Thank you so much, all of you, for your kind concern about Charlie last week. It's a weird thing to have a critically ill pet: on the one hand, it's horrible and upsetting and---insult to injury!---costing you a whole bunch of money that was earmarked for much more enjoyable things. On the other hand, there's a creeping feeling that your reaction is out of proportion to the situation at hand: it's not a person, is it? It could be so much worse.
I spent the majority of last week in a permanent state of anxiety: Charlie was getting better, and then he wasn't. He was coming home, and then he wasn't. I was going to have to sell the house to pay for his veterinary bills and live in a van down by the river, subsisting on nothing more than unidentifiable canned foodstuffs from the dollar store, and then I wasn't. It was, as you can imagine, a rather volatile time.
(Incidentally, here's a job for someone: you could make a forture marketing yourself as a person who settles suspcious medical bills with inscrutable receptionists for people feeling too emotionally sensitive to deal with it themselves. I'm normally an excellent negotiator and an even more excellent arguer, but it's very hard to dispute an exorbitant, unnecessary, and unagreed-upon charge with someone via telephone when your sick cat is sitting shriveled and pitiful in a cage in their care. Do you have a calm voice, top-notch interpersonal skills, and a penchant for diplomacy? Apply within!)
Charlie was sprung from the sickhouse on Thursday, and I came home from a night of carousing to find him sitting, dolefully, on the spare room bed. Oh Internet, he was so pitiful! He was so thin that you couldn't stroke him without jabbing your hand on a vertebrae, bump, bump, bump, all the way down his spine. He had a big bald patch on his back, where they'd shaved him, and another on his little arm where they'd put the IV. He wasn't interested in eating, he didn't want to be touched, and he had giving up the luxury of grooming himself, particularly after bathroom-related activities, only about fifty percent of which he managed to actually make it to the bathroom for.
I also took about a year off my life trying to get him to take his pills. Ever tried to give a cat a pill? I would rather French kiss Justin Bieber and then do the ten years of jail time I'd be given for French kissing Justin Bieber.
But that was then, and this is now, and now---I am pleased to report---he is like an entirely different cat. He's back to his old self, and then some. He's shiny and fluffy and cuddly and affectionate, and his appetite is back with a vengeance. Unfortunately, the fur they shaved is going to take some time to grow back, but we've just told him the poodle look is very in for spring 2011.
Anyway, that's how my Charlie's doing, in case you were wondering. Thank you so much again for all your kind comments and tweets and thoughts.