Sometimes I wring my hands and shriek, "What's to become of me?" and instead of having a gorgeous Rhett Butler to toss over his shoulder, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.", all I get is a tired voice from within muttering, "damned if I know."
I have been struggling for weeks with a sick kitty......sick in the sense that for months now she has been losing weight till she is merely skin and bones and concurrently demanding to be fed approximately every 3 1/2 minutes. Naturally, I am feeding her every 2 minutes and having every test known to man and felines performed on her to determine the "why" of it.
Last week my Vet took more tests and determined that one of the thyroid test results showed an abnormality so he was convinced tht she might have a benign growth on her thyroid causing hyperthyroidism which would explain the symptoms. He explained to me that there is an animal hospital here which specializes in doing thryroid scans and, if a tumor shows up, administering a week of radioactive iodine treatments with a 97% success rate. Of course the treatment is so exalted that you must mortgage your home to pay for it, and your cat comes home a bit radioactive for several weeks (don't let her sleep on your bed for about 12 days) but it is a cure and after that, (except perhaps for an occasional glowing in the dark..... (the cat, hopefully not YOU) everything should be fine.
So for 2 sweeks now (first available appointment was today) I have been opening cans and preparing kitty smoothies just like Gussie likes them and grilling liver and giving her kitty treats at the least little "meow" and allowing her to sleep endlessly on a fake fur pillow strategically located on my boobs and tummy while I recline in the lounger and wonder if this is the life's purpose my mother had in mind for me.
Just to prove that sometimes life tests a person beyond endurance, the only appointments available at the west LA office of this one-of-a-kind treatment center are on wednesdays, the one day of the week that my driver and caregiver, Florence, does not come and I had no intention of driving to Tustin (wherever the hell that is in Orange County) on any of the other days so it was time to call in some raincheck favors. Uh-huh. I will not pursue this path except to say that I did finally find one friend willing to take me so I should just shut my mouth and be grateful. Realized much later that I should have simply called the Agency and hired another caregiver driver for 3 or 4 hours.....it would have actually been less expensive since SUV's seem to hold a lot of gasoline in their tanks.
But never mind all that.........we, of course, encountered the obligatory construction blockage on the way to the Hospital which made it a good thing that we had left the valley about 40 minutes earlier than needed and we arrived at the place on time, were received, I tearfully handed Gussie over to be taken to the scanning room and thence to the radioactive kitty center and, after taking my friend to lunch, lurched into the house, ripped off all my garments, donned The House Robe and sank into the recliner to allow Winnie to try out the pillow on my boobs and tummy while I awaited the news from the Doctor at 7 or 8 pm this evening.
Well, it turns out that Gussie does NOT have a tumor on her thyroid so I can go back and pick her up tomorrow and can spend the rest of my days taking her for various tests to try to find out why she is so skinny.....(he thinks perhaps a bowel condition which does not let her absorb the nutrition from her 37 meals a day but then, who can tell without more tests.). I will be happy to get her back un-radio-iodized so she can sleep on my bed immediately without having to wait 12 days and without my having to confront her glowing in the dark some nite. As for the bill amounting to the national debt which I was preparing to pay........not to worry....it will only be about a third as much because she does not require the treatment and the week's hospital stay......and I can spend the rest for further tests at other Veterinary Centers.
The irony is that, thru all of this, Gussie has not complained once of being too skinny....(she probably subscribes to the "you can't be too thin or too rich" theory) ...I am the one who screams and groans and tears my hair as I run my fingers along the poor little furry skin and bones creature. If I can keep her at 7 1/2 lbs with the 37 meals, perhaps I should just let it go at that.....but noooooo......I would, of course, have to be that crazy person who likes her cats to be fat. If she were only more like Winnie, who is now so fat she can hardly bend herself in half into that amazing cat position so she can wash her hiney. Often I have to help her do that. I really would not want Gus to be that fat.........having to wash two cats' behinds would really strain my sense of dignity.............if I still have one.
So, y'all say you want to know what I have been up to...........don't you wish you hadn't asked?
The New Yorker covers: August 18, 1975
12 hours ago