continued from part 8
I lived in Minneapolis many years ago and drove in blizzards in whiteout conditions. One late spring day my car stalled out driving across a flooded road during a “once in a hundred years” severe thunderstorm that dropped 10" of rain in 4 hours, while tornadoes buzzed nearby. But this trip to Boston was one of the most difficult and terrifying of my life. By the time the sky was fading to black, I was grateful the traffic jammed up and we were forced to dribble along at 15 mph. I never understood why this was called rush hour. At least I could slow down physically and maybe emotionally, too. I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel. I wanted to get unpacked, get Freya cleaned up, then maybe cry and do nothing but rest in a peaceful retreat for the night.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Freya's ready to bust out of her Sleepypod.
I got to the hotel and parked in the wrong spot. It was covered parking and I needed the shelter since it was pouring rain. I found out I had to carry most of my own bags, with help from the nice lady at the front desk. When she told me my room was down the hall on the first floor I got worried about noise, but in truth it made getting Freya back and forth a lot easier. As I opened the door to the room, I saw a nice king-sized bed with perfectly white sheets on it. I wondered how I was going to keep that bed white with a kitten leaking stool out of her back end. Then I heard it: NOISE, traffic noise. The traffic I’d just escaped. The back of the hotel overlooks a parkway. My heart sank. I’d already dragged all my bags into the room and washed Freya off. Yes I was a loser for not asking for another room, but I was too tired to move. I just didn’t know how I would sleep. So much for peaceful retreat.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Last “blowout”! Clean up, aisle 9!
At least Freya was unfazed. Once clean, I tried to get her to eat but she wouldn’t have a bite. I got out her toys and set up her kitty cabin and hooked up the heated bed. I took every one of the towels I brought and covered the bed with them, then hoped that somehow it would do the trick and keep it clean. Freya loved running around on the carpeting since she could dig her claws into it for traction. She chased after all her toys while I finished unpacking. I’d brought some food from a deli so I sat on the bed and ate a sandwich, grateful to have something to eat after a miserable trip. Since there was no room service or café at the hotel, nor was it near anywhere to get take-out, it worked out that I brought my own food.
Here we were in Boston just a half-mile from MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center where at 6:30 AM I’d be dropping Freya off for her surgery. Every time I thought about it I felt sick. I was glad Freya had no idea of what was going on as she happily investigated the room and dodged in and out of her cabin, something familiar among all the new smells.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. All the comforts of home.
I took off my shoes and sat on the bed. Freya jumped up onto the chair I had next to the bed. The bed was so tall I knew she couldn’t make it without the chair as a step stool. She looked at me, then ran up to my lap, up my chest and rubbed her face against mine. I felt her soft fur and leaned into her as she purred deeply. She sat on my lap and quickly got settled, falling asleep. She’d had a tough trip, too.
I was sitting in a weird position, my bra was digging into my side; a knot started to burn in my back under my left shoulder, but Freya was comfortable. I didn’t want to upset this moment. What if it was her last night?
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Velcro kitten.
So I sat there like a pretzel wearing a too-tight bra and tried to watch some TV while I heard the thrum of the rush-hour traffic whiz by the room. I wondered once again about the price I had to pay. Why couldn’t I have gotten a quieter room? All I was living for was some peace. The next day I’d take a true break. I had no laptop so I couldn’t work or do emails. Freya would be having her surgery. Maybe I could take a day off, but certainly not much of one with all this noise.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Yes, I love you, too.
I finally worked up a way to get my bra off the way I did when I had to go to Summer Camp and didn't want the other girls to see my training bra or what was under it. Leaving my shirt on, I reached behind me and unhooked the bra while trying not to wriggle around and disturb Freya. Once I got that done I slid the straps off, then threaded each one down the sleeves of my shirt, finally yanking it out one sleeve like a Magician might do (only a bra came out of my shirt, not a bouquet of flowers). I didn’t have to wake up Freya and it helped a little bit to have one less thing digging into me. After about an hour my legs were falling asleep so I moved her. She got up and started running around again. I was glad for both of us. At least I could get into my pajamas and get into a more comfortable position. As soon as I did, Freya was back on my lap.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Still playful after a very long day.
All through the night Freya was either sleeping on me or making sure we were touching. It was the first night we could be together in all the months she’d been my foster kitten. Every time she moved, I made sure the towels were under her.
She wanted to put her dirty little butt in my face but I drew the line with that. I tucked a towel around my neck and she sat on my shoulder while I was half propped up.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. No, I do not want to sleep with that in my face. Thank you.
I didn’t get much sleep. At 5 AM I got up and got us both ready to go. I was so scared and tired I was shaking. I looked at Freya and cried. I had to stop. I had to be strong. I hoped I’d paid the price and in return today would be the best day of her life. I didn’t want to think of what I would do if she died.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Me and my girl.
It was still pitch black outside and there were barely any cars on the road. The trip to Angell was a quick one. We were the second car in the gigantic parking lot. It looked deserted but I knew they were open 24 hours a day. I took a deep breath and got Freya, all her paperwork and my credit card ready to go. The sliding doors opened as we approached.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. The gateway to salvation.
After I checked Freya in and paid for her surgery I met with Jen, who would be our Client Liaison. She was cheerful and charming, sporting and elfin haircut and many shiny piercings on her face that I tried not to stare at. She explained that she would be texting me updates throughout the day and that if I needed anything or had questions that she would take care of everything. She did a great job assuring me that communication was not going to be a problem and that she had everything covered.
When she saw Freya her eyes lit up. As everyone as who’s ever met her, Jen was completely delighted by Freya who meowed a hello as Jen gave her a few pets. We went over what was to be expected and I found out that the surgery would be the first of Dr. Pavletic’s and would start around 9:30AM. She promised to let me know when the surgery was going to begin. I forgot to ask how long it would take, but I knew from the estimate that they expected two hours of anesthesia.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. With Jen.
©2014 Robin AF Olson. This is it. The next time I see you you'll be Freya 2.0.
I zipped closed her empty carrier and walked back outside, into the early dawn which only managed to change from black to a sluggish gray. The rain had returned and chilled my face as I returned to my car. All I wanted to do was go back to bed and sleep, but with surgery only a few hours away I decided I better just sit in my hotel room and wait.
------to be continued.