It's been rather rough, these past few weeks. I had a cold in September (a gift from my husband) and although it only lasted a week, I am still dealing with the aftermath. I had a Skype appointment with my specialist in Charlotte a couple of weeks ago, and he told me that it would take about 6 weeks before I come out of the relapse even a mild cold can bring, on average. I've been able to paint a bit, and do a few other things, like feed the birds, but I have spent most of the time on the bed. I am starting to feel a tiny bit better. On a sad note, this is the 3 month anniversary of another sufferer of ME who died in her sleep of heart failure. One thing the doctor mentioned to me was that my heart rate may be unstable from the viral impact (I wear a heart monitor) and he was right - it didn't take much for my heart rate to spike and so I have had to take it real slow. But there are rays of sunshine, and the following story is one of them!
60th in the Tuesday Story Series
Because I spend so much time lying down, I had thought about adding to our menagerie of pets - right now we have 2 dogs, 1 cat and a fish named George. One dog is older and arthritic and does not come up the stairs, the other one is bouncy and not a good bed companion. Our cat would rather be outside, although we see to it that she comes in at night, because of the local coyotes. And a fish...is just a fish, even if he is a Fantail Beta.
One day after I began thinking about this, our daughter Tabitha was here and she told me that she had been thinking I needed a cuddly kitty to be on the bed with me. I told her that I had been thinking about the same thing, and I said, well we will see if one comes along, because going to a pet shelter, even in my wheel chair, during this relapse was out of the question.
A week or two later, she took me to my hair appointment and then on the way home, she mentioned that she had found a cat which met all the requirements - he was fixed, had been declawed, was three years old and very affectionate. I didn't mention that one of my daughter's favorite things to do is visit animal shelters and pet stores, just to play with the animals a bit. She asked me if I wanted to go see him, and at first I said no, because I was so fatigued, and then after a few minutes, I said well, ok. We were very near the place where the cat was.
Tabitha was excited and she said "Mom, I didn't tell you the best part - he looks just like Chester!" Chester was a orange/gold cat that we had had since he was a tiny kitten, and he lived till he was 13. He developed diabetes and I had to give him insulin shots for several months, but then he just started failing, and I had to be fair and put him out of his pain and suffering. It was several years ago, and it was really hard.
When we arrived, she took me over to the cages, and I had to sit on the floor, because I could not stand anymore. She had the lady open his cage and he came right out and rubbed up against us both. His story was that his previous owners had suddenly developed an allergy to him and his brother and had to release them to the shelter. I thought briefly about taking both of them, but the other one was a bit more rowdy, and it would not have been a good idea. So this cat, whose name was Tyndal, became a new member of our family.
It's been great, he is so sweet and cuddly and loves to be up on the bed with me. I did change his name, though, partly because I did not like the one he had, and partly because of my love for Chester - it's now Rochester. He stays upstairs with me, and loves to look out of the windows at the birds at the feeders and any other thing he can see. He was very patient having his picture taken, and is starting to be friends with the bigger dog which comes upstairs. He is my new Comfort Kitty!