Sunday, January 15, 2017

Serious injuries transform pets into nurses

Popoki the cat on my lap

Most of the time, the dogs and cats of the menagerie have a pretty easy life. They have warm beds, cozy sweaters, clever catios, awesome cat stairs, healthy food and a whole lot more. Their only real "job" is to pose for blog photos from time to time. And as Popoki is demonstrating nicely, these little pets are pros at the one task they're asked to complete.

But this week, our world got turned upside down. And that's meant these little pets had to move from being beloved pets into being experienced nurses. And you know what? They're all up to the challenge. I thought I'd share a few snaps of the way they help as part of the Sunday Selfies series, as hosted by The Cat on My Head.

For those of you who may have missed the original post (it's here, if you're curious), I slipped on ice last Saturday while walking Liam, and during that fall, I broke both my tibia and fibula. I spent three trying days in the hospital, and when I came home again, I was told that I couldn't put any weight on that sore foot. So I've been alternating between sitting in a recliner and lying on the bed.

The first night, everyone wanted on that lap.

Liam and Sinead and Fergus asking for lap time

The bones in my left leg are just splinted, not repaired, so they're very unstable. Even small pushes and pulls hurt my leg terribly. So I tried to give everyone a little lap time, but I also had to remind them to share. And sadly, I had to tell heavy, squirmy Liam that he can't be on my lap at all. He likes to launch his body from lap to floor, and I just know he'd be tempted to jump off that casted leg.

At first, he seemed heartbroken. But he set a new task for himself. Now, when I get up with my walker to head to the bathroom or the kitchen, he follows right behind me. And when I get settled in either space, he sits right by my feet to escort me back to my starting place. He does this even in the middle of the night. To him, that's his job.

Fergus the kitten sitting on my lap

Fergus can be very rambunctious as well, and he's been getting into a few troubles during my time at home. He's knocked over get-well flowers, pulled blankets from my legs and tried to play with the walker wheels. But he also spends a lot of time sitting on my knee while purring. I've been told that cat purrs are transmitted at a frequency that promotes healing. Maybe that's what he's doing. I can say that it feels wonderful.

Popoki the cat resting with her mother

Popoki's home base--my writing studio--is inaccessible to me at the moment. There are three stairs and a bit of slick walking I'd need to do to get inside. I'm not quite ready for that yet. So hubby has been spending time with her, reading to her and petting her and otherwise soothing her. And she comes inside to visit me several times per day. This is a huge leap for fearful Popoki, as she's never been comfortable spending time inside the house where the other cats are. But I can see her taking a deep breath and facing her fears before she settles down to share her purrs with me. That's something I need to do for myself, and she's a great role model.

Sinead the boston terrier on my lap

But the main nursemaid has been Sinead. She has decided that she needs to sit and sleep with me at all times, and since I am not resting comfortably these days, she is resigning herself to a life of very little sleep. Just look at how tired she is in this photo. She doesn't even have the energy to try and get my food.

Sometimes, we try to give her a break and put her down to sleep in her own bed. This doesn't seem to satisfy her. Within minutes, I can hear her scratching. And if I look down, I see this little face.

Sinead the Boston terrier wants to get up

Sinead cuddles up tight to me when I've been crying, and she crawls deep into my armpits when I have trouble catching my breath, as though she wants to pick me up and carry me away. I don't know how I'd get through all this without her.

At the moment, my break is in a very heavy, inflexible cast that is designed to keep the bones in place. On Tuesday, I'll go in for surgical repair. In the end, they tell me I'll have 2 plates and many, many screws holding things in place. They are hoping I will be able to walk again, after very extreme physical therapy. They tell me it's unlikely that I will ever run again.

It's hard to process these statements. And it's hard to know what kind of changes my animals will have to endure if the worst comes to pass. But for now, I am so grateful for their help and understanding during this tough time.

It's likely that I won't be able to visit as many blogs as I'd like to over the next week. And I'm not sure what my blogging schedule will be next week. But I'd love for you to leave me a comment of encouragement. Your kindness means the world to me.

This is my (wordy) entry into the Sunday Selfies series. Do be sure to check out the other blogs in the hop. You'll be glad you did.