My 100th blog…amazing. What does one write for one’s 100th blog? Seems like it should be something special.
First, I think one writes: thank you for hanging around and reading. Writers write in solitary and hope the words and images mean something to someone. I so appreciate all your likes and comments. I feel like I know many of you even though we’ve never met. I am grateful that you spend a bit of your day with me.
As I thought about my 100th blog, I had planned to write again about vocation, and my sense of calling to work with and for the animals. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this blog isn’t about me. It’s about the (mostly) dogs and cats that I get to care for, my own, my client’s, and the community cats who inhabit Derry Township. I write here about the blessings they bring to my life, and probably yours too, if you’re reading here, and what I learn from and about them. My blog is to celebrate their presence among us, to advocate on their behalf, to worry about them sometimes, to mourn their loss at others. (And I said I wasn’t going to write about vocation…I seem to have lied.)
For my 100th blog, then, let me update you on the poor little kitty that I rescued earlier this week, and wrote about in Invisible Cats 4. We named the 6 month-old, very sick kitten Rita, but today it is clear that Rita is actually Roger. Maybe he’ll get better now that we have his gender right. Roger turned out to be very sick indeed, with a number of internal parasites. The nastiest of them is hookworm, and he has the rarer variety that affects not only intestines, but also lungs. Hookworms attach themselves to the walls of the intestines most commonly and eat their host, sucking up tissue and blood, causing severe anemia and, if untreated, death. Roger would not have lived much longer had he not been captured.
He has icky eyes as well, a raw hind end from all the diarrhea, as well as really raw “knee” areas. The poor guy is on antibiotics, and stuff to calm his intestinal tract, and he has been dewormed twice now. The deworming kills the adult hookworms, and we’ll need to wait 2-3 weeks before we can deworm again and kill what is now only larvae. We are wrapping up our TNR (trap/neuter/return) efforts for the year since it is getting cold out, and the space where we keep the pre- and post-op cats isn’t fully heated. So Roger has come to stay in our spare bedroom where he can be warm and toasty for as long as he needs. This way, too, I can feed him several times a day.
We tried to give him fluids but he is skin and bones. It is almost impossible to get a needle in him and there’s not much space between skin and bones for the fluids to go. We’re feeding him electrolytes with his food, and one of the meds has pretty much stopped his diarrhea. Little by little he looks better and his eyes are brighter, but he has a long ways to go. He is in a trap for a few more days until we are done with his meds, and then he’ll get to move to a spacious dog crate for the rest of his stay. (I am not taking pictures of him for now – he is stressed enough. Perhaps I will be able to photograph him a bit down the road.)
Some might say that only the fittest should survive, and Roger surely isn’t among the fittest. I’m no romantic about nature and how harsh she can be. We cannot save every cat out there–that’s just fact. But we can save some of them, and I am glad Roger is in that group. He is a survivor in some senses; given all the things attacking him from inside and out he is still here, and it looks as if he’ll recover. I doubt that he let himself be captured – he does not yet see us as friends, and he may never do so. But I am glad, even so, that he let me cover him with a blanket and scoop him into a carrier. I am honored to be one of his caretakers now, glad to celebrate his survival instincts and his presence among us for now, glad to worry over him until he is well, and glad too that it doesn’t look as if I will need to mourn his passing.
Back in April I wrote about vocation, and quoted part of a Robert Frost poem, and it seems appropriate to repeat here. It seems as if it was written for Roger and me:
Only when love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes
Is the deed every really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes. –Two Tramps in Mud Time
I guess I’ve written about vocation in my 100th blog after all. I hope you don’t mind. Roger is part of my vocation in life. My love and his need met, and the stakes were clearly mortal. The work of caring for him is a deed truly done for Heaven and the future’s sake. I am fortunate to be a part of a team of people who care about him, the whole group that is Derry Township Community Cats. That group, in turn, is one of many groups helping to rescue and care for animals in our area, our state, our country, our world. Thousands and thousands of people caring for the creatures, many of them out of a sense of vocation. I am eternally grateful to be a tiny little part of the thousand compassionate arms encircling the creatures of our world for Heaven and the future’s sake.
Thus endeth my 100th blog. See you at 101.