Tuesday, February 22, 2011

OT: When the Unexpected Happens

This morning I made an appointment for Sk8terdad to take a stuffy-nosed, coughing, sneezing Sk8terdude to the pediatrician in hopes we could cure what ails him before the Elemental Awareness tour arrives in Rhode Island this weekend.  I also asked Sk8terdad to take our two cats to the veterinarian (my least-favorite task, since I am allergic to the cats, and they shed tons of fur when we try to get them into the cat carriers and into the car).

I left for work, confident in Sk8terdad's ability to take one mildly ill child and two healthy cats to their respective doctors' appointments.

By midday, I knew that Sk8terdude was not getting an antibiotic (doc thinks it's viral) or a prescription for oral steroids (even though he's wheezing, as usual, with the onset of a respiratory infection), and I knew that our older cat, who had been losing weight, most likely had a thyroid condition.  The younger cat was still at home, since Sk8terdad had not been able to get her into the carrier by himself, but he had made a second appointment for later in the day so I could help him.

Getting the cat into the carrier was no easy feat.  It took all three of us and about 40 minutes and ended only after two beds were completely dismantled because she was hiding under first one and then the other.  She's always been a "scaredy-cat" - rarely seen by non-family members - and today was no exception.  She yowled and scratched and clawed and did everything she could to evade capture.

Once she was safely secure in the carrier, I left to pick up OlderBrother at school.  Sk8terdad and Sk8terdude drove around the corner and dropped her off at the vet, promising to return an hour later for her appointment.

My cell phone rang while OlderBrother and I were on the way home.  With Sk8terdad on speakerphone (I forgot to grab my bluetooth on the way out the door), OlderBrother and I were both listening as Sk8terdad told us that the cat had a heart attack and died at the vet's.

We were stunned.

And heartbroken.

I could hear Sk8terdude crying in the background.  OlderBrother started to sob in the backseat.  I drove the rest of the way home and we talked as a family about what a wonderful cat she had been and how much we would miss her.  We gave both boys the option of going back to the vet to see her and say good-bye.  OlderBrother didn't want to see her, but Sk8terdude asked to go.  Together we went to the vet's where he was able to spend some time petting her and saying farewell.

Rest in peace.

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