Simple stories tend to be my favorites, and that’s what I have for you today. This is the story of a sick day I had as a kid.
One day in seventh grade I had a fever, so my dad had me stay home from school. At 13, I was old enough to take care of myself. I was too sick to go to school, but not sick enough that I needed a doctor. My best friend at the time was my cat Zippers. She was a big fat soft furball of a cat who slept on my pillow next to my head every night. While I was at home sick that day, I noticed that she peed blood into the litter box. Alarmed, I wanted her to go to the vet right away.
My dad worked about 45 minutes away from home, and he couldn’t really come home in the middle of the day for my sick cat. I called him and told him I was going to take Zippers to the vet myself. My adult self is surprised that he allowed me. I was lucky I had a dad who trusted my judgment.
The vet was about two miles away, the next town over. Getting there without a car meant walking down a highway with no sidewalk, and cars speeding by at 55+ MPH. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I put my cat into her cardboard cat carrier. Because my cat was fat, I wouldn’t be able to handle her weight for very long; the cardboard handle would dig into the palm of my hand. To solve this problem, I rigged up some sort of harness, wrapping my jump rope around the cat carrier and my shoulders. I still had to carry the box with my hand, but my shoulders would bear the brunt of the weight instead of my palm.
So I set out, feverish and shaking, for the longest two miles I’d walked in my 13 years. I stayed well away from the highway, knowing I wasn’t very visible to cars. I cut through lawns and trudged through ditches, shifting Zippers’ weight from hand to hand frequently. After probably 30-40 minutes, I arrived, sweating and a little delirious, wrapped in my jump rope, with my sick cat in a cardboard box.
The women working at the vet clinic were really sympathetic to my journey. They called my dad to let him know I was there. The vet examined Zippers and gave me medicine and prescription cat food. The receptionist gave me Tylenol and drove me and Zippers back home.
You may get the impression that I was a strange kid, and you may be right, but we all do anything we can do for our best friends, don’t we?