Friday, May 8, 2009

A very anxious evening

I didn't post yesterday because I was too distraught--my cat Oliver was missing and we were afraid he had gotten out of the house. Both my cats are totally indoor cats, and Oliver is fourteen and needs daily thyroid medicine. The whole thing started when I discovered that the kitchen door was slightly ajar (because this is an old house, some of the doors are hard to close, and I almost always remember to ask everyone who comes in "Are you sure the door is shut tight?") If it's not, the cats can get it open. It leads to a back hallway and the basement stairs, and both cats have been known to go down to the basement where there are lots of hiding places. In this case, compounding the problem was the fact that my daughter's dogs, who are young and exuberant, had loosened the screen on the back door and were jumping through it, so we were afraid that Oliver might have gone through as well. Marty went down to the basement and called him, and he left some cat treats on the steps (a trick that has worked before).

I was emotionally in pieces--I just couldn't imagine how I would deal with his being gone. I spent the whole evening just shaking. My breathing got really weird and I could feel my heart pounding. Until then it had been a fairly good day. Lisa came at eleven to give me a massage, and we worked on getting my chest to feel more open, which seemed to help. Florence and Marty and I worked on a really hard and tricky crossword puzzle--the Thursday puzzle is often the most interesting of the week, with a twist or brainteaser worked into it, and it took us awhile to figure out.

Nancy, the chaplain, came for a visit--I think she was the one who didn't close the door tightly. When she arrived I decided we could all go sit in the living room, and it was at the end of her visit, when I was going back to bed, that I discovered the door open and we went to check on the cats. (Gilbert was lying on my bed but Oliver was nowhere to be found.) Unlike the last time Nancy visited, when I was feeling really bad and talking a lot about dying, this visit was much more upbeat. We were talking mainly about my battle with the insurance company and how acting as an advocate for myself was energizing me and making me feel strong.

I was hoping to hear from Kay, the Boston Globe reporter yesterday, but she hasn't called. I'm sure she will once she has talked to someone in a decision-making capacity.

Having Florence here has been really great. We've been laughing and joking a lot, and Julie has been hanging out a lot down here and it's been comfortable and nice. I don't even want to think about her leaving on Monday, but meanwhile I'm going to enjoy the rest of her visit.

Both Marty and I had a very hard time sleeping, because of anxiety. I got up at around five to go to the bathroom, and decided I'd open the kitchen door and call down into the basement for Oliver, and as I approached the door I heard a little "meow" and when I opened the door Oliver trotted right in. I picked him up and carried him into the bedroom to show Marty, but Marty wasn't there--he'd been unable to sleep and was in the dining room working, and he was as delighted to see Oliver as I was. We went back to bed and got a little more sleep, both very relieved. Oliver, of course, is acting like everything is normal. Gilbert really did seem a little puzzled last night since he and Oliver almost always hang out together, so I'm sure he's glad to have Oliver back, too.