(Polly seems to be doing OK. My condition has been upgraded from 'heartsick' to 'cautiously optimistic.')
College Girl came home for the weekend, and I promised her homemade pizza. She invited three of her girlfriends over. As soon as I put the pizza on the table, each of them whipped out their phones at the exact same moment and Instagrammed it. I took that as a compliment.
I don't have as many pictures of Polly as I do of her sister and Carson, because she is such an affectionate cat that as soon as she sees someone coming close with a camera, she bunts her head up against the lens. Most of my photos of her are extremely out-of-focus close-ups. Anyway, Polly has been in poor health lately, and my other cat is diabetic, and Carson is still struggling with his horrible skin issues, so here is how a typical morning looks here:
1. Give Polly an IV of fluids.
2. Give Patch her shot.
3. Spray Carson all over with topical medicine.
4. Mix up cat food for Polly and feed it to her through a syringe.
Then I go to work and come home, give Polly a snack and spray Carson. In the evening, we repeat the entire routine. Every three days, Carson gets a medicinal bath, and Polly gets antibiotics and B vitamins in her IV. It's to the point that not only everyone at the vet's office knows us quite well, but the part-time clerks at the Big Box Pet Store know us. My husband picked up Carson's special limited-ingredient food yesterday and the clerk said, "Wasn't your wife just here?"
The deal with Polly is that she was diagnosed with a liver problem. I had her at the vet's two weeks ago, and our choice was to hospitalize her with a feeding tube, and there was no guarantee that would work, or to bring her home and do the best we could. I honestly could not live with the thought of her alone in a cage with a feeding tube. Even if it was her best shot at survival, it did not seem right or fair. And she was so stressed out from the vet's visit that I really thought she was going to die that night. It was awful.
But it's two weeks later, and here we are. And two nights ago, she climbed up on my lap and started purring. Started bumping up against the book I was trying to read. Later, she followed me as I went to pack up some boxes and rubbed against my legs. That night she hopped up on the bed and did her favorite thing, which is usually my least favorite thing, which is to sleep on my head.
Maybe I'm just deeply in denial about a 14-year-old cat with a serious health problem. But the last couple of days, she's been more active and social. And our vet is pretty surprised she's still with us after two weeks.
Aren't you going to look it over? one of them asked as the other unfolded it.
There's a little spot right here, the one who did the unfolding said. I had to squint to see it.
I was catching up with a friend whom I hadn't talked to since Christmas, and in telling her about the last couple of weeks, I realized something: that what at some points felt like things happening so fast I couldn't keep up, things had actually just fallen into place more quickly than I expected.
So some of what happened was taking on some new responsibilities at work, which couldn't make me happier, and I just need to figure out how to make my schedule work. And making a trip to Washington, D.C. at kind of the last minute to see family and go to the inauguration, which every American should do at some point in their life. But the big thing that happened was that my daughter learned a week before classes began that she'd been accepted at Syracuse University.
The reason she was accepted so late was a bureaucratic screw-up discovered only through her diligence and detective work (her high school transcript had been sent, but it had not been updated to reflect the fact that she had graduated, and there's a lot more I could say but I won't). The important thing is that she got accepted. And even at that late date, she got the classes she wanted. And found housing, because someone had unexpectedly moved out of a house where one of her best friends lives. And she got a terrific scholarship.
It's hard to beat things falling into place like that.
I think the year ahead is going to be a lot like that - change is in the air. And if it's in the air, you might just as well take a deep breath and consider all of the possibilities. The camper - which was a fabulous Christmas gift from a friend so dear she pays attention to what I pick as favorites on Etsy, and make sure you look closely at the license plate - seems like the perfect symbol. An open road, adventures ahead, some unexpected twists and turns more than likely, but maybe ones that will lead to unexpected discoveries.
This quote from G. K. Chesterton has always been one of my favorites: "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." This year, I think they'll be words to live by.