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A Million Purrs

On Friday night, our 8 year-old cat was struggling to breathe and wouldn’t eat or drink. We called all the veterinary ERs and none could take her. At our wits end, I was resigned that she might die. It was a tough night but somehow she made it to the morning.

However her respiratory rate was alarmingly high. We finally found an ER that had room, only to learn that she was in congestive heart failure and the prognosis wasn’t good. We were devastated, considering whether to put her down. But the veterinary doctor got on the phone and convinced another hospital with an ICU to take her.

After a nail-biting drive where I thought she would die in the car, they put her in a box with oxygen and a load of medication. They told us we had to wait and see. I was emotionally exhausted. We went home Saturday dreading the phone would ring with bad news.

We did get a call Sunday morning: finally she was improving. By the afternoon, her respiratory rate was normal and she had started eating. We went to see her. She was drowsy and weak but purred loudly when I took her in my arms.

She continued improving through Monday, and with much relief we took her home by end of day. After everything that happened since Friday, I’m amazed she’s home.

At the same time, I must come to grips with her new condition. A few days ago, we still had several years ahead of us with her in our lives. Now, she could die next week, or next year. The doctor did not dare say any longer. It’s now about medication, managing her stress level, and luck.

Still, I will enjoy whatever she has left. Any other time is a million times better than last Friday.

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