Yesterday we came home for only the second time in ten days, and I did what I always do – hold my breath as I peek around the corner, not relaxing until two tiny faces come bumbling towards the door. The reality of having cats who are 15 and 17 years old is that nagging worry in the back of your head – any day could be The Day.
Two years ago we almost had The Day. We took to Dagobert to the vet being, quite literally, deathly ill. Thin, weak, and miserable, the vet told us in no uncertain terms that a cat of his age was beyond saving: we ought to just put him down.
Instead, we opted for a second opinion. We left Dagobert (and Ophélie) in the capable hands of our friend Amanda, and with heavy hearts set off for Nova Scotia to photograph Kate’s wedding (an event that went a long way towards lifting our spirits!). Amanda sent us daily texts on his condition, and when we got home we found out she’d hand-fed him. Amazing. Returning home, we got the happy news that the second vet – the wonderful South Paw clinic – determined that his condition was both common and easily fixed. It turns out our lovable bear had a hyper-active thyroid, and a simple medication would manage it.
Today, he is healthy and happy at 17. However, maintaining his health does require daily attention, feedings and medicine, and my work takes us out of town very frequently. That would be a huge problem if not for the crack team of friends who are keeping these senior citizens going in our absence. Big thanks to South Paw, for giving this old cat another life. Bigger thanks to Amanda, Tim, Christin, Tyler, Fiona, Leah, Josh, and Beth who are… simply amazing. Thank you for giving your time so that we can come home and be greeted at the door by a pair of furry faces. You make life so much more snuggly.