Thursday, January 07, 2010

Snowed In and Bluer

So you remember how I was feeling all sorry for myself on Monday morning, because of the weather and all? Little did I know how much worse it was going to get.

First, I ruined the oatmeal. How can you ruin oatmeal, right? Well, a few months ago I switched from instant packets to steelcut oats (are you proud of me, Gege?) to make it a bit healthier. With the steelcut oats, you boil water on the stove and then add the oats and let them simmer about 20 minutes. (FYI, Eleanor LOVES them!) I've done this about a million times. But for some reason, Monday morning I measured and poured in the water, and then measured and immediately poured in the oats, into the cold water.

I watched the oats falling into the pan and thought, "Why in the world did I do that? I've never done that before. Is this a sign that today isn't going to go well?" I tried to convince myself it wouldn't make that much of a difference, but it really did. The resulting muck was neither tasty nor texturally pleasing.

Fast forward to lunch. (The rest of the morning was fine.) I am feeding Eleanor lunch in the dining room, when we suddenly hear a big crash in the living room. Gomez goes streaking past us, on her way to the basement. I see a Christmas stocking on the floor, and realize that she managed to knock the heavy metal stocking holder off the mantel. I put everything back and go on with lunch. For the next 10 minutes or so, I occasionally notice that Gomez is completely spazzing out. Not that she's anywhere near us. First she's in the basement, then in the attic, then back to the basement, running around like a cat possessed. This is not a good sign, but not a terrible sign. She did this before when she was playing with yarn and got it wrapped around her leg and it freaked her out.

Eleanor and I do a brief tour of the house, but can't find the cat. Now I'm getting worried. What did she do?!? I take Eleanor up to her room for her nap. Thankfully, she's asleep in 10 minutes flat. I quietly close the door and then race around the house, trying to locate the cat and (hopefully) get the offending piece of yarn off her leg so we can snuggle.

I can't find Gomez anywhere. But I do find blood on the stairs down to the basement, and on the doorframe up to the attic. This, plus her conspicuous absence, is definitely not good. My heart and mind are racing. What could she have done?!?

I look under our bed, which is where she usually goes to hide when upset. She's definitely not there. At first, I can't find either Gomez or Beckett, and I stop breathing. Did both the pets escape? But all the doors are closed! It's a weird, animal-version of the locked room mystery. But the mystery is solved when I realize that Beckett actually managed to get himself all the way under the covers for once, and is sleeping in a tight, warm little ball on the bed. I yank off the covers and say, "Beckett! Have you seen your sister? I think something happened, and I'm worried. Do you know where she is?"

He doesn't say anything, but it's clear that he's not at all concerned. I decide to look on/under the guest bed. As I'm looking under the guest bed, Gomez comes running down the hall to me. I love that cat. I couldn't find her, but she made sure to come to me and tell me that she was okay.

Except, of course, she wasn't. She purred and headbutted me, but she was still agitated. I saw blood on one dainty paw, and her tail was matted about 3/4s of the way down. She patted me down and climbed all over me. I pet her and talked to her, hoping that she would settle in on my lap long enough for me to assess the damage. But instead something spooked her and she ran off again.

I decide to settle in on the living room couch and call for her. Clearly, I can't find her if she doesn't want to be found. And she usually does find me when I'm sitting there and curl up on my lap (part of the reason why I don't always post as many blog entries as I mean to).

So that's what I do, and she does come to me. I love that cat. She had to be in pain, but she took the time to reassure me that she had everything under control. She patted me down and sat in my lap for awhile. This time, it was clearly her tail that was the problem. She was running around just fine, so I decided the blood on her paw probably came from her tail. I can see that one spot on her tail that is completely matted, and there is a definite kink. Once I see it, it's obvious. It hurts to watch her try to move the tail, and the end just .... doesn't. The lack of cohesive tail movement freaks her out again, and she's off.

So: What do I do? My plan for the day, if you'll recall, was to hunker down in my pajamas and not set foot outside. Everything is covered in snow and I'm not even sure if I can get the car out of the drive, much less what the state of the roads would be. I don't want to take Eleanor out in this weather unless I absolutely have to.

Do I absolutely have to? I mean, Gomez seems to think that she has everything under control. She's reassured me several times. I've conferred with Mom and Keith and Mary Lou. Everyone agrees that since she doesn't have a concussion, there's probably not much that can be done. If the tail is broken, the vet will take an x-ray and splint it, but it's not a treatment that warrants taking the baby out in this weather.

On Keith's good advice, I do call the vet and see what time their latest appointment is that day. It's 4:40—still too early for Keith to be home from work. I am not at all confident of my ability to get a wounded, scared cat into the hated carrier all by myself, or with Eleanor's help, rather. So that's what really makes up my mind not to take her in that day. I make an appointment for 5:00pm the next day.

(to be continued)


Jonathan said...

I live in fear of the day when our elderly cat either doesn't come home, or falls asleep never to wake up again...

I really don't know how my better half will cope with it.

M. Lubbers said...

It's so hard to be that attached to your animals. I know that someday the dog and cat will pass on and we'll have to deal with it .... I'm just glad the cat is okay for now and we can put it out of our minds again!