A Very Long, Very Bad Day

LeAnn posted this blog on Sunday, August 8th, 2010 at 12:59 am

Friday was a very bad day here at Rural Route 2. In the morning, I went outside with
Pixie, and as I was standing out there, I heard a strange sound from down by the
garden. I knew it was a cat, but it wasn’t a cat scream, like cats fighting. It was
just a strange cat sound.

Wondering if something was up with one of the barn kittens, I hurried down there, and as I approached, something small and black ran away into the tall grass toward the neighbor’s corn field. And there, by the tree by the garden, I found my cat Jack lying there, bleeding profusely from a neck wound. I knelt on the ground and cupped his head in my hands to talk to him. He was almost gone and did not know I was there.

Jack died a minute later.

I stumbled to the house to call Randy to tell him what had happened. And then I went
back to the garden and wrapped my beautiful Jack in one of my old t-shirts. Jack was
not a small cat. He was maybe 15 pounds, solid black with a few white hairs in his ears, and all sleek muscle.

I buried him next to Charlie, crying, crying, crying, as I dug his grave and then buried him.

Jack was one of the kittens from last year. He was a funny, loving, jovial clown-cat
who would put his paws on my back while I sat on Charlie’s rock in the morning with
a cup of coffee and would give me “Jack hugs.” He was an inside/outside cat and enjoyed spending much of his time outside this summer.  Jack was a talker, too, and whenever he was outside and wanted to come in, he would come on the run, meowing and meowing so I would know he was there and that he was coming.

I haven’t the slightest idea what actually happened to him. Before I started digging his grave, I laid him on Charlie’s rock. When it came time to bury him, the t-shirt was soaked with Jack’s
blood, and there was blood on the rock.

Randy called me back a little while later.  Then he informed me that his left eye was blurry and he had double vision. The eye had been blurry in the morning when he got up. He had taken an allergy pill, thinking it was a reaction to allergens. But the allergy pill had not helped.  We decided he ought to make an appointment with the eye doctor, and if he could make it to the
newspaper office, I would drive him to the eye doctor from there.

Of course, I was late getting to work. And then I wasn’t there very long before
Randy and I headed off to the eye doctor.

Randy wanted to make sure there was not something amiss with his new glasses, but
no, the eye doctor decided he should see an ophthalmologist right away, so he called,
and the ophthalmologist said he could work him in. So, we drove to the ophthalmologist’s
office and waited and waited and waited. Finally Randy was called back, and then I
waited some more.

When he emerged a while later, I found out that my husband has a viral infection in
his eye and needed prescription eye drops. We headed back to Wal-Mart, only to
discover that neither of us had our prescription card with us and that the eye drops
were $180 for a little bottle.

By this time, it was 3 p.m. I was scheduled to take pictures at the county fair at 4
p.m., so we got something to eat and headed to the fairgrounds. I got the pictures
taken that I needed, then we headed back to my hometown to the pharmacy . . .

. . . only to discover that they did not have the eye drops in stock. At that point, Randy
drove himself home, and I said I would finish my newspaper stories, send them and
then come and get him to go back to the town with the prescription card to get his
eye drops. He felt all right driving on country roads, but he did not want to drive
in the city with city traffic.

Of course, once I finished my stories, the e-mail at the office was not working and
I could not send them. I packed up and headed home. We fed the horses quickly, and
then we headed off 15 miles in the other direction to get the eye drops.

Once we were back at the Wal-Mart pharmacy, the man behind the counter said he did
not think they had the eye drops in stock.

Fortunately, they did have the eye drops.

We got the prescription and headed home.

Randy has another appointment next week to check his eyes to see if the drops are
working. I think he will know by then if they are or not. In fact, Saturday morning he said his vision was better than it had been Friday morning.

I still do not know what happened to my funny, loving, beloved Jack. And I never will know. All I know is that my cat is dead and that I shall miss him more than he could ever know.

In the end, that is the price we often pay for loving someone — we pay with the pain of

LeAnn R. Ralph

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