Lessons from my cat Desi, or: On not doing what we ought and continuing not to do it

Desi the Disaster is living up to his name.

My cat Desi has not been well. He suffers from a rare skin condition called skin fragility syndrome. It is a result of very little collagen production. His skin is so fragile he can rip himself open just by scratching.

There was a chance he would be put down recently (while I was teaching in Hong Kong). When my wife told me "Today was not a good day to die", I burst into tears.

Desi was a rescue from the Crookwell Veterinary Hospital. I fell in love with him the moment I saw him and he came home with me that day. I was never a cat person; now I always will be. As I sat in my hotel room in Hong Kong, all I could think about was Desi and what I could do if I was at home.

Ernest Hemingway loved cats. The words of Chapter 8 of In Our Time were burning in my brain as I thought about how I would feel if I went through all the anguish of being away, only to return and keep doing the same old same old.
Ernest Hemingway (1924) In Our Time, chapter 8, p. 12.

We have been researching ways to manage Desi's condition and help him heal. Our vet is on board. One journal article mentions that vitamin C can work, and so far it seems to be working. We will be adding yoghurt and hemp oil to his diet. I have learnt how to use VetBond (super glue) for first aid. But it is far from over.

As the Stoics would say, external events beyond our control provide us with opportunities to practise our virtues.

As James Allen would say, "Faith and the living of faith".

I didn't want to be one who "never told anybody". I can't go back to how I was. Desi taught me that.