At 10 AM, barely 24-hours after Freya’s surgery, I was back at Angell ready to bring her home. I walked into the building as the automatic doors parted. The place was filled with people and their pets. It was controlled cacophony so I made my way over to Reception, checked in, paid the remainder of Freya’s invoice and waited to be called.
A young woman came out, calling Freya’s name. She talked to me about the discharge instructions, then took my empty cat carrier to fetch Freya. Another woman approached me. It was M.J. who was a friend of Freya’s on Facebook. She was there with her lovely cat, Tabbittha who very sadly was there to see an oncologist because she has a growth on her mouth and had stopped eating. M.J. was thrilled to see Freya, but it was bittersweet. She had tears sparkling in her pale blue eyes, as she talked to me about Tabbs. I told her how sorry I was and that I hoped it was just a cyst and nothing more. It went unsaid, but I think we both knew that something like this had the potential to be bad news and her cat was 15. I so wanted to cheer her up, but sometimes all you can really do is be present for that person and be ready to comfort them as you can.
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson.
M.J. said she had some toys she wanted to get for the cat. I didn’t realize she meant she made some toys for Freya. When I saw what she’d created it really touched me. There were many different kinds of wand toys, each with a small toy at the end. The size was just right for Freya and with all this woman was going through, that she had the thoughtfulness to do something for my kitten, just shows you what sort of person she is.
©2014 M.J. Towler. Darling Tabbs.
With Freya at my side and rumors of more bad weather ahead. I bade my farewells to M.J. and Tabbs, giving this new friend a hug and a wish for good luck. I wondered what price she would pay for her cat's care. From what I could tell she would do whatever it took, even if it meant she would go without. Leaving her was not easy. I wish I could have kept her company longer. I know what it's like to be alone during such an unsettling time. It’s too bad there’s no buddy system at Angell where if you needed someone to just hold your hand and tell you it’s going to be okay you could get that support.
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Less than 24 hrs after surgery, Freya is ready to come back home.
Freya 2.0 and I began our trip home. At first she meowed and meowed as we made our way west, out of the heavy Boston traffic, but soon enough she was sleeping soundly even with the cone-of-shame on her head. The nor’easter was still effecting the weather but now it was a mix of rain, snow and sleet. My friend Connie, who lives near me in Connecticut said it had snowed a few inches but had stopped in Newtown. In Boston it was a rain/sleet mix. Resigned to having yet another lousy drive home, I hit the road.
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. From Jen, my wake-up text along with a photo of Freya looking much perkier.
I didn’t know what to expect with Freya. Would she mess up her carrier as she did on the way to Boston? She was on pain killers so I expected a quiet trip home. I didn’t dare check on her because once again the roads were dreadful and I had to pay attention. I kept feeling like I was about to lose control of the car. The winds were stronger and the temp hovered at freezing. The strange lack of traction I felt from time to time was probably patches of black ice.
As it happened on the journey to Boston, leaving was just as miserable with just as many idiotic drivers going too fast on roads that were not in great shape. I tried to just get through it. I told myself to focus, in 3 more hours I’d be home. I was going to spend the rest of the day doing nothing once we arrived. I might not even unpack the car, other than Freya. I was going to sleep, dammit!
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. First meal at home. Thank you, Weruva!
At least the last hour of the drive was blissfully easy. The snow in northern Connecticut had painted every branch and outlined the stone walls that dotted the landscape along I-84. The sky was a bluish gray with more defined clouds and the sun even struggled to break through from time to time. It was a very pretty scene and since the road was drying out, compared to the snow squall and rain showers that blasted us during the first two-thirds of the trip, I could relax.
Seeing the snow reminded me of a dream I had about being at a Vet with Freya, (which I'm not sure I should write about because I fear I may never hear the end of it). I was wearing my pink undies; the ones that have a pattern of snowflakes on them. I knew if I wore them it would be very bad for Freya; that she would die. I also knew that I couldn't simply throw the undies away, I had to remember NEVER to wear them. That was the test. If I failed, catastrophe! That was two months ago and I can tell you I don't even want to TOUCH those panties! (Yes, pink with snowflakes; my mom bought them for me, sheesh.)
Freya remained quiet; no straining or groaning trying to pass stool. I asked her if she was okay and she replied with a chirp. I didn’t know how things would go once we got home, but perhaps I’d paid the price and maybe things would go well.
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Home at last in her crate. Rest for the next week at least.
And then it dawned on my why I was so glum. I was protecting my heart from utter collapse. When I saw Freya in the cage after the surgery, I had to hold back my true feelings. I wanted to sob, seeing her little body scrunched up in pain. It was too much to see her like that, but I had to be brave for her. I couldn't hold her and comfort her as I did just the night before and I didn't know when I'd be able to hold and comfort her again. I couldn't be happy because it wasn't over and there were still too many obstacles to overcome. How could I be joyful when if she did something as minor and run around the house during the first week it could blow a stitch and kill her? She was a fragile vessel for now and I didn't feel like this was the time to rejoice.
For Freya, I did everything required and then some and for Freya I knew I would do it again and again and again. I would find a way to swim back to shore. I would learn how to care for my newly minted kitten’s behind. I would never give up on her, ever. The price will be paid-whatever it takes.
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Looking back on the first time I met Freya, having no idea offering to foster her for a few days would end up changing my life.