An Update on Homer
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.
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.