Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Could This Be Called a Cat-astrophe?

I've just returned from a successful and intense week in Detroit, a trip that included discussions on ghostwriting a new book, interviews with the cast of the ABC fall cop drama Detroit 1-8-7 and spending quality time with my writing mentor over a lunch of fried chicken. For some reason, however, every day in was in Motown, I couldn't seem to get Carolyn Krieger-Cohen out of my mind.

You may remember Carolyn from previous episodes. (If not, you can glance through my November 2009 entry "Detroit" here.) She is the extremely gifted and dynamic PR professional who owns CKC Public Relations in West Bloomfield, Mich., a Detroit suburb. I've known her since she did promotions for local radio stations in the '80s while I covered radio for The Detroit News, and we've maintained a wonderful friendship over the years.

                                                                        Carolyn and me.

I thought my preoccupation might be due to the fact that we missed connecting with each other during my previous trip to Detroit, or because her office is less than four miles from the West Bloomfield condo where I reside when I'm working in town. Whatever the reason, despite my vacuum-packed schedule, I kept having the overwhelming sense that I needed to see Carolyn in person before I left the city.

Finally, I could stand it no longer. On the morning I was leaving to drive back to Illinois, I called her office.

She answered her own phone on the first ring, which should have told me fates were at work.

"It's Carolyn."
"Are you in this morning?"
"Are you free?"
"Who is this?"
"It's McFarlin. I have to see you before I leave town."
"Yes, you do. And I know why."


Let me mention right here that Carolyn Krieger-Cohen is one of the most...oh...transcendental people I've ever met. She claims to communicate with the dead, one of her more prominent clients is the acclaimed psychic Rebecca Rosen, who does the same, and Carolyn possesses a calming and intuitive spirit. She just seems to know things.

I arrive at her office, beaming and breathless, 10 minutes later and leap into the chair opposite her desk. "I know why you've been thinking about me," she announced.

"This is the weirdest thing, and you probably won't believe it. But just this week, my cat was diagnosed...with chronic kidney disease."

I didn't know whether to laugh out loud or express somber sympathy for a beloved family pet. So my mouth compromised by dropping open.

She explained that the aging house feline, Jaac, had been acting strangely and urinating constantly, so it was rushed to the vet hospital. "And $3,000 later," she said, it was determined that kitty's kidneys were starting to go.

"Can cats undergo dialysis?" I asked.

Not exactly, Carolyn replied, but she and her husband, Jason, were instructed to give the cat injections of liquid solution on a regular basis to balance its rapid loss of fluids. Holding down your dear house cat so you can stick needles into it? "It didn't go too well," Carolyn deadpanned. "We had to go back to the clinic so the vet could do it."

Well, that just seems silly. Couldn't they just install a cat-heter?