Magellan was adopted from a happy farm home as a kitten in 2000. On the way to our house, he was all over the car, exploring, investigating. James and I promptly named him for the explorer. He lived up to his name immediately as he could circumnavigate our entire living room, leaping from one piece of furniture to another, without ever touching the blue carpeted floor. (According to Wikipedia, cats can see blues. According to me, cats are pretty smart, probably smarter than they want us to know. So it makes sense to me that our little explorer tried to avoid falling into the "ocean" under the furniture at all costs, clinging to whatever was nearby, couch, curtains, body parts.)
Magellan had been a good cat, surviving three moves and two kitty housemates. Not exactly pristine when it came to personal hygiene (we've never had a male cat who was), and not exactly a cuddle-bug (like many cats aren't), but he wasn't too demanding, either. Soon after his 12th birthday, Magellan's health started to decline. Since we'd never had a cat live much past 13, I thought the end was probably drawing near.
What seemed to be overnight, Magellan could barely walk, his back legs frequently dragging (if you have cats, you know how that made "the box" problematic), he was listless and drank water all the time. He lost so much weight he felt like furry bones when he would let me pick him up. Finally, I made the appointment with the vet, thinking I would be coming home alone, sad but reconciled.
I absolutely love our vet practice! The vets at Ark Animal Hospital are thorough, kind and compassionate. And just as great are the techs and office girls! Well, thinking I was carrying Magellan to his final resting place, the tech almost had to pry him out of my arms to do some blood work on him after a once over by the vet. Then the two of us (me and the cat, not the tech), huddled in the room waiting for the results. Thirty-eight minutes, one vial of blood, and $268 later, the vet told me Magellan had diabetes (which causes weight loss, lethargy, and neuropathy in his back legs). He said I had two choices: let him go then, or be prepared for a medical commitment for the rest of his life. Having a choice, for me, meant choosing life for him.
Twice daily injections, weekly blood draws to check glucose levels, and Magellan began to recover remarkably fast. Except for one thing: what the vet had called a gradual onset of diabetes had wreaked havoc on his teeth, and the infection in his mouth could cause further complications. Not being good pet parents, we have never carried insurance on our cats, much less brushed their teeth. Too late now. Think I spent more on Magellan's dental work than on James's braces. It was at this point, I stopped keeping track of expenses.
Year and a half later, morning and evening shots are a way of life for all of us. Magellan has made friends with all the folks at Ark Animal Hospital; they call him by name and treat him like an old friend on our visits (which thankfully stretched out over a month or two at a time by this time). Rachael is home for Christmas, pets her old friend and tells me he seems to have a lump on his face. A few days later, James brushed him and thought it was just a fur knot (remember, bad hygiene habits?). With the holidays over, I take a closer look. Rach was right, lump, not knot.
Just in time for the arrival of our newest granddaughter, Magellan was scheduled for surgery and more dental work the same day Adrienne Gracie was born (talk about multi-tasking on scheduled leave days from school). The incision stretched from the corner of his mouth to his right eye. I called him 'my little pirate'; Magellan wasn't impressed. Pretty soon, he was back to his new normal, mostly. When I took him to the vet for the knot (thankfully benign tumor), I asked the vet about the hair loss on the hind end. Are you ready for this? Probably due to feline male menopause. Ok, in summary, we have a 14 year old cat, with diabetes, male menopause, and bad teeth who recently had a tumor successfully removed.
Tom is not typically a mean person. Soon after Magellan's latest medical adventure, a dear colleague offered me a spot at her Bahamas timeshare. It sounded so good!. At least it sounded good until Tom reminded me the trip would cost about the same as we had just invested in a cat. AAARRRGGGHHH! And you know how grateful cats are for all we lavish on them, right? Oh well, 'Jelly Belly' is me boon companion. He may not move or be worth $6,000,000, but I'm still thankful to have my own Steve Austin, healthy and happy. When I think of how much energy, effort and expense we have invested in Magellan, with little thought to the cost, I wonder how much we are willing to do the same for those around us.
How much are we willing to invest in someone? How much has Jesus invested in us?
A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.
SCRIPTURE: John 10:14-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
There seems to be a variety of proposals about whether the nails, or spikes, that were used at Jesus's crucifixion went through his hands or wrists. The length of the nails is speculated upon based on archaeological finds of the era in the region. So many debates and questions about the "facts". Isn't the really important takeaway that Jesus chose a horrible death on earth so that each one of us can have glorious life with him in heaven?
Hi, my name is Alice. A Way with Words is about sharing faith,
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