Sunday, November 29, 2009

`We All Should Rejoice, and Often'

The cat spent two nights in the veterinary hospital last week and quietly, saying nothing to my wife and kids, I expected not to see his mortal form again. In the morning Hurricane was his customary bouncing, regal self. By afternoon, when I returned from work, he was slinking about, clearly in pain, mewing piteously. The vet suspects pancreatitis, though getting the diagnostic test results takes eight to 10 days. For now he’s on four medications and my wife has drawn up a spread sheet to keep the doses straight. Most of the time he sleeps, leg and belly shaved, chastened and a little slower. The conclusion to one of Nige’s Friday posts, “An Encounter,” nicely sums things up:

“She went on her way rejoicing, and I strode off, warmed by the encounter, to catch my train. We all should rejoice, and often - why do we so seldom have the heart for it?”

Hurricane and Nige conspire to remind me of another joyous London encounter, two and a half centuries ago, between the poet Christopher Smart and his cat Jeoffrey. Read “Jubilate Agno” – “Rejoice in the Lamb” – and rejoice:

“For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly”

[Rejoice also in Nige’s reading of Elizabeth Bowen’s beautiful, harrowing The Death of the Heart.]


Nige said...

I hope your cat is soon recovering, Patrick. We had a pretty hideous emergency with ours recently - terrifyingly violent epileptic fits out of nowhere - and when she went off to the vet's we thought we'd seen the last of her. But no, she made an amazing recovery and is now her old daft self again.

Fran Manushkin said...

I hope your cat's inproving by the minute!