Today Sheba is eating again a select variety of expensive canned catfood, even her dry kidney diet if it is soaked in chicken broth to soften it. Her digestive system is operating as it should. She has resumed her usual schedule, lying up against my hip while I read in bed. (I knew she was really sick when she stopped doing her rituals.) It does seem reasonable now to hope that what caused her weight loss was not kidney failure, but pain in her mouth that made it hard to eat. The antibiotic has helped. Next week she will go to the Vet to be sedated and have her mouth examined.
She did not entirely heal herself, but was helped along by those two daily doses of liquid amoxicillin. We have become more skillful in administering that to a cat who does not like to be held in any way, let alone having her pretty little head immobilized for a few seconds. Maybe she has realized something, for she seems to swallow quicker. Thanks to my daughter, Cassie, who recommended I look in Sheba's eyes and talk to her, explain why we are doing this. Cassie said animals may not change their behavior, but they understand. I had a sense that this was true when I did it.
It is thundering. I just went to the screened porch expecting Sheba would want to come in. Our last cat, Sherlock, did not like thunder, and went to a special place under the guest bed, way back against the wall. But Sheba was watching the dimming light and blowing leaves through the screens with interest. We are all unique.
Her gains in health caused me to look at her as a remarkable collection of organs and patterns, including immune response. She is so small, 7.3 pounds, so delicate, so complicated, and able to heal, as all life is. If I stop for a moment I can see my own body the same way, how my pancreas has been healing by merely following a different diet for a while (and discontinuing the drug responsible for the illness). No major medical treatments involved, just let the pancreas rest. It fosters a sort of awe.
I feel that awe often now that I am back on my feet - when I walk across a room barefoot in the morning, or take the short sidewalk to my acupuncturist's office. It feels miraculous to be up on my feet (with custom insoles in my Asics), after last year's long difficulties. I am even able now to grocery shop without using an electric cart. I love a little verse by Thich Nhat Han that goes like this:
Walking on the earth is a miracle![image: a portrait of Sheba in morning sun]
Each mindful step reveals the wondrous Dharmakaya.