A few of my devoted and valued readers have asked for an update on little Evie. I am glad to say that she is doing great! Initially she had four or five types of medicine daily, in multiple doses. Now she’s down to two anti-seizure meds, several times a day, which will be continued indefinitely. No more eating problems–she’s gaining like crazy and feels heftier than she ever has been. Good news for such a tiny cat who was diagnosed as ‘anorexic’ at the height of her illness. The surprising part is how loving and playful she has become, making me wonder if she had been feeling rotten for a long time without me realizing it. She’s chasing the other cats and playing with catnip mice, and is very chatty and affectionate.
Being a cat, of course, she hates the medicine that is delivered via syringe down her throat. I’ve learned how to swaddle a cat (akin to herding cats, I’m sure) with a beach towel, essential to this task. Afterwards, she immediately hides in this DSW shoes shopping bag, as if that will change what has just transpired.
The cover story of Time magazine this week explores the surprising intelligence of animals and the lessons we can learn from our furry companions. Years ago, bringing kitten Evie home helped me identify with the impact of difficult or fussy infant temperament on a new mother’s sense of competence. Evie refused to sit in my lap and let me pet her, unlike all the other cats I’d owned (she is my ninth Siamese.) She would only tolerate being draped backwards over my shoulder while I paced and scratched her spine. I suddenly understood how hard it is for new moms with similar babies, who arch and pull away rather than cuddling easily into mom’s arms. Research has shown that temperament like this is likely hard-wired, for delivery room nurses can spot these sensitive, fussy babies within the first ten minutes of life and accurately predict which children show this predisposition when they are in kindergarten.
Even though I’m well aware of this fact, having Evie “reject” me in this manner was disappointing, to say the least. So her more loving kitty self is now a double joy, given that we almost lost her. And thank you all for sending your good wishes in our direction!