The two cats not on the endangered list.
Yesterday, halfway through our 48 hour layover at home, Dwayne went outside to the usual barking applause from the neighbor dog, something he would have tuned out if it wasn’t followed by a horribly feeble non-dog sound. When he saw Smokey being dragged off by said dog, he leapt over the fence and rescued our gray fur ball—from what, we’re still not sure. It’s seems pretty unlikely that Smokey took a nap in Louie’s backyard, and didn’t wake up until she was being gnawed upon. There had been a cat fight (or raccoon-cat fight) in Louie’s yard the night before, but if it had been a raccoon, Smokey wouldn’t be alive at all. It if had been another cat, well, Smokey doesn’t deliberately put her life in danger, which is why she is 9 or 10 years old now. The vet said her wounds were pretty superficial, which doesn’t explain her current almost-comatose state. There is probably more damage than the vet was able to diagnose with the mere $1000 she billed us (“But wait! There’s more tests we should run!”—and was I just whining about the $50 of cleaner I had to buy to clean up after the kittens?). We could have a brain-damaged cat (yeah, redundant, I know) who will have to be given The Shot in a few days, or perhaps she will just lick her sutured wounds in her sick bed and perk up by the end of the week. The vet seemed very disappointed that we weren’t postponing our much-anticipated Viking European River Cruise to do all life-saving measures for, admittedly, my favorite cat. But our beloved and generous neighbor is going to be looking in on Smokes and has the undeserved responsibility of making life decisions for us. However, no cat could be in better hands, and she has all sorts of animal care contacts, so we are very grateful to be sitting at the airport knowing she’ll be be there. And we are further grateful that it happened yesterday, not 24 hours later as the shuttle drove up to our house.
Either way, when we get back, it will be definitive whether we have three cats or just two. But as long as we still have three kids, my arms and heart will be full.