An Update on Homer

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So we just got Homer's blood-test results back.  According to the numbers, he should be dead already.  At the very least, he should be so close to death that he doesn't have the energy to eat or move.  The doctor told me that she has no medical explanation for how a cat in Homer's condition held off three people yesterday until he was sedated.
 
 
 
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It may not be medical, but I have an explanation: My little boy is tough as nails.  Twice as tough as the toughest cat that ever lived.  Always has been.  There are people who meet Homer, and see how playful he is, and how little, and how blind, and they don't believe that this skinny, friendly, blind little cat once chased a full-grown man right out of my apartment when he broke in in the middle of the night.  But now, by God, there are at least three people who work at our veterinary hospital who'd swear on a stack of bibles that they believe it--wholeheartedly.
 
Right now, as I write this, Homer is chasing one of his favorite toys around the living room, having just polished off half a chicken breast I brought home for lunch--and LOUDLY demanding more.  Normally the vet would want to hospitalize him, see if they can stabilize him, and run some more tests.  We still don't know exactly what's wrong with him--he might have liver disease or colon/intestinal-tract growths or cancer, or some combination of all three, or something else altogether.  But they don't think they can hospitalize him, because they don't think (and I agree) that he would let them treat him.  They can't keep him sedated all the time.
 
The one thing we do know is that he's having liver issues, so they're giving me some medication for his liver, and we'll see where that takes us.  "It's available in a liquid or chewable tablet," the vet told me.  "Which would you prefer?  And what flavors does he like?"
 
"I'll take the liquid and the chewables," I answered.  "And I want them in every flavor they make.  We're going to keep going until we find something this cat likes."
 
I have always loved and admired this cat.  I've always loved and admired him so much that I didn't think I was physically capable of loving or admiring anyone or anything more.  And yet, right now in this moment, my love and admiration of him have increased tenfold.  That, perhaps, is the greatest gift Homer has brought into my life--just when I think I know what my limits are, he helps me find greater heights and deeper strength.
 
I may be the author of Homer's life story, but this cat is determined to be the author of his own fate.  His clock's not running out until he wants it to.  And whether that's tomorrow or next month or five years from now, I'll be with him fighting by his side every inch of the way.  I won't keep him here one second longer than he wants to be, but I'm not giving up on him either until he lets me know that he's ready to go.  On his own time, and on his own terms.
 
It is my honor, it is my extraordinary privilege, to be the human he chose.

 

Comments

  • Roberta Friday, 07 December 2012

    How miraculous. Maybe he was blessed with more than 9 lives. Love to all in your home. Hugs across the miles.

  • Linda and Homer Hickam Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Homer and I send purrs and love to your Homer

    Yes on his terms, what a sweet baby Homer sounds like and you want every quality moment you can with him, we know having lost 3 of our old beloved kitties in the last 2 years.... We had success with our old cats getting meds compounded and then we rubbed into their ears, much preferred to pills and potions. He will let you know when it is his time and just love him dearly until then.

  • Michelle Brubaker Friday, 07 December 2012

    I read Homer's story just this year in your book Gwen and I have to say that you have one strong willed, beyond loving, incredible cat. I admire the heck out of this little black ball of fur. My heart and my prayers are with you both. If there is any cat that will fight this tooth and nail, it is Homer. Hugs and love from Lancaster PA.

  • Melissa Dallago Friday, 07 December 2012

    We Love You Homer and Gwen!

    Hang in there little boy and Mom! You guys are so strong, and will get through this. Homer is large and in charge. We all love him, and you very much. I may not have had the honor of meeting you and Homer in the flesh, but your fantastic words have opened my eyes and changed my outlook on life. I fell in love with Homer by reading your words, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your amazing story with all of us strangers. You are both loved so much, respected deeply and always treasured and we are all pulling for you! Bless you.

  • Mimi Pipino Friday, 07 December 2012

    What a remarkable privilege to have him pick u to be his partner ♥

    I hope he stays around for a long time ♥

  • Janet Friday, 07 December 2012

    I love Homer updates. I read the book about him...and, loved the book...he is a miraculous little kitty - and, what's not to love about him? He has a zest for enjoying life...and, I think we all can learn from him. He is lucky to have you for his mommy, and you are lucky to have him for your furbaby...bless you both!!

  • Emily Friday, 07 December 2012

    Thinking of you

    Thanks for the update. Thinking of you and Homer, and glad that he is feeling better - in spite of what the test results say! My kitties are sending love and kisses to you both!

  • Treva Joines Friday, 07 December 2012

    I'm smiling with tears in my eyes! You are a special human and Homer is a special little furbaby. I work at a vet hospital...wish all pet owners were like you.

  • Andi Friday, 07 December 2012

    Homer is a Champ/fighter!

    Thank goodness Homer is such a fighter. He will do all he can to fight his illness and stay your little hero not to mention mentoring those sibs. Will keep him in my prayers and thoughts.

