“I Couldn’t Sleep A Wink Last Night”
“I couldn’t sleep a wink last night,” it’s true. It’s silly to be lovelorn and at my age too.
Oh, no. Don’t get excited. It’s not what you think. More’s the pity.
I swear, I can hardly believe myself. An animal. A dumb animal. Well, not so dumb, it turns out. Saturday, the chosen day, finally arrived—Cat Ballou took an anticipated trip to the veterinarian for the essential surgery, the one to prevent an unending series of duplicates.
Surgery went well. Ballou returned home comatose with a plastic halo around her neck. Within a couple hours after she woke up, groggy though she seemed, my cat managed to figure out how to slip her head out of the cone.
The veterinarian had let me know the cone was the most important part of recovery. If my cat could reach her stitches with her teeth, there would be nothing he could do, dire warning, but put her down. That is a euphemism for the “final sleep”. Gulp, another euphemism.
As long as I held my cat in my arms, she slept. I went to bed. She slept on my chest. I cannot sleep on my back. I’d shift her to my arm. She slept. I lay awake. My arm went to sleep. Does it count if a body part sleeps? Thus my night passed, feeling the vibration of the cat, listening to the rain and wind.
To follow the song, “I thought my heart would break the whole night through.” Sunday morning, bleary eyed, I put food down for Cat Ballou. She ignored it, sat at my feet with piteous meows until I picked her up. In my arms she promptly went back to sleep. Thus my day.
Leo came to see if I needed any help. We modified the cone and replaced it around her neck, feeling quite pleased with our job. In fifteen seconds, Ballou pulled her head out of the noose. Julie came over a couple hours later. We tightened the cone more, and, using man’s best friend, duct taped it together. And very proud we were of our expertise. Ten seconds. Ballou won her freedom.
As long as that cat was in my arms, she slept. If I put her down, she cried, like a colicky baby. Neither of us ate. I sat. She slept.
Sleepless nights. Bloodshot eyes. In desperation, using scissors and massive amounts of duct tape, I further modified the, here-to-fore useless, plastic cone.
Voila! My little escape artist is finally corralled. She still insists on my lap, continuously. But when I ignore her pitiful cries, I can eat a sandwich, or mop my floors, or hang laundry. Other than necessary chores, I sit, I read, I hold my cat. I read a lot.
At night, I get an hour or two of sleep at a time. You would understand if you had a plastic cone on legs try to wriggle under the blanket with you.
Three weeks. The vet said three weeks. I’m not sure I’ll last the full run.
HDN: Looking out my back door
December 21, 2017