The Flight of the Butterfly

Butterfly continues to improve each day. She can walk now instead of just shuffling her hind end, and she runs as fast as the other babies but with her hind legs together like a deer. She usually only runs on the right hind leg, but she’s dotting the left down more and more often. Her pelvis still looks uneven, but I’m really hoping that as it continues to heal it will even out in time. She wags her tail now, which she couldn’t do for the first week. She can’t hold her tail upright yet (only straight out), but I think it’s partly because her rump is at an unnaturally steep angle. I’m not sure if this steepness will be permanent or not. It seems like it’s less steep now than it was, and that the angle occasionally flattens out when she stands or moves a certain way. However, it’s rare enough and subtle enough that I can’t be sure. I’m terribly impatient for her to heal “yesterday” but I keep reminding myself that it’s only been a week and a half since her accident and she’s already RUNNING! And today she was also doing some small leaps, climbing rocks, and she even climbed up and down a set of stairs at church this morning. (Yes, I bring her to church since I can’t leave her unsupervised at home yet.)

I have a funny story from Butterfly’s vet visit. The clinic does not allow customers in the building, so masked vet techs were coming outside to get people’s information and take animals into the clinic. I handed my little baby over to Doc so he could take her inside for x-rays. About half an hour later a vet tech unlocked the door and furtively beckoned me inside the building. I fixed my masked in place and ducked covertly inside. She quickly ushered me through and locked the door behind me. The tech bustled me past the lobby and into the dispensary where I was ordered to wait “RIGHT HERE!”

About 15 minutes later, Doc came out to talk about the x-rays, but he couldn’t show them to me in the lighted dispensary.

“Do you mind coming to the back?” he asked, shifty-eyed, with a guilty tone to his voice. I told him I didn’t mind a bit and followed him through, but it felt like we were in a spy movie or carrying out a museum heist. We snuck stealthily through the building as if to avoid prying eyes. It was like being back in college when we would find ways to sneak into locked buildings just for the heck of it. The slight twinge of guilt. The thrill that someone would catch us doing something off-limits.

Doc and I squeezed into the small x-ray closet and he closed the door. The second we were out of sight, he whipped his mask off, took a deep breath, and whispered furiously, “I’m so over this COVID business!!”

I couldn’t help laughing. He’s an older man who has had some recent health scares. I’m sure everyone is constantly on his case about keeping his mask in place at all times. Before we exited the closet he was careful to hitch his mask back into position. The whole experience was like “Pandemic Theater” and I know I wasn’t the only one in the vet clinic who felt that way.

And one of these days I’m going to post photos not only of Butterfly and George (who are growing like weeds), but of Zelda and Sonic, who are two of the cutest little babies ever. They got a bit neglected during the first week of Butterfly’s drama and got a little skittish, but we’re making up for it now and they’re quickly coming round. Zelda is especially bold and now instead of shying away she jumps up on our knees and demands to be picked up. Sonic is still a little shy but he’s making progress.

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