This week, our youngest had a date with the vet - time for 'the snip'. She was an absolute trooper.
Sam & I on the other hand, well, one word:
We were nervous wrecks throughout the day; pottering around the house & keeping our hands busy to distract from our nervousness, constantly checking our phones for calls from the vet, & doting on Appa & Tig as much as possible, for we knew much of our attention would be focused upon Quinn in the evening.
By the time that call came, we were beyond ready for our (fur)baby to come home. Our house felt empty without that boisterous ginger cat.
We jumped in the car, & made the short drive to the vet centre. Naturally, we were ecstatic when they brought her out - still groggy & tired from the days events, she looked so small & fragile, in need of much tender loving care. She was even gifted her own 'Bravery Award' for being such a good patient (naturally, as a proud mama, I was beaming) . We listened to the vet's recommendations, "plenty of rest" & "don't let her race around/climb things/play rough", & booked her for a check-up in 10 days time. We were farewelled with smiles & well-wishes, then home we went.
The caring, restful & healing world of the vet centre was a stark difference to what we were met with as we entered our home - & it all started with Appa.
Quinn obviously smelt different, even we noticed the 'sterile' scent, yet to Appa, her 'little sister' was a completely different cat. There was hissing, yowling & scratching. Sam & I soon clued in, & separated the two for a while.
We just weren't as prepared for the next heart-breaking instalment. (Although, thinking back to it all now, I should have trusted my instincts. Oh, retrospect!)
We had a siesta in the late afternoon so we could keep Quinn company as she slept off the anaesthetic. I hadn't long dozed off when I realised Sam had climbed into the bed, hugging me from behind, & I felt warm tears rolling down my neck. I groggily asked if she was okay, with a soft, shaky reply, "No...I think Quinn hates me."
After several minutes of uncontrollable tears, Sam regaled to me how she had tried to stroke Quinn, but she would walk away - for my girl & her cat this was incredibly unusual, in fact the absolute opposite of their relationship (seriously, these two are almost inseparable!*). I could see the pain in her eyes, & it broke my heart.
I put my 'grown-up/show no fear' pants on, & explained that Quinn
Fast forward several hours, & we were teary again, as Quinn greeted us with nose rubs & loud purrs. She sat atop Sam's chest for an hour, switching between licking her nose & 'padding' her stomach.
Obviously all she needed was time & space. No longer moody, she played with Appa - who had finally realised it was her beloved - & let Tig groom her. We were back to playing happy family!
Now if you've been reading here for a while (...or even a week) you'd know that our animals mean the world to Sam & I. I mean, seriously they are our babies, & we're unashamed to admit it.
I'm overwhelmed by the love I have for each of these quirky creatures, & the affection I receive in return. I can hardly imagine the love I could have for a child - hundredfold?!
Quite honestly, it baffles me.
As I write, Sam & Quinn are snuggled up beside me, both breathing heavily & deep in slumber.
All is well in our home again.
* Sam raised Quinn from a tiny 3-week old kitten found outside the old theatre; obviously abandoned by her mother, she was cold, damp & barely able to walk - I doubt she would have survived alone.
Sam would get up every two hours to feed & clean the kitten - needless to say they have an incredibly strong bond.