At the vet: Jimmy "goes to ground."
So I was sitting right here, at this very desk, working on something, when Sunflower opened the door to this office that Jimmy so generously shares with me. Jimmy came trotting in ahead of her, his little bells jingling as he entered. "Jimmy's been sneezing," Sunflower said as he bounded to my desk, leaped up, stepped onto the closed laptop that sits on an open drawer to my side, where it momentarily served as a hard drive to my big Mac desktop computer, and then laid down and curled up on it.
"Sneezing and sneezing. Violently! He went on and on, without stopping."
Just then, Jimmy sneezed, then sneezed again. "Maybe he got into something," I speculated. Sunflower returned to the house and I went back to work as Jimmy curled up on the laptop and dozed off. Every now and then he sneezed, but not too bad. Then, about 20 minutes passed without a single sneeze.
A bit later, I went into the house. Jimmy leapt down from the laptop and followed. I sat down on one end of the couch. Jimmy leaped up onto the endtable and sat down right alongside me.
"Is this blood?" Rye, who was on the couch in the front room asked.
I got up and went to take a look. Sure enough, there were two large sprays of now dry blood splatter - some of the droplets quite big. Sunflower confirmed that they were in the very area where Jimmy had suffered his violent sneeze-fit.
I called the vet office. "This is not at all good," the woman who answered the phone said after I explained the situation. "Has he been vaccinated?" Yes. "What's his name?" Jim. "Well, you've never had him in here," she said. Yes, of course I have. She starts to read off the list of our cats names, including late cats, "Thunder Paws, Clyde Texaco, Royce, Chicago, Many Toes..."
"He is Many Toes!" I stopped her. "Jim Slim Many Toes!"
Soon, secured safely in his yellow travel case, I carry him into the vet office. After a brief wait, I am directed to an examining room. I open the case. He leaps out onto the table. I scoop him up, then take a seat on the corner and try to stroke the fear out of him. Not soothed, he slips off my lap and "goes to ground," in the corner, beneath the chair that I sit on (above).
I move the chair to where I can reach down and pet him, but still he is frightened. So I sit down on the floor beside him, scritching his head lightly, talking to him. For his sake, I am being brave, but I am scared. "This is not at all good," the woman had said, causing me to think that if a cat sneezes blood, there can be no benign reason.
We have been together now for going on eight years. The original black cat, Little Guy, was eight years old when he disappeared and I still miss him. Jimmy - so gentle, so mischeivous, so friendly, always wanting to be with me, near me. His fur soft, clean, almost aromaless, warm against skin. I cannot lose him now.
After a bit, I see the face of the vet as he peers through the window into the examining room, but he does not think to look past the table down to the floor, and so does not see us. He disappears. Soon, he is back. He looks a little closer this time, sees the two of us down on the floor and enters.
Next, Jimmy is on the table, being examined. The vet turns him this way and that; peers into his eyes, his ears, pries open his jaws and looks into this mouth. Finally, he gives his preliminary diagnosis: Jimmy probably just got into something that set off a violent sneezing spree, and he broke a vessel.
No big deal.
There is a small possibility that it could be a polyp, back in his nasal cavity, in which case it could be plucked out. This would require that Jim be put under and a scope inserted and twisted around, but since this just seemed to suddenly happen, the vet does not think this is the case. There is a tiny, tiny, chance that it could be a tumor, but, for the same reason, the vet does not think so.
He sees no necessity to subject him to that procedure now, and suggests that I just take him home and observe him for awhile. If the sneezing and blood spraying were to return and persist, then I would need to bring him back to get scoped, but for now, no.
As I wait to pay the lady at the front desk, a puppy comes up and gives Jimmy's box a good sniff.
Later, I am again working at my desk. Jimmy is sitting on the laptop beside me. My aquarium lights are on and two oscars swim behind Jimmy. I decide to get a picture, to make that scene the closing moment to this blog entry. I pick up my camera, but as I raise it to my eyes, Jimmy steps off the laptop, onto my desk, then walks across the keyboard of my big Mac.
A message pops up on my monitor - "are you sure you want to delete the selected images?" No, I am sure I do not. Jimmy does this kind of thing to me all the time.
Jimmy steps off the keyboard onto my chest, and settles down, seeking comfort. Holding him secure with my left hand I turn the camera backwards, and fire a couple of frames. Hence, the above.
Jimmy then sidles further up my chest, and lifts his nose to my nose. His squints his eyes and rubs my nose. He purrs softly. I do not know what the camera will focus on, but I snap a couple of additional frames. The camera focuses on my forearm - but also, even with blur, it focuses upon love.
I lay the camera upon my desk and, nose to nose, I hold him for the longest time.
Later, in the evening:
I spot Royce, Sunflower, Toast Ed, Muzzy and Blossom, who carries little Wry, as they walk down the driveway. Blossom announces that she is in the mood to dine on hamburger.
Soon, we are all dining on hamburger - except for little Wry, who still prefers mother's milk, plus formula and a bit of rice cereal now and then. The band plays, "Bad Moon A'Rising." Except for Muzzy, the Kracker Cats all stayed home. Muzzy waits in the car.
After dinner, little Wry gets a kiss.
Toast Ed and Muzzy, the biggest and strangest looking Kracker Cat, ride with us for a little ways, then get out and walk home.