Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Sweet Moments

This holiday weekend, we kept very busy. There was lots to plant, and lots of work to do in our backyard.

The kids played with the neighbor, and we baked cinnamon rolls - a process perfect for holidays, when you have a little extra time together, and don't mind packing on 6 to 8 pounds.

These cinnamon rolls will always remind me of two Christmases ago, when our family spent "the week between" just hanging out -- just the four of us. We would wake up late, eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast, watch The Price is Right, and then, while the kids played with new toys and art supplies, my husband and I would plan an activity for the day -- bowling? sushi dinner? more lounging and cinnamon roll consumption?

We did a lot less lounging the past few days because we'd been given the wonderful advice by our veterinary technician and lifelong friend Lynne to stay busy while our cat was recovering from being hit by a car. And so, we dug in the dirt while waiting for daily updates from our sweet veterinarian, who would greet me with, "calling for Kara Anderson, relative of Rig-a-twany ..."

He would then convey the news: Rigatoni was still with us, she was taking a little food, a little water. Her jaw was broken, and there was a lot of head trauma, but none of the really scary stuff. We found out Sunday that she could see, which had been a concern. By Monday he was sure that there really wasn't extensive damage to her brain, and that she just needed a lot of nursing and rest.

I hate to say that we were just filling time until the phone rang each day, but when it did ring, three sets of eyes would look at me expectantly, while I carefully responded, "OK. That's good news. We are still hopeful."

On the other end of the phone, I would hear this wonderful man, who has been practicing for probably 60 years tell me things like, "I've been doing this for a long time, and I've learned that family is about pets and pets are about family. I sense that your children are quite attached, and I want you to know that we are doing everything we can."

Doing all they could included him visiting her twice a day on a holiday weekend, carefully administering food, water, and medication, and giving our family buckets of hope.

We decided that that kind of care really required pay-back in cinnamon rolls. It was just a must.

And so, we spent Monday night and Tuesday morning boiling, mixing, rising, punching, rolling, dusting, and melting enough butter to swim in.

By 10 a.m., our entire house smelled like an Ikea, and by noon, we had news that they thought Riggs was ready to come home.

"Look, Mom! They are living their dream of being old farm cats!"
Yesterday was a day when I saw so much compassion -- from dedicated veterinarians, from the whole crew at our vet's office, from friends and family, who have been texting and emailing since we found Riggs asking for updates, and from my own little family. 

There is something about watching a 6-foot-4-inch man, cramped in a bathroom, cradling a cat and giving her water with an eye-dropper, that makes you flash back to your wedding, and that feeling that you were making the best decision of your life.

There's something about watching your children love a cat who doesn't look how she used to (the photo above is from before the accident) -- a cat who is just struggling to survive -- and hearing them tell her how much she is loved, how special she is, and how proud they are they she is fighting so hard to stay with us.

It makes you realize how incredibly lucky you are, even when just a couple of days ago, life seemed kind of scary.

You suddenly remember that most of the world deserves a pan of cinnamon rolls. That this is a good place, this universe of ours, and that sometimes, amazing, wonderful things can happen.

With love and hope, all things are possible. Add butter and sugar, and every day looks a little brighter than the one before.

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