George is my middle cat. He’s the one who is always in some trouble. The survivor of, among other trials, a rooster bite; a broken leg; idiopathic vestibular disorder; four days in a very tall tree tangled in vines; a persistent throat wound that made it seem like he had rabies, and those are just the highlights.
Right now he’s fighting a flare-up of the vestibular disorder — which means essentially he has lost his balance. Can you imagine a cat without a sense of balance? It seems so unjust! When he was first struck with this nastiness, a few years back, he wandered in circles, meowing, banging into things, and — quite literally — with his eyes whirling around in his head.
The vet couldn’t fix it, but predicted that given time, George would adjust to his new status, and regain his ability to function. Gradually, his eyes whirled more slowly, then stopped. He cocks his head to the side, sailing through life with one ear pointed skyward — a land shark indeed. He runs, hunts, and plays, purrs, kneads, and feasts.
But tonight he is huddled on my bed, a lump of misery in black fur. And we have to wonder if George the Great is going to be able to pull another life out of the hat.
I’m rooting for him.