Monday, December 19, 2011

Lost and Returned: Our Love, Cosmo Kitty

I've got this morning off from teaching, which is bad but good--bad because my students need instruction, but good because our family has been having trauma and drama since this past Thursday when our elderly cat, Cosmo, decided to walk out the front door and not show up for catching until mid-morning on Saturday.  He is so thin, he was freezing to death.  He would not have survived another night out, never mind that he has no front claws and is 16 years old.  Subsequently, he spent 30 hours in the animal hospital ($1000) and is home now being spoiled rotten as I try to get him to eat and drink about every hour.  He has to go back to the doc because there is a problem with his liver or thyroid or something, which accounts for the weight loss.  He's not out of the woods yet, but he's healthy enough to come home, sit by the fire and purr.  And our family really connected as a loving team, one more demonstration of how strong we are.

If you don't own and love pets as if they were children, you probably will not understand the pain we have been experiencing.  The kids were pretty hysterical, looking for him for hours with me.  Friday, we spent four hours combined combing the woods and the muck down by our local run-off (called a pond).  Two very kind neighbors and a daughter of one of the neighbors helped us, leading in the eventual return.  Cosmo was wailing, dragging his back legs from weakness.  We couldn't stop crying.  Thank goodness my elder daughter wasn't home to see him this way because I don't think she would have been able to hold it together just at that moment.  For some reason, my younger daughter was able to get herself under control.  She held him all the way to the hospital.

I prepared myself for the worst and probably was the one who had done the most of that.  This is ironic, considering my husband is usually the most negative/super realistic about these things.  However, he got Cosmo when Cosmo was only three months old and feral.  Cosmo just showed up at his front door one day.  And suddenly, because of the kids needing his strength, he was able to communicate his spiritual leanings, something we rarely get to hear.

The girls and I have been with Cosmo since I met David a little over ten years ago, which means the girls were very young when they met both of them.  Their attachment is particular to that little girls get with animals, which is something special and different from the way we adults connect.  I am so grateful Cosmo is home in time for Christmas.

I hope whatever underlying issues Cosmo has can be treated with medication.  There is nothing worse than seeing an animal in serious pain.  Actually, there is nothing worse than seeing any living thing in serious pain.  The worst thing with animals, though, is you can't explain pain to them.  All they know is that they are hurting.  I was so relieved just to have him in the hospital, warming under a hot water mat and not suffering.

We shall see what happens as time goes on. I know he is old and that we all die and go back to Mother Earth.  I also know animals know when it's time and accept it better than we humans do.  If it's time, it's time. I just hope he goes peacefully and painlessly, the same thing I would hope for anything alive.
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