22 07 2013

I’ve written about my Rosalind before.  She’s simply the most loving animal I’ve ever met, fifteen pounds of love and trust with big blue eyes, wrapped in a pile of long hair.  She is so consistently there for me, such a part of my life, that I take her presence for granted.  At least, I usually do.

Yesterday I came out of the shower to find her in her usual ready-for-breakfast spot outside the door.  She appeared to be lying on a dirty shoestring.  Which, when she got up to walk into the kitchen, was still attached to her body.  I tried pulling on it to bring it the rest of the way out.  It wasn’t coming, and she cried when I did it.  Which then set off Clara.  By the time I got dressed, Rosalind was lying on the living room floor with her head down.  I loaded her into the cat carrier and drove to the emergency vet.

For a cat that usually complains vigorously in the car, she was frighteningly quiet.   The only sound was her panting.  I hit 75 mph on the county highway between me and the vet’s office, praying that there would be no police… and if there were, they could ticket me any way they wanted to after chasing me to the emergency clinic.  My mother told me later that there were loads of police cars on that road when she came out to be with me.  I didn’t see a single one.

It turned out that my precious girl had eaten ribbon.  A LOT of ribbon, about seven feet or so, that I had removed from a costume blouse prior to laundering.  The ribbon was anchored in her stomach and was making her entire intestine bunch up around it.  She needed surgery to remove it, or it would kill her.  There was never any question in my mind.  I put the money down and signed the forms.

The surgeon called as soon as she was done.  She had to open up Rosalind’s stomach to release the ribbon, and also had to take about two inches of the intestine out where the blood supply had torn loose.  She assured me that Rosalind was awake, and drugged enough to rest comfortably.  I thanked her for being there on a Sunday to save Rosalind’s life, got off the phone, and fell completely apart.

I am still right on that fragile edge.  She had to be in so much pain with this, for at least a day and probably more, and I didn’t know.

She is tied very strongly in my mind to my husband, who picked her out of the litter two weeks before he died.  I hadn’t brought her home yet when he died – she needed to stay with the breeder until she was 12 weeks old, for immunizations and spaying – and I wondered at the time if I should go through with it, with everything that was going on in the wake of his death.  Every single person I said this to responded in the same way: “Are you nuts?  Of COURSE you’re bringing her home!”

So I did.  My mother and I drove to Ripon to get her, for the only car trip that Rosalind has apparently ever enjoyed.  My mother drove, and I sat in the back seat with a small and curious kitten, who was all over the back seat and me for about an hour, followed by passing out in my lap the way only kittens do.  She walked into the house like she owned the place, and followed me everywhere.  She was with me every single time that the grief became overwhelming, which was often in those days.  She’d find me crying on the sofa, and she’d crawl all the way up to my chest to pat my face.

She still follows me everywhere.  Every morning I have to step over her to get out the back door, where she is oh-so-subtly blocking my path out of the house.  She picks up on my mood and temperament every day.

And yet, when she needed me to see that she was in trouble, I didn’t.  I missed it and she could have died.  I could be without this life that has loved me for seven years.  The thought unravels me completely.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: