Way back at the beginning of May…

by grace on August 29, 2022

Gee, this is May 7th, as poor little Pumpkin was recovering from his eye surgery. Here he was lying on me upstairs in what used to be his bedroom, where he spent all his time while healing. He never lies on me anymore.

He has recovered well from the surgery and we continue to give him eye drops but only three mornings a week now. The issue is that although he loves us and is darling and sweet…he was an outdoor cat all his life and so all other cats are the enemy. Since we have five other indoor cats, things are tense. Shortly after he started coming downstairs and hanging out, little 16 year-old four-pound Marley was walking through the room and Pumpkin spotted her for the first time and attacked, biting her, hard. That was earlier in the night when I went to the E.R. Because I was in the hospital and Kevin was focused on me, he didn’t realize for a while that her wounds got infected, and he finally took her to the vet a week later. She’s fine now but stays up in the bedroom all the time.

He also attacked Sweetie a couple weeks later but no blood was shed, but now Riley is also scared of him and spends his days in the back of the house, Sweetie stays on the screened porch, and Marley lives in the guest bedroom . Lester is the only one who gets along with Pumpkin, and they’ve even touched noses a few times. Lovey, of course, is afraid of everything and stays in the back of the house or outside with Riley.

I’ve been getting some advice about how to try to make things more harmonious, and a friend told me about a guy named Jackson Galaxy who used to have a show about cat behavior on Animal Planet, and I read lots of stuff on his terrific website and just got a book of his called “Total Cat Mojo” and am hoping that somehow it’ll help us find a way to get everybody to live together. They don’t need to like each other but we can’t have any more attacks.

We’ll see.

Meanwhile…this was May 8th, when there was a very large family of geese as well as a deer in the yard.

Tuesday, May 10th, Mom and I were going up to Chicago to see “Moulin Rouge” the following night. This was the very beginning of the gallbladder nonsense and on Tuesday morning I was scheduled for something called a HIDA test, to see how my gallbladder was functioning. On all the literature I received about the test, it said it’d only take an hour and it was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. and so I booked us train tickets for 10:00 a.m.

I couldn’t eat or drink anything after midninght the night before so I was hungry and thirsty when I got there. The nurse who explained the test to me told me that I had to have a radioactive fluid pumped into my vein and they’d take pictures of its progress through my system for an hour. But she also said that some other part of the scan took another hour, so I realized we wouldn’t make the train. At the end of the hour, they couldn’t see the dye in my gallbladder so I had to go home for three hours and still not eat or drink and then come back and do the test again.

Oh brother. She did tell me I could have tiny sips of water, but I was so hungry and thirsty and I had to change our train reservations for later in the afternoon and I remember talking to the Amtrak lady on the phone and she kept saying my charge would be “seven twenty” and I thought she meant 72 dollars to make the change or something like that – I was just a bit delirious. I finally understood that the total price would only be $7.20 more. Whew.

I went back to the hospital, they did the scan again, and by the time I got home from the hospital the results were already in an e-mail. My “gallbladder ejection rate” was only 5%, and a normal rate was over 35%, so, faulty gallbladder. Apparently.

It didn’t matter then because we were going to ride the train! It was scheduled for 4:30 but of course it was an hour late. Lots and lots of sitting around, but by 5 :50 p.m. we were happily on board.

The trip took an extra-long time and we finally arrived at Union Station at about 9:30.

The thing I didn’t know is that you can’t just get a cab in Chicago anymore. We wandered around in the dark for a bit and found a “taxi” sign but no taxis were lined up. Finally one pulled up but a guy came rushing up and got in it and I said “We were here first!!!” but he’d texted the cab.

You have to text to get a cab or an uber or whatever the thing it is that you need for getting around Chicago. I had the Uber app on my phone a long time ago but haven’t ever needed it and deleted it.

But by some miracle an old school empty cab finally appeared and whisked us to our hotel, a terrific Homewood Suites just north of the river.

We were in our lovely suite by 10:00 and the first thing Mom did was to try to figure out the coffee maker, which you know is critical for all you coffee drinkers out there.

I didn’t take any pictures of our room but it was easy to create photos from the video I shot to show Kevin what it looked like. We had great views facing south, and there’s the Tribune Tower.

I always have to wave in the mirror, and you can see that I’m beat.

Mom got the deluxe king bed with the big TV on the wall of the bedroom and I was comfortable on the sleeper sofa, also with wall-mounted TV. Did we ever turn on those TVs? I don’t think so.

It was a very long day but that didn’t matter because I was really looking forward to seeing “Moulin Rouge,” which I hadn’t seen but I love love love the movie.

Luckily we were spending two nights so we had the whole next day to relax before the show.

The trip seems so long ago now, will Kevin and I get to go anywhere ever because of our so many crazy cats?

I’m not going to worry about it right now because when I do it hampers my already crappy sleep. Thing’ll work out…

ok then,

Mrs. Hopefully Today is the Last Super Hot and Humid Day of Summer Hughes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis Cowling Smith August 30, 2022 at 9:07 am

Thanks for the update on Marley and Pumpkin. Wanda especially loved Marley. Thanks for taking such good care of them.
(Wanda’s sister) Phyllis

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grace September 3, 2022 at 6:30 pm

Hi Phyllis! Marley is doing well and I bet she could live several more years. We’re contemplating re-homing Pumpkin to someone we know who might want a ginger cat. We’re afraid that the other cats won’t be able to get over being terrified of him. We haven’t decided yet, and it’s a struggle…Pumpkin is so sweet and loving to us, and we love him a lot. The poor guy has just been through so much in his life.

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