Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feline Love Languages

For the last few months, our cat, Max, has had a tooth that was slowly coming out of his mouth. It was on his right side and each week it seemed to fall out of his gums ever so slightly, causing him to have this amazing fang. It was also beginning to turn black and his breath was beginning to smell rancid. Now, before you think we need to be hauled off by KPS (ahem, kitty protective services), I should tell you that we realized that spending a large amount of money on Max was unavoidable, so we made an appointment with the vet to get it checked out, knowing that dental surgery was inevitable.

Apparently, it was more inevitable than we had imagined. About a week before the appointment, this last Wednesday morning, as I was letting some buttered toast nourish me and the fetus into finally getting ready for the day, I noticed that Max’s tooth was lodged sideways in his mouth. He couldn’t close his mouth, and his paws were red with bloody puss. I called Ed into our room with a panicky voice that made him think that there was something wrong with the baby.

We called the vet and brought him in that morning, where he stayed all day. Two teeth were removed; his teeth were cleaned. We brought him home Wednesday night, drunk from an anesthesia hangover.

One of the reasons that we put off making the appointment is because we’re cheap bastards. About a year ago, at Max’s appointment, the vet let us know that the tooth issue was going to come to a head. She gave an estimate, saying that the cleaning and possible extraction would cost between $250 and $500. Who has that much? We don’t (we are planning on living in a 2 bedroom, 900 square foot apartment even after the baby is born to save money, despite the close living quarters). We haven’t used a credit card since moving to Boston unless we could pay it off in one or two months. $500 is not a pay-off amount.

When we got to the vet, I told Ed I would go into the room, even with my low threshold for adrenaline release because of the pregnancy (in other words, it only takes the hint of tragedy to make me hurl). I was afraid that he would get the estimate, ask what euthanizing would cost, and in the event that putting Max down was even $50 cheaper, would choose that option. You can only imagine his response to the estimate that ranged between $550 and $975. I didn’t care (that much). Max has been with us for over 10 years, gone through all our moves and life changes, and still has the softest fur.

Now, Ed may seem like he’s both cheap and cold hearted. But, I realized in this whole ordeal that we just have different feline love languages. You see, I am more than willing to be in the vet room with Max, talk with the doctor, sit with Max on my lap for an hour or two at night, get up to feed him and love him despite his annoying early morning meowing. Most of that drives Ed crazy. BUT, I cannot give Max medicine, I cannot force him into his cat cage, I cannot chase him across a busy Chicago street during rush hour in the middle of a driving trip across the country. Ed, on the other hand, can do all of these things in a way that doesn’t cause him to end up shaking with PDST afterwards. In fact, Ed goes to a mental place that allows him to see the need for what to do, what’s the best situation, no matter what the short-term inconvenience or pain it might cause him or the cat. AND, he does it without prompting- last night, he held Max down, inserted the syringe of painkillers and squeeze the whole amount in as if he was cleaning up the dishes after dinner. I tend to leave the room and imagine that it’s not happening, or, if I’m in the room, close my eyes, look away, and go to a happy place until it’s all over.

So now, I'm enjoying that we only have two days left of painkillers and antibiotics for Max, but more than that, loving how much I can see all the ways Max is loved. I'm sure he feels it, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

(Nearly) A Year in Pictures

This weekend, I decided to download the pictures from our camera--only because our memory card was full. We had 327 pictures from the last year (spanning summer 2008 to february 2009). While I won't load them all here, I did realize that the blogs I tend to revisit the most have photos. Here's a highlight of our last year (I'll keep it down to 7 or so photos).

More soon on the coming baby, the current kid, and how realizing that I took on too much at work has impacted my ability to have coherent conversations after 7 PM.