SANDY HAD hit, but we had been spared the worst. To say it was a relief is an understatement. Irene had left us without power, we’d been marooned during the worst snow storm in 100 years a couple of years ago, so we were bracing for all bad news. Unlike so many others, Alexandria escaped. Then all hell broke loose.

Mr. Kennedy, pictured here, is the strongest, liveliest beast you can imagine. He’s also our Zen kitty. We call him Yoda sometimes, because nothing fazes him.

I was working on Wednesday, after Sandy had passed, having a home office on a whole floor in our home, when I heard a screaming howl that sent chills down my spine. What the… was that? It sounded like an animal outside had been hit and killed. I waited a moment, but nothing happened.


It was coming from the room outside my office. I rushed in to see Mr. Kennedy in the kitty room splayed out on his side. I touched him and he howled even louder.

…and just kept wailing.

It was late in the day, so I called Banfield at the near Petsmart where we also take our Franklin. They said to come in.

I couldn’t get dressed fast enough.

Luckily, Dr. Birch was on duty. To make a very traumatic tale short, she saved Mr. Kennedy’s life. If I hadn’t gotten him in there he wouldn’t have made it. It’s not a small matter to say that if Sandy had hit Alexandria no place would have been open and we would have lost him.

Male cats sometimes form crystals in their bladder that can be life threatening. For Mr. Kennedy, the situation had developed quickly and in the extreme, enough to threaten his life if measures weren’t immediately taken. If unsuccessful, the aftermath would have also damaged his kidneys, which meant his life would have been irrevocably changed and shortened.

It was a very close call and he didn’t get out of the woods immediately.

The other huge half of this is that Banfield got us into a wellness program that enabled us to afford the procedure that saved Mr. Kennedy’s life. He needed to be monitored all night, given intravenous fluids, but the expense of that at a local all night hospital was going to be above $700, which was just not doable. That the emergency hospital jacked me around on cost just about sent me through the roof, but some people just don’t understand.

So, I pulled an all-nighter, watching Mr. Kennedy, but more importantly, getting liquid inside him every 15 minutes however I could. It was a very long night.

The next morning, back at Banfield, Dr. Bagnell worked with me, getting fluids into Mr. Kennedy, but doing it as cost effectively as possible to keep my kitty progressing. The fluids I’d given him all night had, thankfully, kept him even.

Dr. Birch, along with her colleagues, saved Mr. Kennedy. This comes after she also diagnosed Franklin, a beautiful boy of a beast who is seen underneath Mr. Kennedy in the picture above (they’re buddies), who had a mysterious ailment for over a year no one else could peg. It’s a chronic condition that requires constant shots, which is not easy, but he’s got his life back.

It’s not easy caring for pets, which can get expensive. As an independent political writer and author, I’m well outside the infrastructure that other journalists enjoy. My hubby is an intrepid blue collar man, but we live in the world of math, which has to add up every month. Banfield not only understands this, but has done their best to work with us in true emergency, life and death situations that would have a very unhappy ending without their compassion.

It’s been a very long week for a lot of people on the east coast, with our situation hardly comparing to the poor people in Staten Island, other places in New York, and New Jersey. The heartache and loss is wrenching.

At our house, after bracing and escaping the worst of Sandy, it’s been a harrowing few days for very different reasons.

We owe a lot to Dr. Birch, but also Banfield in Alexandria, and I thank them for their patience, but also for sometimes having to put up with me and my bluntness, which can come off rude as hell to people who don’t know my style. The staff is amazing, people like Danyelle and many others.

Mr. Kennedy is back! We’re so very grateful. Thanks Dr. Birch, you rock.

I now return you to the insanity of what I cover every day, politics and the impact it has on our lives…