  • JennJ Friday, 07 December 2012

    God bless you and be with you Homer!

    I am so sorry to hear that Homer is so sick. God bless him and may God be with him and help him in every way! I have read your book about Homer and love it and my 13 year old son has read it several times and we both love Homer though we only know him through the pages of your book. I think my son summed it best when I told him about Homer's condition and that he had held off 3 people at the vets office. How was Homer able to do all that in his condition? My son said "He was able to do that because he's an AWESOME cat that's why!" I hope that Homer feels better soon and that he will be able to get well and have many more healthy happy years ahead of him, because if anyone can do it Homer can!

  • Jackie Rose Friday, 07 December 2012

    Praying for you Homer

    We all love and admire this little guy! I'm praying for you, both!

  • Cat KB Friday, 07 December 2012

    Hugs to Homer

    I had a tough kitty battle liver disease for three years beyond what the vet thought was possible. He never lost his spunk or wonderful personality. Prayers to St Francis that Homer continues to make his own rules and astound one and all

  • Hemingway and Shakespeare Friday, 07 December 2012

    Homer, You are truly a super cat. You know your Mom wants you around longer and you're going to do that for her! Just keep fooling those doctors! You fought hard to live from the very beginning and that fighting spirit is going to keep you going. You are so precious to so many humans and fur people. Now be sure to take your medicine!!!

  • Ann Lawton Friday, 07 December 2012

    Hugs to you and Homer

    Dear Gwen, I just hope and pray that Homer will be ok....reading your blog has made me cry.....sending you both loads of hugs and stay positive, love from north Wales XX

  • Mary Harper (Lily the Little Blind Kitty's Mom) Friday, 07 December 2012

    Loving Gifts

    You and Homer have given each other so many gifts. You have given him the gift of a fabulous life, and in turn, he has given you love and stories to fill a book! Thank you for sharing his story with us, and bless you for giving him the opportunity to have a loving ending to a remarkable life. I was so touched by your last sentences--"On his own time, and on his own terms. It is my honor, it is my extraordinary privilege, to be the human he chose." You are such an eloquent writer--what a gift for your readers!

    I pray that he recovers and continues his remarkable life, but we know that bodies do grow old and die. May you have peace and joy as he embarks on whatever journey is next.

  • Patricia Friday, 07 December 2012

    Sending Prayers

    Oh what a miracle Homer is! After all he's been through to be so strong. He (and you) continue to inspire. I'm praying for him to get over this hurdle and live to be an incredibly old cat.

  • Elise Friday, 07 December 2012

    Be well, Homer

    Readers of Homer's Odyssey are all but as invested in that little cat's well-being as you are, Gwen. You wrote him so faithfully that he belongs to us too. We hope for his recovery with you, &, when his time on earth is done, we will grieve with you. He truly lives in our hearts.

  • Marla M Echevarria Friday, 07 December 2012

    praying dor Homer

    You know something to be honest with you I believe God is working a miracle in Homer and is keeping him alive and I will be praying for Homer that God will be there for him and to heal him and make him come through everything okay

  • Lizbeth Friday, 07 December 2012

    Truer words have never been spoken! I think your Homer was sent to you so be YOUR Guardian Angel & he's touched the world! God bless and watch over this little cat and God, please bless & keep Homer's Mom safe, hold them both in your hands!

  • Kelly Kathleen Ness Friday, 07 December 2012

    Is someone cutting onions? My eyes are watering..

    Seriously, you and Homer have brought tears to my eyes. Your strength and his spirit are perfect for each other.

    My cat Chronos was in full kidney failure about 5 years ago (he was only 5 years old!) - he wouldnt eat, wouldnt drink, and threw up anything he did get down. The vet did tests on him and said the same thing - they had no idea how a cat with his levels of whatever toxin in his system could still be alive. They hospitalized him for 5 days, put him on IV fluids, and when they gave him back to me I had to give him subcutaneous saline injections twice a day for 2 weeks. It wasn't a choice I made, I just did it, because that cat kept me sane in one of the hardest periods of my life and I loved him. I almost fainted the first time I had to stab him with that needle, but I did it, and I got past my fear. It was christmas time then, too, and we took him with us in the car to visit my dad in Phoenix - a 6 hour car ride which was broken up by one of his necessary fluid injections in a truck stop bathroom. We did the treatments and forcefed him food with a syringe and when we brought him back for his checkup after that 2 weeks, we expected to be told we'd have to do the fluids for the rest of his life. But by some miracle, he was fully cured. He's happy and healthy now, at 10 years old, and I wonder about him every day. So thankful he's still with me.

    It sounds like you and Homer have the kind of relationship that could get through this, too. I'm thinking of you, and I'm letting my own kitties know so they can send their love and energy as well.

    Brightest of Blessings,
    Kelly Ness
    Chronos, Momma Cat, Kismet, Mr. Sniffles, and Stormy

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