On a Wing and a Prayer

Last week, in the middle of the sudden illness and passing of my daughter’s sweet cat Izzie, my Felix (cat #3–he’s 15) was developing symptoms. He tested positive for anemia. He is on medications to keep him eating, plus I started giving him daily subq fluids (i.e., under the skin) on Saturday. By yesterday I was feeding him by hand. However, he acts pretty spunky, so it’s pretty weird.

He was scheduled for an abdominal ultrasound today. Yesterday afternoon, on a Sunday, that office called and said the appointment was made by mistake. That they don’t do outpatient ultrasounds. When I made the appointment Friday morning, I was clearly told to avoid that issue he would be scheduled as an emergency patient and would get an ultrasound at 11AM. Today the woman who called kept repeating “no outpatient ultrasounds.” Because I made the appointment there, I missed out on scheduling elsewhere. She just kept repeating her script and obviously could care less about whether Felix survives or not. This is ANIMAL MEDICAL AND SURGICAL CENTER IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA. I could not believe they did that to Felix. I will be contacting the veterinary board of Arizona. And I have to start from scratch again for Felix.

Prayers and/or strong healthy vibes for him would be much appreciated.

Between work and cat care I haven’t had much time for art journaling, but I try to spend at least 5-10 minutes almost every day. Over the last couple of weeks, I completed these two that I like (except for their amateurish quality and the flaws I see heh). The first I posted on an art journaling Facebook group because I wasn’t sure whether to leave it as-is or not. I created an abstract background, and then I saw a partial wing in it, so I enhanced the wing with black acrylic paint. Only when I got done, because of the background, it looks as much like a bird (raven?) as a wing. So I asked the group if I should finish it into a bird, get rid of the top part that makes it look like a bird, or leave it alone. Forty people have responded, telling me to leave it as-is. Not one person said to make it wing or bird. That was cool because I like the ambiguity, you know? But I needed people with more experience to weigh in.

The photograph is one I purchased in a lot from ebay, by the way. I might have had wings on the brain because my new poetry book that will be coming out in a bleeping year is called Rooted and Winged. By the way, the poet who wrote the nesting/chickens/golden goose poem on the right page is named Miriam Flock. Flock! Isn’t that the best?

This next one began with the magazine image of Marilyn that I liked. My ideas progressed slowly, but when the #FreeBritney movement heated up, I knew what I wanted to do. I have a soft spot for her as my daughter grew up as a big Britney fan. She choreographed dances for the high school dance team using Britney music. Anyway, this whole situation that Britney is in reminds me of the classic short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in 1892. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. The frightening story shows a woman under the control of her husband and doctor. Unfortunately, the woman’s plight mirrored that of many women then and apparently now. I will never forget a story published in my college newspaper when I was a student. The woman who wrote it said that her husband had her committed to a mental institution to get rid of her.

But Britney and Marilyn are celebrities with fame. Britney has lots of money. Both of them have been objectified and treated as something not human. The protagonist in “The Yellow Wallpaper” was treated as subhuman.  Britney (and Marilyn before her) is a real woman.

This post’s title “On a wing and a Prayer” refers to a bombing mission in WWII. As the plane limps home short an engine, it travels on a wing (wings of the plane) and with a prayer for its safe arrival. Isn’t everything we attempt on a metaphorical wing and a prayer? (Reminder: please pray for my dear Felix or send healing vibes!!!)


Filed under Art and Music, Cats and Other Animals, Nonfiction, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

71 responses to “On a Wing and a Prayer

  1. I can’t believe they did that. Obviously some communication fell through the cracks. Hope you can get Felix in somewhere for an ultrasound. What has happened to Brittany is scary. If it can happen to someone with resources and earning ability, it can happen to anyone.

    • The ultrasound doctor is there all day, too. I cannot even believe they did that to us.
      It’s terrifying about Britney. She doesn’t have to be the model of sanity (whatever that may be). I can’t imagine being her. Both her parents hung their wallets on her from the time she was a little kid.

  2. Sending good vibes that your kitty gets better!

  3. Yes, our lives exist on a metaphorical wing and a prayer…hopefully Felix will get the care he needs to get healthier, stronger immediately.
    You’ve made me more compassionate about Britney Spears. I’m not sure why I’ve found that difficult, but there it is. I will also thank your daughter and will continue to send prayers for comfort to your whole family.
    These continue to be difficult days for you – and more than metaphorically speaking.

