Lucy is scheduled for a tooth extraction this morning, which means we couldn't feed either cat after 10 P.M. last night. I waited until late to feed the cats, thinking that if they ate late, the morning hunger pains wouldn't be quite so fierce. Of course, both cats had zero interest in food last night. I'm on the floor at 9 PM, throwing food at both cats, trying to engage them. No luck. "You are going to be two hungry kitties in the morning," I warned.
This morning was brutal. For me. I'm eating cereal and both cats are lined up in front of an empty food dish. They turn their heads to watch me chew my food, then turn a sad gaze back to their dish. "The guilt is killing me," I called to Blair.
I bundle Lucy into her carrier and then into the car. She mrow'd and wailed for the entire 40 minute drive to Greensboro. Never took a breath. I'm punching radio stations, trying to find something--anything--to sooth her. "You like jazz?" I ask. Punch-punch. "Classical? Rock?"
I take both my cats to The Cat Clinic in Greensboro when surgery is involved. Although I very much like my local vet, the Cat Clinic has wonderful staff and doctors fully devoted to just cats, and there's no barking and dog smell to freak my cats out. I drop Lucy off at 7:30 this morning and right as I'm walking out the clinic door I hear this pitiful, whispered, "Meow?" from behind me.
Oh, my aching heart.
I call Blair. I know I'm being stupid but I am near tears. He says all the right things - We have to do this, she'll be fine, it's part of being a responsible pet parent.
Then I call my best friend. "I know I'm being silly," I say. "But you should have heard her. It was so sad. She doesn't know I'm not just leaving her for forever."
"Cats have a brain the size of a grape," she said. "Don't worry about her being mad at you. She's probably already forgotten who you are."
Snort. Nothing like that supportive best-friend chatter to rally the spirits.
"You are not helping," I said, laughing.
"I've got 24 hours to find a gorilla or chicken suit for my son," she said. "I've got my own problems."
I'm sure Lucy's fine. She is in fully capable hands. But I will be standing at the front desk at pick-up time, anxious to take my girl home.
Grape-sized brain and all.