Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Shame: A Poem
By Maggie Yaddof

Yes there was a time
A time before the pain
And yes it was a good time
That time before the pain

Yes it was simple
Yes it was full of peace
Yes it was worriless
Yes we lived with ease

Well, that time isn’t coming back
We will never be the same
Relax though —— it’s okay
Let go of your shame

This is not your fault
You are not to blame
This cannot be prevented
So let go of your shame

Just try it I dare you
Live in the now
Not tomorrow, not yesterday
Come on, you know how

Don’t dwell on the past
And what life could have been
Quit mourning for that loss
Don’t let the “what-ifs” win

Stop fretting about tomorrow
And what it will be like
You’re making your own misery
So step into the light.

Look at where you are
See the brightened sky
Look-over, look around
We are all on your side.

We know that you are strong
We see your beauty, see your smile
And we will battle next to you
Mile, by mile, by mile.

You are a silent warrior
You will never be the same
As a person you are now better
So let go of your shame.

I had a very bad scare yesterday.  I woke up and couldn't find HRH.  I had to leave for work, so I hoped and prayed all day that she was just being lazy and had overslept that morning.  Sometimes she doesn't get up, but just looks at me and goes back to sleep.  I hoped she was just somewhere I couldn't see.  I worried all day, and by 2pm I had a massive headache.  I left school an hour early and headed home to find HRH.

I searched the house to no avail.  She's been known to sneak out the door sometimes if it's left open too long, and I feared that she might have been out since the night before or even that morning.  HRH is an indoor cat and in the years she lived with my parents while I was in graduate school they'd had her declawed.  Her voice and her bite are her only defense these days.  Her voice is by far her best defense.  She can let loose a blood curdling yeow that have caused dogs to run in fear.  In fact last time she was out, two dogs cornered her.  When she was finished with them, they've never stepped foot in our yard again.  Still I feared for her safety if she'd been out.

I was right to be afraid.  When I checked outside, I found her hidden next to the front porch.  She was tired and dehydrated.  Alabama this time of year is no place to survive the heat outside.  I took her in to get water.  That's when I noticed that she couldn't stand on her back legs.  As soon I she stopped drinking water, I rushed her to the vet, fearing a trauma I could not see.  There were no signs of anything having hurt her other than she couldn't stand on her back legs.

I finally was able to see the vet and they sedated her and did some x-rays.  My sweet HRH has arthritis in her lower back.  Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis in cats. Still, it is less common in cats than it is in dogs and usually produces milder symptoms.  However, it is most often seen in Abyssinians, Himalayans, Siamese, and Persians.  HRH's father was a Himalayan and her mother a gray tabby.  Usually with mixed breeds, the genes for pedigree cats are suppressed, but HRH has always shown the signs of a Siamese (Himalayans are a Siamese-Persian mix).  In a cat with degenerative joint disease, the cartilage covering the articulating surface of a joint wears out and the underlying bone develops a roughened surface that damages the joint. Most of HRH's damage appears to be in her spine which caused her problems with her home legs.

The vet gave her a steroid shot and some fluids.  I will have to give her steroids twice a day for five days and then once a day for another five days.  If there is not improvement, I will have to take she back on Friday, otherwise she will go back to the vet in ten days.  Please pray with me that she improves.  Next week, HRH will turn 16.  She's been my loyal and loving companion since she was a kitten.  I love her dearly and I don't know what I'd do without her.  I know there is no cure and a day will come when the arthritis overtakes her, but for now, the vet seems to believe the steroids will give her strength.

The poem "Shame" by Maggie Yaddof was written by a teenage girl who suffers from juvenile arthritis.  It was first published in Arthritis Today.


Giac said...

Hello Joe,
I hope HRH gets better with the treatment she received.
Big hug,

Michael Dodd said...

Best of luck to you both. Sundance and Cassidy are 15 years old. We almost lost Sundance seven years ago, and I remember how sad that close call made me.
Love the photo, BTW.

SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

I share your pain. Mine little doggies are going be 13 and 14 in November.

I hope the meds make her comfortable. You're both in my thoughts.

Susan said...

I will pray for you and your beloved HRH, Joe. Please take care.

GK said...

Joe .... I will pray the prayer that cannot fail "Thy will be done ..." and if at all possible may that will [ His will] include improvement for HRH. Prayers, Prayers and MORE PRAYERS friend.

Anonymous said...

My dog is now 15 yrs old. She is good sized (55 lbs)
and needed a hip replacement when she was 5.

I have taken her for acupuncture ever since then, and she is doing FINE.

Please consider animal acupuncture for your cat.

silvereagle said...

Thinking of and praying for you my friend....and for HRH as well.

Amanda said...

I'm glad you found HRH and he's getting treatment. I will say my prayers for HRH and hope for a speedy recovery. And I hope your head feels better too. ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Isn't it surprising that even thoroughly indoor cats want to sneak out? I am so glad HRH was found safe.

I know about the slow degeneration. Let's both cross our fingers, and pray and put some faith in modern veterinary medicine. I have confidence.

Peace <3