    • Everything we’ve seen in public about Britney up to recently has been masterminded by others. Her parents groomed her from a young age to be a star and make money for the family. She’s very talented as a performer, songwriter, and dancer. But she’s been used for it the whole way. Might she make poor decisions on her own? Ones I might judge? Probably. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve the freedom to make those decisions. About her father? Off with his head! This is a feminist issue.
      Thank you so much for the prayers! We are pretty upset over here as we feel like the veterinary situation is in chaos right now.

      • Excellent points, Luanne. Your voice is clear on this one so you have made a Britney believer out of me.
        I continue to be concerned about your veterinary situation. We need them to be the best for our babies.

        • Not good news about Felix. They found a tumor, etc. on ultrasound. Still waiting for more info, etc. ;(

          • I am so very sorry, Luanne.
            I hope for the best for Felix.
            Pretty and I have both been very sick this week with respiratory issues, fever, etc. We took more Covid tests Friday. Will be better able to keep up.
            Regardless, Felix (and you all) are in our thoughts and prayers.

            • Oh no!!! I do hope it’s not Covid! How are you feeling now? You were vaccinated though, I thought. Oh gosh, Keeping you and T in my thoughts and prayers!!! And thank you so much re Felix xo.

              • Yes, T and I are both very much vaccinated and actually took another Covid test last week which showed negative for us both. Unfortunately, neither of us is protected from the granddaughter germs from her summer camp which have given us colds leaving T with bronchitis and me with pneumonia after 10 days of coughing and congestion.
                P.S. Granddaughter is fine!

              • I’m glad it’s not Covid! But pneumonia! and bronchitis! Wow. Are antibiotics starting to work?

              • Antibiotics plus two doctor visits are kicking in the last couple of days for both of us. Luckily, my x-ray showed I don’t have pneumonia but the same bronchitis Pretty has! At least, we’re trying to keep it in the family…

              • Bronchitis is bad, but so glad it’s not pneumonia! Hoping each day finds you feeling better and better!!!!

  4. Praying for Felix, and for you.

  5. Sending healing vibes for your dear Felix, Luanne. Your artwork is fascinating! I’m fine-tuning the glossary for HAND OF GANESH…and spending a lot of time hiking in the great outdoors. Hiking is my therapy, and one of the reasons I love living in northern NM.
    Here’s to a wonderful week ahead.

    • Do you still walk the labyrinth? Hiking is great therapy, and it’s so healthy (as long you take care not to fall again!). So great about the book progress, Elaine! Thank you for the healing vibes. I can’t find an ultrasound for him yet until August 12! You have a great week!

  6. Sending healing thoughts for poor Felix. I can’t believe that person was so cruel. And extra hugs for you, too.
    On a wing and a prayer indeed–that seems to be the whole world right now. And Britney, Yellow Wallpaper (!). . .
    I love your raven wing. 😀

    • Trust me, I plan to tell every animal Facebook group in Phoenix about that place. I’m not sure if the vet board will care as it’s not technically a clinical issue (it is because I stopped making appts elsewhere, but they may not see it that way). Thanks re the wing :). It’s horrible that we still have “The Yellow Wallpaper” in our midst!!!!

  7. This is such an interesting post but I could not get past the inept injustice done to Felix. Olive and I have him in prayers.

  8. It’s such a worry when our pets are sick. It can take over your whole life while they are sick. I really hope for the best for Felix.

  9. My prayers go out for Alex. It is maddening to face incompetence when you are trying to save a loved one. I hope you get another place, Luanne.

  10. Prayers and healing vibes for Felix! Raji, Wendy, Junior and Maxine send healing vibes too (amazing since Maxine doesn’t even like other cats). I don’t understand what the clinic even meant about “outpatient ultrasound.” Surely she doesn’t mean that Felix would have to spend the night, be an “inpatient.” That’s not healthy! Our vet does do ultrasounds through regular appointments, although I think they are scheduled for certain days of the week. (Like my preferred vet has “surgery days” so she doesn’t take office visits on those days.) I hope you find another, more animal-centered place for Felix.
    I don’t know how many times I read The Yellow Wallpaper. I also watched a dramatization of it many years ago. I think it was a PBS production. The situation with Brittany is utterly ridiculous. It’s enough to drive someone insane. I heard she’s refusing to perform now so maybe the conservatorship will implode, and she’ll be able to take back her life.
    Again, healing vibes for Felix. So sorry for all you and your family have been going through, Luanne. xoxo

    • That overnight thing is what they did with Izzie. It makes us all feel weird about the whole thing. Anyway, sad news. Felix has a liver tumor and other bad things can be seen in his ultrasound that he got today (another problem getting it yesterday!). Waiting for more blood work and talking again to our regular vet before we decide how to handle things. I’m still in shock. He’s only 15.

