Feverish memories / Feline envy

The last time I had a fever was in 2001, the year I moved to San Diego alone. I had felt shivering cold for a week no matter how many fleece and wool sweaters I layered in the sunny San Diego weather. In a moment of clarity, I took my temperature. Incredulously, I read 103.5 °F (39.7 °C) on the thermometer. The high fever and an unremarkable ache on one side of my  lower back were my only symptoms. I quickly called Orchid (who lived 1000 miles away at the time) and said I needed to go to urgent care immediately for an unexplained high fever. He called a friend of mine who had recently moved nearby and said to him, “You drive her. You make sure she’s okay.” It was part request and part thinly-veiled threat, and my friend knew it. Take care of her for me. At urgent care it was discovered that I had a kidney infection. “It happens that way sometimes,” they said, “the infection goes straight to the kidneys.” I remember the week of dizziness and headaches that followed as I recuperated on strong antibiotics, collapsing sometimes on the couch in my research lab as I attempted to work through the fog as much as I could.

Morpheus kitty cat in bed 4

Fevers are amazing things. This week my fever was 102.2°F (39 °C). When it’s been years between fevers, it’s easy to forget how a fever feels. But fevers are like a drug your body slips in your drink. The one that makes you feel awful but the feeling is recognizable next time you have it.

As I curled under the covers, thermometer in mouth, loyal cat by my side and a light shining in my eyes that I wished I could darken, it occurred to me that feverishness is a strong memory from childhood. Blanket, thermometer, cat, annoying light, feeling delirious. I have lived the scenario so many times, it seems.

Morpheus kitty cat on bed 2

The difference now, of course, is that I can’t devote myself to my recuperation. Even though Orchid graciously let me take a long nap on more than one afternoon, bedtime routines still occur, messes need to be cleaned, food is required and a certain cute toddler demands to be picked up. “I want to hold you,” she says, arms outstretched. Who could say no to that?

I said to two-and-a-half-year old Flowergirl, “Please be patient with Mommy today. Mommy feels woosy.”

Flowergirl laughed a long belly laugh at the funny new word and just said, “Whaddahek?” (her way of saying ‘What the heck?’)

That sums it up, doesn’t it? When a parent is sick, children of all ages, houses, jobs and other responsibilities just don’t understand. What do you mean you need to rest? Whaddahek?

Morpheus kitty cat on bed 3

It doesn’t matter how much one is affected. I spent several minutes attempting to determine the correct subject-verb agreement for “the outdoors”. Should it be “the outdoors becomes” or “the outdoors become”? That pesky S threw me off, and why does “the outdoors” – an arguably singular thing – have an S a the end anyway? These were my feverish thoughts, and in the end chose incorrectly.

I look at our cat Morpheus lounging in bed all day with a new envy. He slumbers endlessly and his responsibilities consist of sitting on people when we need to be sat upon and being an excellent nap companion. Important jobs with a great sense of personal accomplishment, I suspect.

Morpheus kitty cat on bed

2 thoughts on “Feverish memories / Feline envy

  1. What a beautiful Cat!!!
    Its a coincidence! I am feverish today and yet I had to wake up early to do all the chores and send my hubby and child to their respective workplaces. But atleast I took a day off from work. Now until my child gets back, I can concentrate on getting better

    1. Oh no! Please feel better soon, Anita. Do you have a kitty or other animal friend to help you rest?

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