Tuesday, August 17, 2010
She goes on little cat feet
Our little pal and regular home-medical project Mary Love will probably be leaving us in the next few days, from end-stage kidney failure. Though I feel sad, it's with a sense of gratitude for a pretty remarkable accomplishment... When Keith asked me in mid-January 2008 to help with giving fluids at home, neither of us had any idea that we would still be doing it two years and seven months later. It isn't a difficult task per se, but has required a big commitment in coordinating our schedules and so many demands. If we'd known at the beginning that through all the other insanities of life, we could keep this going without fail, I might not have believed it. It's been good for me to stop everything, take those few quiet minutes with Keith holding her, and just concentrate fully on this one small life and how it gets along in the world.
Keith has always said two things to others about this process. One is that "Mary Love wouldn't be alive if it weren't for Peg." He says this more with accusation than with gratitude. (Which, if you knew this cat, is also sort of understandable.) The other, every time I slide a needle in without a hint of a flinch from the cat (or from Keith), he says "If I ever need dialysis, I want you behind the needle." I don't recommend this.
Most satisfying about this process is that it has never felt pointless or without hope. It has translated to a great quality of life and a long extension of that life, and I just can't feel sad about that. She is one of the cutest little cats too, but of course last night when I tried to capture a final photo, all I could get from her was the stinkeye!