  11. Just yesterday I added “the woman they could not silence” by Kate Moore (author of Radium Girls) to my reading list. Similar story of incarceration in a mental institution by her husband.
    I find your art journaling fascinating. How you make the connections and tell a story through them.
    My thoughts are with you and your lovely kitty Alex as you face this latest challenge. I hope you get to the bottom of it soon Luanne.

  12. Amy

    How is Felix? Any update?? Hope he’s doing okay.

    • I’m making him eat tonight by putting food in his mouth and holding it closed :/. But he has gone after food at odd times, so that is good. Overall, the vet is worried, but she might have gotten him in tomorrow for an u/s!

    • He has a liver tumor and enlarge lymph nodes, etc. Still collecting info. But I’m very shocked and sad.

  13. I’m so sorry to hear about Felix! The least the officious woman at the vet’s could have done is check with someone else about the arranges that had been made. Sending good vibes to Felix and to you!!

  14. That is so frustrating and angering about the ultrasound. Why so stingy? I hope Felix is okay.
    Your art journal pages are amazing! I don’t know how you do it, but they come together so well. How do you get those patterns?

    • Thanks, Eilene. I wrote above to Amy about Felix, an update :(.
      The art journaling is very intuitive. I start with whatever I feel like starting with, usually either some paints or collage pieces with gesso and keep going from there.

  15. We are praying for Felix. I remember the first time I read of men getting rid of their wives this way. It makes me sick to my stomach.

    • Thank you. Please see my comment to Amy above about Felix.
      There is something terrifying about getting rid of somebody by institutionalizing them.

      • I’m so so sorry. Still praying for him and hoping that he isn’t suffering. My heart aches for you both. God be with you now. He knows he’s loved and that matters.

  16. Poor Felix. He looks like such a beautiful animal with a good spirit. I like your collages and the message of “I’m ready to fly!!” Some days I feel that vibe strongly, others not so much. Such is life.

    • Thank you re the collages! Poor Felix is right. Please see my comment to Amy above. The internist said he was such a good boy today. “He let us do anything.”

  17. I wish you well with Felix. Leave the art journal page as it is – the viewer then has scope for imagination. The juxtaposition with the eggs in a nest works really well

  18. Luanne, I’m sorry to read about your cat trouble. I’ve been there several times, and it never gets any easier, that’s for sure. They pad their way into our hearts and it’s game over. I will keep Felix in my thoughts.
    I love your art journaling. So inspiring!

  19. Thinking and praying for Felix. SO sorry to read about the liver tumor. Hope it’s treatable.
    I read The Yellow Wallpaper about 20 years ago and it hit me hard, as if driving into a brick wall. BRILLIANT. Yes, I think all should read this story.

    I love your journal art!!

  20. I am so sorry to hear about the vet’s office. There is no excuse for being in a business that requires care and compassion but not having either. Wishing your sweet cat continued health.

  21. I’m so sorry to hear about the Vets office treatment of Felix. I hope all has been resolved at this date and that he is doing better. The expense of caring for an animal well is the main reason I didn’t get another after I lost my mother’s dog. She was never a healthy dog so when I had to go on just SS, I decided there would be no more fuzzy family. I do miss her everyday though.

    Love the Art journal. You do nice work there. I think there will always be those who find someone to take advantage of so they can get a free ride through life. Stay cool if you can, Luanne.

    • When the animals are young most people don’t think about the costs that are going to mount as an animal gets older. And some have health problems at a young age. Sometimes it’s a matter of expensive prescription food. I am so torn between more animals having a loving home and people only adopting when they are sure they can provide what is needed down the road. There is no good answer. Thank you re the art journal, Marlene! I am trying to stay cool. I don’t think people who have never lived where it’s hot realize that you can’t turn an AC up as cool as you want because if the difference between inside and outside temps is too great, the equipment can’t withstand it!

  22. I’m late I’m late I’m late! So very sorry about Izzie. And Felix? Hope he’s better!! My Annie is on Prednisolone (lip infection/allergy and cough)! Ay yi.

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