on your NaNo novel 🙂

    1. Yeah, it’s been pretty tough. But whatcha gonna do but just keep swimming, swimming, swimmin– erm, now I have that stuck in my head >_<

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