Sunday, May 31, 2015

Annie's Diminishment



May 31, 2015

Dear Friends,

Annie used up at least two of her nine lives this week while out on an adventure.

We are unsure what she was up to when the accident occurred, but the veterinarian said that the severe injury to her right rear knee was the type of injury sometimes experienced by skate boarders, skiers, and football players—she “blew out her knee.”

You would think that now at her age Annie would know better than to undertake any such dangerous activity, but who knows? There was no evidence of other physical trauma so the specific details of the accident itself remain a small mystery.

Wherever the accident occurred, Annie was able to reach home dragging her injured unusable leg, totally exhausted and in shock. The door was open (I was potting plants), so she managed the step and the stairs (no one can figure out how), and hid under the bed. I knew she was there but I could not reach her and did not know at the time the extent of her injury.

When (after twenty-four hours) she crawled out crying for help, emergency action was clearly required.  

The week has been occupied with a trip to the veterinarian—a friend provided comfort and ambulance service. The veterinarian was kind and competent. She released Annie to come home, but it has been necessary to establish a home hospital unit for Annie in the study (no more trips up and down stairs for Annie for a while). It has also required “room service” meals, meds, and an on-going effort to persuade Annie to drink more water.  

The water project has been unsuccessful.  Annie’s rather fierce resistance to water in any form could, I suppose, be linked to her real difficulty in managing trips to the litter box with her wounded leg. I don’t know her reasoning, and efforts to communicate about the matter have reached an impasse.

Annie appears to be recovering from the shock and is sleeping well. She purred for a moment this morning when I brought her breakfast and petted her. While she is distinctly unhappy about her painful leg, she is, as always, certain that the special services she is receiving are only to be expected when a duchess suffers unmerited trauma.

Prognosis is hopeful, but it is too soon to determine how extensive the permanent damage to her knee may be. Whatever the final results are, Annie will survive (thankfully), to be petted, indulged, and duchess-in-charge, living out her diminishment in our safe household setting. Regretfully, although she does not yet know this, Annie’s days of doing spectacular leaps from the top of the high privacy fence at the back of the yard have come to a permanent end. 

Throughout the last two days I have sat with Annie for brief periods of time in an effort to keep her quiet and relatively content in her enforced inactivity. Today she went to sleep as I watched her. It was a careful sleep, her painful leg kept extended and straight. Her usual curled-up-in-a-ball sleep is not yet possible. As she slept I thought: diminishment is no respecter of persons or cats, even beautiful elegant duchess-type cats like Annie herself.

And I wondered. Will Annie, in her cat dreams-to-come, remember those fine high-flying moments when she hurtled off the high fence railing and was for a magical moment air-borne? If Annie remembers, will she be able to live both with the sadness of diminished leaping skills together with gladness for the high fence that keeps her safe from strangers (and the neighbor’s dog)?  

Duchess she may be, but not even Annie escapes the challenge of living without things that have gone away.

See you next week.

Gay


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