The Things We Do for Love

by | Feb 1, 2013 | Every Day Life

A few days ago I could not stop singing a couple of lines from the song,“I Want to Know What Love Is.” I believe that is what they are now calling an “ear worm.” I know, weird, isn’t it? In my day we just called it annoying. Anyhow, I just kept singing the same phrase over and over again: “I want to know what love is; I want you to show me.”
After about the 20th time of singing it I started to inform myself what love is. Thank goodness I was all alone because I was actually talking out loud to myself. The conversation went like this:
Singing Me: I want to know what love is; I want you to show me.
Talking Me: (with a know-it-all tone of voice) I will tell you what love is; Love is driving 16 hours in a Honda Accord with four adults and a cat!
Some background might make this a little more understandable. You see, my oldest son, Adrin, found a stray cat that he took in and then promptly sat on, breaking its hip. When he called from the Animal Hospital emergency room to tell me of the cat’s existence and inform me that the surgery to fix the cat’s hip would cost $1000 to $1500, I promptly told him to put the cat “down.”
Not a “mother of the year” moment at all. As a matter of fact I am pretty sure it knocked me out of the running for the next five to ten years. In my defense, we didn’t even know he had a cat. And the reason we didn’t know was because his father and I had advised him not to get any pets at this time of his life: Pets cost money. He has very little money. Still at the moment my boy was distraught and the cat was in pain; not a good time to suggest death for the cat.
After I could finally get my son to speak to me again, we discussed the predicament. We discussed the fact that he did not have that kind of money and his parents don’t spend that kind of money on a pet.
What to do?
Well, my brother-in-law is a veterinarian in Jonesboro. He offered to do the surgery for free, and not only fix the hip but neuter and declaw the cat as well.
Problem solved! Not quite.

You see the cat, Watson, is in Tampa, Florida, and as I mentioned previously my brother-in-law is in Arkansas. We were going to Florida in a couple of months to celebrate Christmas.
The only way I can explain what happen next is to say guilt — every mother’s best friend — took over. I did feel badly about my lack of compassion in my child’s hour of need. And I was hoping maybe to get back in the running for mother of the year. I offered to let the cat ride back with us so Uncle Jim could care for him. I would then be willing to meet Adrin in Montgomery, Ala., to return Watson once he was well.
Oh, I know some of you are thinking, “You should have just paid the $1000.” By the time this is all over you will probably be right.
The only problem with my plan was I did not run it by the three other adults who would be riding in the Honda Accord with me. I eventually told my husband but I was afraid if I told my sons, Dillon and Payton, they would balk and not go with us to Florida for Christmas. So, on our way to Florida, about the time we hit Birmingham, Ala., I told the boys about our surprise guest on the trip home. It went about like I had expected — not good. I was subjected to – and rightly so – lectures about honesty and trust. You know my hopes of getting back nto the mother of the year race? Yeah, I am officially disqualified for at least a decade.

Upon arriving in Florida we met Watson. Funny thing, for a cat with a broken hip Watson walked normal, sat normal, played normal. Apparently, the only thing Watson could not do was jump up. I held out a little hope that maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t have to bring Watson back to Arkansas after all. But Adrin was insistent that Watson’s “quality of life” would be better if he had the surgery.
Where did this kid come from?
We brought Watson to Arkansas. I will admit, even though I ended up covered in cat hair, he traveled very well.

Here comes the real kicker. After being examined by Uncle Jim and an animal orthopedic specialist, it was determined that Watson does not need surgery. The break is healing fine and even if they did do surgery Watson would not be able to jump up. So, now it will just be neutering and declawing.
When they prepared Watson for surgery they discovered that this stray cat had already been neutered. We are finally down to just declawing.
From what I have been told, a declawing can be as little as $125. I do believe my boy could have afforded that procedure. But that is neither here nor there, because sometime in the near future, I will be taking my grandcat on another long car ride.
You want to know what love is — Me, Watson, and Montgomery, Ala.!
The things we do for love. Everyone sing along!


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