A Story for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
A few weeks ago, my animal companion of 11 years, Einstein the Cat, was hobbling around, not walking on his left rear leg. When he did not show up for breakfast one day, I knew something was really wrong. I took him to a vet who diagnosed him with bone cancer in the leg. Both she and I were shocked at what the x-rays showed.
Then I wrestled with what to do. Another vet believed that the cancer was contained -- no signs in Einstein's chest, and he assured me that cats do well on three legs. (After all, they start out with two more than we have!) Einstein was clearly in pain and that could not continue, so I had two choices: amputate the leg and hope that it proves curative (the vet said that was a real possibility), or put him to sleep.
I could not bear to put him down. He is not just a “cat” to me; he has been my buddy, my companion, my friend since he was a kitten 5 months old. He’s one of my feline links to “creation theology,” the belief that we are one with all creatures in the universe. So we amputated.
Now, he’s doing well, purring, eating and learning to hobble around on all threes! My next move: we will pray together to St. Francis of Assisi (now an interfaith saint) and ask a special blessing.