How My Cat’s UTI Sorted Out My Priorities

I bet the first thing you thought of when you read the title was this:

Best part in Harry Potter I.

But I digress.

Tonight, I took my cat, Gypsy, to her vet and found out that she has a urinary tract infection. She had been showing symptoms for weeks: peeing on clothes left on the floor and on towels we would put in front of the refrigerator to soak up water leaks. For a while I was convinced she was mad at me because she sensed my stress overload I’m gone for long stretches of time twice a week: in order to beat 35 miles of early-morning traffic between my house and campus, I stay over at my boyfriend’s apartment on the nights before my 9 am classes so I don’t have to drive as much. My baby girl doesn’t see me for a day and a half.

I know, I know. Worst Kitty Mom Ever award goes to me.

These past few weeks, I would usually come home to my mom telling me Gypsy peed on something involving cloth. But during the last couple of days, it got worse. Finally this morning, after waking up to being told that Gypsy had peed on her third consecutive couch pillow, I decided enough was enough and scheduled a vet appointment. I’m so, so glad I did.

All of this information to tell you that my cat has a UTI. The more you know.

After we left the vet’s, Gypsy and I went to Petsmart to get a new litter box, more food and litter, and some of her favorite treats. As I walked up and down the aisles with her little carrier in the kid’s seat of the cart, I thought of the last time she had been in the exact Petsmart at which I had chosen to stop. The day had been October 28th, 2011, and I was taking her out of a cage to bring her home.

Thinking back to that day made me reflect on this past month.

I have done nothing but do homework, group projects, intern, write curriculum, and study for my LEED Green Associate exam. As I whined about wrote in my last blogpost, I haven’t seen my friends in months and I’m starting to question my sanity.

My kitty coming down with a serious medical problem woke me up.

As I carted her around in Petsmart, and as I stayed with her at the vet’s office tonight as the assistants took samples and felt heartbeats and did all their medical stuff, I realized how silly I’ve been.

IMG_0761
“Maybe if I curl up into a ball in the corner of the room, they won’t see me?”

School is school. I’ll get through everything I need to get done because I always do. Stressing about things won’t make them go away. Taking deep breaths and just working through them will.

My LEED Green Associate exam? Well, it’s ridiculously difficult. Chances are I won’t pass it on the first try. If I do, I found out today that I’ve been accepted to receive a scholarship that will pay for it, which would be great. But if I don’t pass, oh well. I’ll get it eventually. I can only do my best which is exactly what I’ll do. Past that? It’s not in my hands.

The things that really matter are things I haven’t been caring about for a long time. Taking time to call my friends to check up on them, talking to my family for more than a few seconds in the mornings, taking a break every once in a while and not feeling bad about doing so… those things matter far more. It makes me sad how it took my cat – one of my best, dearest friends in the world – to come down with a UTI for me to realize that.

Life is funny sometimes. Earlier today, I scoffed at this Dove chocolate bar wrapper and yelled, “Yeah, right!” in frustration.

IMG_0760Now, I’m seeing this in a whole new light. I might not have a lot of free time, but from now on I think it’s safe to say my priorities are a bit more sorted.

Not this kind of sorted, though:

Since we’re on the subject, I’ve decided that I need this shirt in my life ASAP:

I’d say that’s on my new priorities list, too.

But in the meantime, the first thing on my list is to go snuggle my kitty. And then I’ll worry about papers and homework.

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