A drama unfolded in our household this morning! I was just getting ready for work when I heard my husband urgently shouting my name….and he was outside. I rushed out in my dressing gown with my son…all we could see was a pile of clothes on the canal bank but no hubby! Cue panic as I banged on neighbours’ doors for help as son had seen him on the other side , balanced precariously on stones, with our cat under his arm; Hubbs had had an uneasy feeling about Jordy and gone to look for him only to see him pathetically paddling and about to go under forever!! Immediately he took his clothes off and swam across to the rescue…he couldn’t see our boy die!
Despite best efforts it was a job for the fire brigade and for the first time ever I dialled 999. More angst as hubby was struggling to keep his balance and he was slowly being sucked into the mud….it’s just very steep banking on our side. He was saying he couldn’t feel his legs and our cat was crying and crying; I was crying too and it was just all too horrible.
Within minutes there were two fire engines, police and an ambulance and the rescue began. A long ladder had to be carefully lowered over the rail….hubby was feeling faint…and very cold in just his underpants. First, our Jordy was hauled to safety, a shivering, mewling wreck, and then my husband was guided to the walkway. Not one person suggested my husband was foolish to save a cat…because they understood that he wasn’t ‘just a cat’ but a treasured family member.
A burly fireman gently took our cat on his knee whilst we dried him with a hairdryer and cocooned him in towels…he was shivering like a little tornado. Meanwhile my husband was being checked over by paramedics …his blood pressure was sky high and his core body temperature was so low! They wanted to take him to hospital but he said he was OK. After a hot cup of tea his vital signs picked up and his blood pressure came right down.
The fire and police ladies were brill…making cups of tea and just being generally reassuring…all I could think was how close I had come to losing my hubs and my cat in the oily waters and ooze. Coincidentally, contractors started draining the canal for maintenance and, when the drama was over ,we could clearly see the perils that lay beneath.
It took a while before my Jordy started to recover …he was stick thin under sodden fur and his body and paws were full of tremors and trembles despite towels, blankets and a warm hairdryer and radiator. His back legs weren’t working and we feared the worst….but slowly, slowly he picked up….started nibbling on a few snacks and slept a lot….but incredibly, a few hours later, wanted to go out again! Not a chance buddy!
Nobody left our house until they were satisfied we were all fine. I am so, so proud of our emergency services…they are unsung heroes in a time when the authorities are subject to censure and repudiation. I am so glad to live in our country where reassuring presences are the backbone of Britishness! Forget the brazen bankers and the greasy palmed politicians ..our local folk are the salt of the Earth…and I love you all!
Because without you I could be a widow and a grieving cat lady !