In the middle of moving day. I was at the new house, already unpacking. David was back at the old house to help lead the movers in a second rendition of Should it stay or should it go.
He had a tone. "What's wrong?!?"
"Well, Minuit seems to be..."
"What? Seems to be what?"
"Well, I think that she somehow injured herself. She's, uh, moving a little odd."
"Like how odd? How injured?"
"Like she is having trouble moving her back end. I think I need to take her to the vet."
"What are you NOT telling me? How much trouble is she having?!?"
"She's kind of... dragging her back end..."
"VET! Take her to the vet!!"
Of course this would happen on moving day. Of course this would happen to Minuit. This is the absolute best time for this.
"The vet's not sure. Could be a blood clot or it could be a slipped or pinched disc. Nothing's broken, nothing showed up on the x-rays - except for a slightly enlarged heart." (Minuit is the fattest of our cats.)
"So what are we doing?"
"We're going to wait and see. They said to keep her contained in a small space and see how it goes. We've got an appointment for tomorrow."
So we spend the rest of the night - in between toing and froing from the old house (we don't technically close the deal on the old house for a few days) - checking in on Minuit, now sequestered on the floor of the 1/2 bath in the old house. She's not eating food. She's not drinking. Every time the humans share a glance, we have that resigned, lost another cat, look.
Next day, Rissa and I have her in with the vet. We're prepped emotionally. David's already said his goodbyes. The odds of us being able to give full time care to a paralyzed cat are slim to none. I work, David works, Rissa's in school. There is no way that a cat in a rolly-wheel device is going to be able to navigate a litter box.
The vet checks her out. "She's looking better than she did yesterday."
I think: Really?!? This is better?!? Paralyzed from the waist down is better, how?!? But I say, "Oh?"
"She's reacting to pain in her feet, (squeeze - MEOW! squeeze - MEOW!) Brighter eyed. She's definitely improved."
"She has?" A sliver of hope opens within my chest.
"Definitely. I think you should keep an eye on her over the weekend and then check in on Monday with us."
I scritch Minuit's ears. "You hear that beast? You have a reprieve." I decide to use scare tactics. "But I'm telling you babe, you gotta start moving your back end soon or it's 'coitans' for you, 'coitans', I tell you."
We're in the waiting room. I'm prepping to pay. The cat cage is open on the floor, Rissa's hand is inside, scratching under Minuit's chin. I'm wincing at the counter, as today's total of vet fees gets tallied.
I turn around. Minuit is now out of the cage by at least 2 feet. She looks at me - gives me a pointed, "Don't give up on me" look, and stumps the two feet back into her cage and settles down once more.
"See?" I said to the vet. "Nothing like a good threat of euthanasia to get a cat motivated to heal."