Well, I survived the day at work, but I can't say I felt very well. Still, I knew I wouldn't feel any better at home, and since I came down with this bug on Tuesday and didn't seem to be running a fever any longer, I figured it was safe enough for me to return to work and not pass it on to everyone I work with--of course, I probably already did that on Tuesday anyway!
It's kind of funny, though, because when I first realized I was sick, I thought it was all in my head. I figured I'd subconsciously directed my body to break down so I could get a day at home to relax. After all, no one I knew had the stomach flu--it was the head cold/flu that had been running rampant through our office for the last month. Today, though, I returned a call to an administrator at a medical clinic who left a voice mail message for me on Wednesday. When I apologized for not getting back to her sooner because of this stomach bug, I found out it's apparently going around--she said she's had people out sick with the same thing every day this week. Frankly it was almost a relief to know it wasn't just my imagination!
Have you ever noticed how being sick--especially with a fever--can influence your thoughts and dreams? I know I tend to have the weirdest dreams when I'm sick! Well, on Thursday, I kept having a strong feeling of doom and gloom--that's one of the reasons I thought I really needed to get up and get back to work instead of sitting at home, feeling sorry for myself. All day I just felt like something terrible was going to happen, and I couldn't shake it.
Earlier in the day, I caught our older cat, Spike--
. . . clawing a chair in the living room. Well, she knows better and it's really something she rarely does, so I figured she was acting up for attention. I thought a time out was in order, so I put her outside in the backyard--she doesn't like going outside very much. About 15 minutes later, I went to the back door to let her in, but she'd gone off to sulk--at least I figured that was what she'd decided to do.
Beginning in the afternoon, every few hours I'd go outside to whistle for her (both my cats come to a whistle), but she didn't show up. Dark came along and still no Spike. Hubby was starting to worry but I figured she'd show up before long. Dinner time and she still wasn't home. When it was getting close to bed time, I finally started to worry. Where could she be?
I remembered, then, that the last time she disappeared and we couldn't find her, a neighbor spotted her under Hubby's car and we found her stuck in the engine compartment. I knew, though, that Hubby's car had been driven several times on Thursday. Had Spike gotten into the engine compartment and morphed into a dead kitty?
Now keep in mind that I'd been sick with a fever and expecting an impending cat-astrophy all along, so I wasn't very surprised. In fact, I absolutely KNEW right then that Spike had gotten into the engine compartment--the only question was, should I go out and LOOK then to confirm my suspicions or pretend the idea hadn't occurred to me until someone else discovered her poor dead body?
Well, as anyone would, I decided to take a bath and drown myself as punishment for putting poor Spike outside. Then someone else could discover the body, and I'd be dead so I wouldn't have to see it.
Laying there in the hot water, preparing to die, I thought maybe I should let myself live long enough to try whistling for her one last time. So after my bath, I put my jammies on and went out on the front patio and whistled. And whistled again. (And looked over toward Hubby's car a couple times to see if there were any suspiciously dark pools of liquid dripping out from underneath--it's too new a car to be leaking oil. I TOLD you I was sick, right?!) Nope, no matter how loud I whistled, no Spike.
So I went back inside and walked through to the back patio. And I whistled. And I whistled again. Finally, I heard a "meow" coming from the back of the yard where four properties come together. Edging cautiously closer ("edging cautiously" because the backyard is where the Drooling Dog lives and leaves things on the grass), I whistled once more. "Meow," Spike said, "Come and get me." Well, I couldn't see a thing in the dark, and I didn't know if she was stuck in a tree, on the roof of a garden shed, or just in a neighbor's yard and unable to get over the fence, so I went back in the house to get a flashlight.
Flashlight in hand, I returned and whistled again. No meow. Whistle, pause, nothing. I walked around, shining the flashlight on the trees, fences, and garden shed (as well as at the grass at my feet)--no Spike. No meow.
When I returned to the house, I saw Spike looking in the front window, waiting for me to open the front door--which I did. And guess what? STITCH ushered her in!
He had followed me out to the backyard when I first whistled for and found Spike, but then he disappeared when I went to get the flashlight. As it turned out, he must have gone to rescue Spike and lead her home.
Pets are funny! So are people with fevers. I'm just glad Hubby's car still has that new car smell.