What? When is anything all fun and games?
I mean, even at a party, it’s not all fun and games. Sometimes there is cake and what if someone drops that cake? Is that fun? Is that a game to you? No. No, it is not. Because it’s wasted cake and that is just sad.
But I digress.
Last week wasn’t so much fun or games as it was weird.
You know the weird, swimmy feeling you get when someone you love gets really sick. Like seriously sick? Like they could die?
That happened with Alfie last week.
Here’s the thing. For those of us that have animals living with us, we love our pets. We do. The thought of losing one is unfathomable.
Let me tell you what Alfie means to me.
In December of 2016, Randy told me that he wanted to get me a kitten for Christmas. This is after over a decade of me saying “Hey, you know what would be great? If we got a kitten.”
I did not give him a moment to think about this. There was a pet adoption event a few minutes from our house. I was going to get my goddamn kitten.
When we got there, I held a few and they were adorable. But I wasn’t their person. I thought maybe it would take awhile. But then this little black kitty, a little ball of floof, came to me and I picked him up. He purred and fell asleep.
I knew I was taking him home. I knew it.
On Saturday, December 17th, 2016, we brought Alfie home.
On Monday, December 19th, our granddaughter, McKinlee, was born.
She couldn’t stay. Her heart was broken and all of our hearts broke with hers. Months after she was born, we had to say goodbye.
I’m in no way comparing the cat we adopted to our granddaughter. I would have sacrificed the moon for her to stay with us. I’m just saying that right after we brought Alfie home, we entered into a months long journey of learning how to love and lose a grandchild.
Randy stayed at his daughter’s house, many hours away, and took care of McKinlee’s older sister, Madelyn for weeks at a time.
While he was gone, Alfie and I kept each other company.
My little ball of floof kept me company while Randy was away.
No matter what happened, he needed my care. He slept with his ass curled up into my armpit at night. The same way he sleeps now.
McKinlee has been gone for over four years. She has a baby sister, Mae, who is two year old. Life continues. We love and laugh and mourn and cry.
Then last week, something happened. Of course, it happened right after I piled up a bunch of purple and blue dye on my head.
Alfie had a blocked urethra.
I didn’t know he had a blocked urethra.
I just know that after spending an evening cleaning house because we were hosting an overnight guest soon for the first time since the apocalypse started, that something was wrong with our cat.
I had purple and blue streaks of tinted conditioner on my face and had decided that it was about time to wash it all out, when my son Joey said that Alfie was being weird.
Joey: I tried to pick him up and he hissed at me.
Which is weird, because Alfie hates everyone except the people who live in this house. He loves us. He never hisses at us.
Me: Okay, that is weird.
Alfie walked into the bedroom and started meowing without stopping. He’s not a vocal cat. Something wasn’t right. Joey tried to pick him up again and this time Alfie lashed out at him and left a long scratch on Joey’s arm.
I didn’t know what was wrong, but sensed something was terribly wrong.
Our vet was closed at the time, so I started calling around to other vet’s who were open. I found one on my first try and they asked if we could be there in 15 minutes.
I have no idea how we managed, but we coaxed our freaked out cat who was obviously in pain into a cage. I had no choice but to go to the vet with purple and blue dye on my head. And my face.
It’s all fun and games until you have to go out in public looking like you belong in a Dr Seuss book.
The vet determined very quickly that Alfie’s bladder was rock hard. He was blocked. And in grave peril.
She had to stick a needle into his bladder and withdraw urine. You know, to keep him from dying.
I was so proud of Randy. He stayed in the room. I learned that I will leave a room crying rather than watch something like that happen.
The vet told us that he had immediately go to the emergency room.
She gave us three options. Two options that had animal hospital sounding names and then another one. She said “If cost is a concern for you, then I could send you to Grady’s.”
I have no idea what goes on at Grady’s. I am reasonably sure I don’t want to know.
After a vomiting incident, we left for the kitty ER. Alfie vomited, not me.
The animal hospital follows COVID protocol. We sat in the parking lot with the car hatch up. I talked to Alfie while he cried.
We had to leave Alfie at the hospital for a few days.
I was reasonably sure he would be okay.
But I didn’t know that for sure. Alfie came into our lives just 48 hours before our granddaughter was born. I know these are not related incidents, but he’s been with me the whole time.
If he left us, then that chapter is truly closed.
I’m not ready for that.
I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that.
Even though one day I will have to be. But that day isn’t today.
He’s home now and he’s fine. He’s in danger of relapse, but so far he seems to be fine. He’s clingy and won’t leave my side, but I don’t mind that part. I’ll give him all the love he needs.
I washed the dye out of my hair at nearly 11pm that night.
My hair looks fabulous.