I slept fitfully last night. The March was great in many ways, but it was emotional too. There is so much work to be done. And then there are tidbits like this:
Both are utterly deplorable and disgraceful and sick. And it's all a lot to process.
In any case, I'd finally settled in to some sort of slumber when I awoke with a start to Tom yelling, "Oh NO!" I sat up, heard Ol run by, asked him where Tom was, and we both raced downstairs. I heard a terrible sound of an animal in terrible pain, and then saw Tom round the corner with a bloody Nutmeg wrapped in a bloody blanket in his arms.
He had been hit by a car. Thankfully, the driver had stopped and stayed with Nut while a neighbor who knew where Nut lived ran to get us. I am so thankful for the kindness and honesty of near-strangers. Truly, he'd have died alone and in the street had they not helped.
Jack was still asleep, and we had no time to wake him (think hibernating bear), so we jumped in the car and raced to the veterinary ER nearby. As an aside, I am beyond grateful that there is an excellent 24-7 vet ER near us. Oliver was wearing Christmas jammies, Tom was in his pjs and had no shoes on (still clutching Nutmeg as he bled and mewed), and none of us had brushed teeth. Nutmeg was struggling to breathe.
Nutmeg was taken into the ICU immediately. After a while, the doctor emerged and kindly attempted to prepare us to lose him. His head had taken the brunt of the hit, his pupils were dilated and his eyes were going in different directions, he'd lost a rear claw, dirt and skid marks were everywhere, his face was swollen, the front of his nose was scraped off, his jaw was broken and dislocated and an incisor was gone, and he continued to struggle to breathe.
Tom sank to the floor and ultimately had to lie down. He was drenched in sweat. Oliver was pinned to my lap, and I was crying silently. We were all crying. The doctor said they would get Nutmeg as comfortable as possible and then take X-rays to assess his internal organs and any damage to them. Tom steadied himself and went home to get Jack and put on shoes.
In that moment, I looked at my husband -sweaty, pajamas splattered with blood, shoeless- and I thought, marriage is awfully hard but you sure married a good man. A solid man. A man who will scoop his very injured cat from the street and not even think to change out of his pajamas or put on shoes before going to the vet, who cries with you and your children and holds you all tight, and who continues to assert that your cat will make it through.
All of us were shocked, but Nutmeg's lungs looked ok, and his blood pressure improved. He was given lots of hardcore stuff like ketamine and tucked into an oxygen tank. I can't tell you how wrenching it was to see him, his jaw askew and his mouth unable to close, his face swollen and cut and bloody, IVs and monitors in three of his paws. The boys were so brave.
Oliver and I went back to visit him this afternoon, and I will go again tomorrow whenever his surgery and recovery allows me to. The vet staff said he was an absolute champ and a flirt and a darling love who they expect to survive and heal. The house feels empty and quiet tonight, and I keep looking for him.
I am so very grateful. We all are. It's incredible the love we can feel for animals, how much they enrich and bring joy to our lives. Hug your loved ones, human and furry, and be kind! It makes such a difference.