They Were Friends At School

On Friday, my tiniest cat Drusy puked all over an entire room. Oddly enough, it was Pete who turned green, so I missed the giant red flag that should have told me to call the vet immediately after cleaning up all that puke. Over the weekend, I couldn’t get Drusy to eat anything, but she drank lots of water and puked some more. Yesterday, I called the vet, who said he’d see her today. I crossed my fingers and hoped that would be soon enough.

Also on Friday: we got takeout for dinner that caused me to have a mild case of food poisoning over the weekend. My powers of observation were not at their sharpest. I was reading The Iliad for the class I’m taking this semester, picturing the characters as the actors who played them on Hercules and Xena, Warrior Princess and maybe that shouldn’t have been so hilarious, since no one portrayed Ajax. In any case, I wasn’t really paying attention when my sister Daria, who is going through mountains of crap and unopened mail at Mom’s house, texted that she’d found my wedding dress. I didn’t believe that. I could swear I cut it up to make costumes in the nineties.

This dress has been aging gracefully in Mom’s attic for 32 entire years, the handwritten date on the box being 9.2.88. I don’t know about you, but this strange presentation of a beaded human sacrifice suit reminds me of Snow White in a glass casket, waiting for a dude to kiss a comatose girl. I closed this box back up and wondered what a person is supposed to do with this keepsake.

Today, I took Drusy to the vet. With COVID, a pet person drives up, a vet tech eventually appears to pick up the pet, and both tech and pet disappear into the clinic. I thought I was seeing Drusy for the last time and the waiting only made it worse. Some time later, the doctor called my cell to tell me Drusy had lost most of her body weight, had this and that problem, but some of those problems were immediately treatable. For the next day, they will push IV fluids and antibiotics, and she should bounce right back. Then they can examine underlying conditions.

Me: I thought you were going to tell me it’s hopeless.

Vet: No, it’s FAR FROM hopeless. Don’t get so upset yet!

Me: And you want to keep her a day or two?

Vet: Yes.

I went home, explained all this to Pete, petted three other cats and fell into a deep sleep. I would like to say I dreamed of a peaceful hospital stay and a joyful homecoming, but it’s too soon to say that. Instead, I just felt time passing, the weight of my exhaustion, and the hope that it’s not too late for a different future.

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