Today marks my 13th anniversary with BHP—the publishing house where I work.
The 22nd of January was a Monday when I started. I had just come back from a one week vacation from seeing Heidi down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (that’s where she lived for three years prior to moving to Seattle). I had two cats then: a black one named Shadow and a pure white one with a big tail like Nels has, named Sebastian. I just loved Sebastian (Shadow was Heidi’s cat, and she was nice, too). The night I got back, I looked at Sebastian and thought his mouth looked funny – like he had a pink button he was chewing on with part of it sticking out. Well, that wasn’t it at all – it was his swollen gum! So I started my new job the next morning. At noon I ran Sebastian to the vet and they said he had gingivitis. They put him under and cleaned his teeth real good. He also had a little ear infection. I picked him up later that evening and was given oil to put in his ears a couple of times a day and a pill to shove down his throat.
Well, both cats slept on my bed that night – per usual. They were so glad to have me home again. While I was getting ready for work on Tuesday morning, I put the oil in Sebastian’s ear and shoved the pill into his throat. Within seconds he started to wheeze. I tried to get him to drink water, but he wouldn’t. So I called the vet’s emergency number. The person who answered told me to bring him in right away. I hurried dressing and got him into the car and drove to the clinic – not far away. They told me to leave him and I said I would come to check on him at noon. Well, around 10:30 they called and said I should come back as soon as possible, which I did. I was told to go into the room where the veterinarian was working on him — patting him on the back and giving him mouth to nose resuscitation. She told me the pill had gotten ingested into his lungs and he had chemical pneumonia. She tried and tried to help him breathe, but to no avail. She finally handed him to me and told me to cuddle him because he wasn’t going to make it. That was really hard on me! I hated losing him, and felt so bad on my second day of my new job.
I didn’t return to work that day, but went the next – Wednesday. On my desk was a beautiful china tea cup with flowers in it and a nice card. Another co-worker later that day gave me a beautiful book about a cat. I’ll never forget how nice they were to me. My, that seems like a life time ago. Where were you 13 years ago?